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How SME’s Can Beat the Big Players in the Battle for Talent

Many small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) often struggle to attract and retain top talent. There are two main reasons:

  1. Candidates are less likely to find SMEs

    The brand is often unfamiliar, or the industry unappealing, to recent grads and talented young candidates looking for something exciting; often re-treads don’t know the brand either!

  2. Leaders of SMEs lack proper recruitment resources

    In fulfilling so many roles for the business, many leaders struggle to develop a strategic recruitment plan until the sudden rush to fill positions.

Fortunately, there are solutions:

Though the battle for talent is at its highest, SMEs have distinct advantages when attracting top talent, based on many factors candidates consider during career moves. Work-hour flexibility, opportunity for impact on the company, extended time off for travel, and opportunity for equity not only in the business but with clients and supplies—these are the factors candidates value when searching for new opportunities.

With the help of a professional talent acquisition team, the willingness for change, and proper planning, SMEs are better prepared to appeal to the best talent than many Fortune 500 companies. The investment in up-front time and resources will pay off in spades when top talent come in, as they are significantly more productive, especially in highly complex positions, achieving up to 800% increased productivity.

3 Strategies to Land Top Talent

So how exactly can SMEs outmanoeuvre the big companies to build an incredible organization and culture with the top talent?

Here are 3 strategies:

  1. Develop a strong culture of community and appreciation

    Show your success and your commitment to employees, customers, and community. You want potential candidates (and clients) to feel that you care about your people and your community—that you operate in a rightly manner.

    A strong social conscience is key in today’s corporate landscape. Many CEOs—including Tim Allan at Apple, Mary Bara at General Motors, and Jeff Bezos at Amazon—have signed the Business Roundtable CEO Pledge of Social Responsibility—a pledge to focus, beyond the bottom line, on outcomes for the environment and the physical, mental, and emotional health of employees. And healthy, appreciated, and properly compensated employees work more productively, which ultimately has a positive impact on the bottom line.

    This cultural shift may feel daunting, and even mushy, but this is what top talent value— developing a culture of community and appreciation is paramount. With discipline and patience, SMEs, being more agile than large enterprises, can make this shift quicker, and the results will be spectacular: a happier, more fulfilled, and more productive work place.

  2. Develop a flexible work environment

    Hiring top talent requires trusting them with flexibility in office, home, and field work. Let them determine which habits work best for them, granting them time and space to innovate, strategize, or simply re-charge, ensuring long-term productivity and business success.

  3. Develop a career map for your organization

    Review career maps with your employees often, helping them develop their goals and plans for achievement. Remember that more successful employees mean a more successful business. Another option, if it makes sense for your company, is to develop a profit-sharing program so employees can participate financially in the business’s overall success. With “skin in the game,” top talent will dedicate themselves even further to their own success and to the success of their colleagues.

Thanks for reading! I’m looking forward to developing this community of finding top talent. If you need help in your search for the right candidates, click here to learn more about my services.


My experience with TalentHunt was outstanding. He was persistent, responsive, and completely took the stress out of finding top talent. I would recommend TalentHunt to anyone looking to secure top talent for their organization.

SANDRA B. HR Business Partner, Panasonic Corp.

Finding top talent is always difficult and time-consuming. TalentHunt always takes the stress out of these situations by offering turnkey recruitment services; he meets and pre-qualifies all candidates, provides detailed briefs and manages the candidate through the interview process to increase the close ratio. The success I have experienced working with TalentHunt has had a positive impact on our company's bottom line.

NANCY B. Head of Talent Acquisition, Oatey

I was heading up a critical sales team expansion in the NE United States and needed to get the right people fast in order to meet our targets. TalentHunt took the lead in a very tight candidate market and delivered. I would not hesitate to use TalentHunt for any of my recruitment needs, big or small.

GREG C. VP Sales, AGT Products

Working with Melissa for over a year toward building out our full Product organization for scale, including hiring Product Managers, User Experience Designers, Product Architects, and Product VPs was a great experience. We hired over 15 people with her direct involvement.

TOM K. Chief Customer Officer, Zuora

I highly recommend Melissa as a strategic recruiter in the enterprise software industry based on my experience with her. She is extremely detail-oriented and has as strong a work ethic as anyone I've seen in the field. Melissa worked hard to partner with me in order to best understand the distinct needs I had for the open roles on my team.

MARK R. VP Revenue Operations and Enablement at Segment-Twilio

Melissa has been instrumental in helping me build a team of extremely high-caliber architects this year. She is organized, meticulous, determined, and builds excellent rapport with candidates. She is an excellent communicator with tremendous focus and an eye for detail.

ANDREW B. Chief Technology Officer - EMEA at Oracle

Dependability, consistency and accountability. You can count on the leader of the pride


Every hunt is different. Coordination, communication and teamwork pay off for the pride that hunts together.


Every hunt is different. Coordination, communication and teamwork pay off for the pride that hunts together.


A dynamic people oriented and results focused approach to hunting talent. Taking initiative, staying committed throughout, and finishing strong.

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