Small Business Q&A: Derek Perill, FRS Recruitment

Kehlan talks with Derek Perill from FRS Recruitment about the changing needs of the SME employer and what they look for in prospective employees. He also looks at the increase in SMEs looking to retain their best staff and how the owner manager holds on to them.

Small Business Q&A: Derek Perill, FRS Recruitment

- What are SMEs looking for in a candidate in the current market?

Well, I think attitudes have changed in recent years. Owner/managers are no longer looking for just the best-skilled person for the job. Prospective employees also need to buy into the ethos of the business. The employer needs to feel that the employee is going to come on that journey with them. But also employers are now looking at how they retain staff in the long run and that means up-skilling and constant education in the business as well. That works on a flip-side, too. Prospective employees need to know your goals for the business and why they should work for you. There needs to be a trust between owner and employee and not simply a one way ‘this is how I want you to do the job’ relationship.

- So how does an employer retain key staff?

Well incentives are always a good way of doing that and sales staff are a good example of that. Through commission and other target-driven bonuses that is usually one of the most obvious ways.

However, actually giving staff kudos for the work that they have done is also something that doesn’t get recognised enough by some employers. A simple ‘thank-you’ or a public ‘well done’ goes a long way. The psychology of an employee and how they feel about where they work is key. We have worked with clients who have backed out at the last minute from new jobs because they realised that where they worked is actually pretty good and rewarding. So good man-management as well as good business management is important for staff retention.

- Are we seeing a skills shortage in Ireland right now?

Definitely, particularly in the more technical type of jobs: doctors, high-tech and pharma pose a real problem in terms of getting skilled Irish labour into those sectors. The recruitment industry, as a whole, has had to expand its reach out to Asia and the rest of Europe in order to fill the requirements being looked for in those industries I just mentioned. It’s becoming a bigger issue because those industries have expanded here in Ireland. This expansion has made greater demands on finding these skilled people for roles in their businesses. This has put an even greater strain on the skills shortage and which, in turn, mean recruitment companies are becoming more and more global in their search for the right candidates.

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