Almost 80% of SMEs plan to hire this year

HAYS has published a new edition of its 2023 Labor Market Guide where it shows that SMEs are the second type of company with the highest recruitment forecast (79%), eleven percentage points more compared to 2022 and only behind what the large companies indicate (85%).

Oscar Cebollero, director of HAYS Perm Recruitment in the North, East and South of Spain, highlights that “The increase in hiring forecast by SMEs has a lot to do with the market we have in Spain. The SME, many times, is linked to a more industrial sector, and in many of the regions of Spain the industrial gear is very powerful, it is growing a lot and the forecast is that it will continue to do so”.

In addition, in line with the recruitment forecast, the guide data also indicates that 65% of SMEs believe that the business of your company will increase. A percentage that is below large companies (71%), but above startups (58%).

Uncertainty, key for both companies and employees

Even so, 32% of the professionals who work in an SME He is afraid of losing his job. Cebollero points out that “multinationals can be seen as more solid and robust companies, as they are present in more countries and the fact that their activity and results do not depend on a single country. Instead, SMEs may be perceived as more susceptible to suffering from macroeconomic data or negative market movements.

Given this context, the expert indicates that the reality of the SME and the multinational in the current market is somewhat different. “Just as the multinational may be more conservative in its growth plan, taking into account that they have macroeconomic data from different countries and decision-making may not be so centralized at the local level; SMEs live a more national reality in this sense”, he points out.

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On the other hand, from HAYS they indicate that the more difficult profiles to attract, and not only for SMEs, but in the current market, are being the technical profiles; both with regard to the technological side, as well as the more technical part of engineering and production. “They are profiles that are not easy and that are scarce in the market, with which employees are much more demanding when it comes to assessing a change and the market is also much more volatile”, explains Cebollero. “It is no longer just about the salary, there are many more connotations that did not exist a few years ago, such as the work model, the career plan or other aspects to which the candidate now gives a lot of weight when assessing a change”, Add.

The brain drain, a phenomenon that not only affects small and medium-sized companies

HAYS Guide 2023 data shows that 44% of SMEs say they are more afraid of brain drain this year. A slightly lower percentage compared to what large companies think, taking into account that 49% of them indicate so. In this context, the HAYS expert qualifies that “for SMEs it is not more difficult attract and retain talent, despite the fact that, sometimes, the candidates tend to pay more attention to the brand and the large multinationals are always the most visible”.

In this line, Cebollero points out that “the key aspect is in the value proposition that you are offering to the worker or candidate to sell your project”. “Is essential consider what makes you different from the rest in order to attract and retain talent; Since many times that is what is missing in a selection process or in a company and it is what ends up causing a worker to decide to seek challenges in another company”indicates.

Likewise, the HAYS expert explains that an SME can offer more flexibility when it comes to career planning. “Multinationals, in general, have everything more standardized, because the volume of workers is much larger and there is a criterion of equality regarding the assessment of employees”, explains Cebollero. “On the other hand, in small and medium-sized companies, more individualized standards can be applied to the worker, which allow work to be done more ad hoc to that career plan, and even make the person feel more theirs. That, without a doubt, is part of the value proposition of an SME”he concludes.

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