The rewards of a good hire are amplified for SMEs

I have a hypothesis: mid-sized and smaller companies (remember, SMEs comprise the majority of Australian businesses) can benefit most from professional recruitment services. While smaller companies have less experience and fewer available internal resources to identify and attract top flight talent, a great senior level hire will generally have a measurable impact on the growth and success of a smaller company. And rather than relying on informal networks, job boards, and other indirect methods, I would argue a senior appointment in an SME is best served by an experienced Executive Search and Selection provider.  

Of course, senior level hires are made less frequently than more junior roles so naturally many companies are ill-prepared when they arise. Internal HR departments (or individuals) may be very good at handling the company’s ongoing recruitment needs, but these internal resources are usually not experienced in managing the recruitment of senior level or one-of-a-kind positions.

Unfortunately, there is a perception in the business community that the executive search process is only relevant for large companies. Most related articles involve the appointments or searches for executives for well-known ASX 200 companies, or of key government departments and authorities, where the emphasis is on the remuneration attached to the role, rather than the level of difficulty involved in placing a suitable candidate.

We know the cost of hiring the wrong person goes well beyond the time and effort involved in recruitment. Negative results, including loss in profit, reduced income, the impact on customer goodwill and company morale, can be a significant blow.

Deciding to engage a consulting firm, then finding the appropriate consultant to partner with, can be similarly overwhelming, so make sure you choose a professional who understands your needs. As an executive specialist in engineering, I am always interested in getting to know as much about the company’s culture, workflow, plans for growth and vision for the future. It’s part of my due diligence before commencing any assignment, and knowing your business before you set out to attract others to work for you is something everyone can afford — whatever your size.

Bill Haggerty

With over 18 years experience in executive search, Bill specialises in recruiting senior executives, including CEOs, Project Directors and General Managers in the engineering, advanced manufacturing and infrastructure sectors, which is where his passion lies. He is an active member of Engineers Australia, committed to promoting the engineering profession and gender diversity within engineering. Bill is a Fellow of Engineers Australia with Chartered and EngExec status and a Graduate of the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT University) in Civil Engineering and Management. He has a very broad commercial background with extensive management, business development and project management experience. Over the years Bill has worked in Australia, Europe, North America and Asia, with particular emphasis in engineering, transport, construction, aerospace, agribusiness and FMCG.

Bill Haggerty
Principal, Technical & Operations
Slade Group
Level 7, 15 William Street
Melbourne VIC 3000
Tel: +61 3 9235 5100
bhaggerty@sladegroup.com.au
sladegroup.com.au

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