Over a third of SMEs across the retail, health and fitness, technology, finance and travel industries identified recruitment as the most challenging HR process. These findings were according to a new survey conducted by the UK’s leading conference call service provider, Conference Genie.

Recruiting a talented work force is seen as more challenging than staff training, staff turnover or staff morale, with SMEs in retail, technology and finance also noting the recruitment process as the top priority for their specific sector.

The survey of 500 UK SMEs explores the numerous challenges that many start-ups have faced since the market crash of 2008, and looks at the conflicting factors affecting specific industries and how thriving SMEs are overcoming such issues.

Simon Prince, Marketing Manager at Conference Genie commented on the importance of the recruitment process, commenting “During the initial start-up period, it is essential that those working for the business are passionate about the cause and have experience within the sector. Build the right team with complementary skills so you can all excel in your given areas; your business is a reflection of who you are.”

When asked about productivity within the business, SMEs identified staff morale as having the biggest impact and also noted social outings as the best way of keeping morale and motivation high.

Nearly a quarter of SMEs across the varying industries plan to invest the greatest amount of their budget for 2014 into HR/People management, in order to improve their business. Those in the finance sector also said the majority of their time would be spent improving their knowledge of these areas of their business.

Staff turnover was illustrated as a more pressing issue for industries such as retail, with the setting of realistic goals and workload being the most effective way of ensuring staff morale is high.

Further Information Standard

  • Recruiting talented staff (36%) was identified as the top challenge facing SME’s regarding staffing
  • The majority of respondents identified social outings (25%) as the most important way of keeping staff morale high
  • 23% of SME’s surveyed said they would be investing the most amount of money for 2014 into HR/Recruitment
  • Ensuring staff morale/motivation is high was seen as the most important way of improving productivity within the business (24%).

Industry Specific

  • 38.10% of respondents within the Health/Fitness sector said that staff morale/motivation is the biggest challenge regarding staffing in their industry
  • 35.09% of respondents within the Travel sector said that the biggest challenge regarding staffing in their industry was staff training
  • 31.37% said that both staff turnover AND recruiting talented workers were the biggest challenges regarding staffing in the Retail industry
  • The majority of people (23.53%) surveyed within the retail sector said that the most important factor to keep staff morale high was setting realistic goals and workloads
  • Almost half of respondents (43.01%) within the Technology sector said that the biggest challenge regarding staffing in the industry was recruiting talented workers
  • The majority of respondents from the finance sector (36%) said they would be investing the most amount of their money for 2014 into HR/People management.