By Andrew Dawson-Gerrard, founder and managing partner at Firstcomm Recruitment Ltd.

Most SMEs don’t have highly developed HR functions. Yet without recruiting and retaining the right talent, businesses cannot grow successfully.

With more than 20 years of industry experience and as an owner of a boutique recruitment business myself, I always encourage business owners to think outside the box and consider more innovative options when engaging with recruiters.

A traditional recruitment firm will post a generic work description across several internet job boards. Once relevant CVs arrive in their inbox, those will be forwarded to you who’ll then be left to sift through and handle interviews. In addition, you’ll owe the agency a percentage of the new hire’s starting annual salary.

Instead of falling foul to the above scenario, SMEs should engage with recruitment as they do when handling legal or accountancy issues. This involves finding a trusted advisor that can support your business throughout all stages of growth and deliver best value for money.

Advisors should take time to understand what your needs are, what you’re trying to achieve and what level you’re hiring at. Should you need oldfashioned headhunting, development of interview screening criteria, or someone to attend interviews, the recruitment professional should provide this. Advice could even extend to forming an employment offer or developing a commission system as business develops.

With SMEs wanting to manage costs, companies should use recruitment budgets wisely and engage a trusted and experienced advisor that can add value to business operations long-term, rather than a traditional recruitment firm which doesn’t service the business’ needs.

Firstcomm Recruitment Ltd is a boutique recruitment business. Working with clients across a broad portfolio of industry sectors Firstcomm Recruitment Ltd helps its clients reduce recruitment spend and enable them to identify, approach and engage leading talent by using the most appropriate and cost effective methodologies.