While many businesses are facing business dis-continuity during the COVID-19 economic downturn, it is the small to medium size enterprises (SME’s) who are facing a unique problem - how to create a competitive advantage with fewer (in some cases zero) people and resources.
With high levels of uncertainty businesses can lose control over their spend, people, agencies and systems. Re-structuring of internal capabilities to survive and thrive has never been more critical.
SME’s compete with big business for customers. So, in order to create competitive advantage, they need to leverage their agility and people.
So, the 3 foundations to create a competitive advantage include:
Given SME’s represent 33% of the Australian economy, addressing the associated risks with these resourcing dilemmas is important. They want greater control over their people and budgets, and it should be mandated by industries to address this issue now and into the recovery.
In a recent study by recruitment consultancy - Matchbox Business - the following key insights among SME’s were identified in relation to building greater control over hiring the right people.
SME’s want to:
Simply calling a recruitment agency, scoping out a role (or two) and then going fishing for the right person is no longer a “go to” strategy in today’s complex world.
So, here’s where the problem starts, while SME’s need all of the core and specialists’ skills, it is virtually impossible for most businesses between $1 million - $5 million in revenue to justify hiring a team of 10+ people internally on a full-time basis; nor is it possible to rely on one person to run all activities for an SME.
It’s not all ‘doom and gloom’ because there are emerging resourcing solutions that innovative SME’s are benefiting from. One model is the on-demand flexible workforce that businesses large and small can tap into. The good news for SME’s is that they can create a competitive advantage by saving on headcount while improving their results. This impacts everything from lowering operating costs, to improving productivity to better ROI.
For example, an engineering company, a property developer, online retail store, an NGO or local council can have on-demand people to support all their functions - when they need and want.
A model case study
Consider the old model where a business hires a Marketing Manager for $75,000 p.a. and realizes more expenditure is required for special project or they have a resource gap when that person is on leave.
Alternatively, with the same budget a better solution might be to hire a Senior Marketer (3 days per week) who overseas strategy, planning and campaigns, an entry-level Digital Guru / Web Master (1 day per week), a freelance Graphic Designer on-site (1-2 days a week) and a sub-contract Content Manager (as needed).
Insourcing agencies like Marketing Temps recognise the possibilities with on-demand hiring and have saved SME’s on average $40,000 a year by combining flexible recruitment with outsourcing. They have built capabilities in tailoring hiring solutions to each of their clients according to the competency requirements at any given time. From strategy, planning, activation to tracking results, the business owner (their client) is in control because they can hire senior marketers part-time as well as tap into specialists or agencies when needed on a project by project basis. What’s unique about the Marketing Temps system is having a “Marketing Champion” overseeing the workflow and carefully advising the business owner the right options to meet their requirements at the right time. It is not a software platform where a request is initiated and ‘freelancers’ are sorted for the picking (which only works when you know exactly what you’re looking for).
It’s clear there are many advantages to everybody within the on-demand flexible work ecosystem. SME’s can be in control and choose a hiring arrangement for most job functions then hire in a flexible way ranging from: full-time employees, sub-contractors or outsourcing (full-time, part-time, permanent, casuals).
Most SME’s are excited and relieved when they see how others have benefited and they ask for this type of non-traditional way to build capabilities and staffing solutions for their businesses. Every business is unique and building this process for them is done in consultation with the owner and management and is a very important component of successful outcomes.
As a trial to new clients, Matchbox Business is offering free audits to assess the people requirements through the pandemic crisis using expertise in flexible workforce planning.
This offer includes an assessment by Matchbox Business to scope out competencies needed and to map out tailored resourcing solutions to meet the individual business’ goals.
If you are interested contact Kam on 0418 458 889 or e-Mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org