Five ways technology can help you to address hiring challenges in your SMB



Read time
9 mins

How technology can combat hiring challenges for SMBs via online tools, recruitment software, remote interviewing techniques, plus other digital offerings

For any organisation, the pursuit of top-tier talent is a multifaceted – and perennial – challenge. But small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) face additional issues such as limited resources, competition from larger companies, and time pressures. However, technology can help to level the playing field and enhance hiring practices with relative ease.

SMBs often find themselves working with leaner financial resources compared to their larger counterparts, placing them at a perceived disadvantage when it comes to recruitment. But technology can help to bridge that gap. Through online job platforms, recruitment software, recruitment video interviews, and skilful candidate matchmaking, SMBs can start to level the playing field – without straining their budgets. 

In this blog, we explore five dynamic ways that technology can empower your SMB to overcome hiring challenges, and discover the right talent with greater efficiency and precision than ever before.

1. Hiring challenge: finding the right employees when there’s a skills shortage

Finding and retaining skilled employees can be a significant challenge for SMBs in the UK. Competition for talent, particularly in technology and STEM fields, can be fierce, making it harder for smaller businesses to attract and retain the right talent. Finding and retaining skilled employees can be a significant challenge for SMBs in the UK. Additionally, changes in immigration policies can impact the availability of skilled labour.

Solution: leverage online job platforms for wider reach and quality hires

Traditionally, SMBs were constrained to local advertising and word-of-mouth for job postings, limiting their reach significantly. However, online job platforms have shattered these confines, creating a UK-wide talent pool. Leading platforms like LinkedIn, Indeed, and Glassdoor have bestowed SMBs with the ability to tap into a vast pool of professionals spanning geographical boundaries. In turn, these platforms grant SMBs access to a diverse talent reservoir—a privilege that was once monopolised by corporate giants.ed by corporate giants.

Online job platforms enable SMBs to craft job listings that align precisely with their specific requirements. This level of precision ensures a seamless fit for potential applicants, whether it involves targeting particular skills, specific experience levels, or ensuring cultural harmony. By adopting this approach, these platforms empower SMBs to expertly locate the proverbial needle in the vast digital haystack. The result is a significant reduction in irrelevant applications, conserving both time and effort in the hiring process.

With online platforms, SMBs can share detailed, accurate job descriptions – helping to better inform potential candidates about the skills required and the organisation’s values and culture. Recruiters can also collect a range of information about applications, helping talent teams and hiring managers make more informed decisions right from the start. As a result, interviews and selections become more efficient and effective.

In terms of budget and time considerations, traditional advertising methods often came with substantial costs. However, online platforms offer a range of pricing options that cater to the financial limitations of SMBs. Moreover, these platforms streamline the application process through automated sorting and filtering functions. This means that SMBs can save valuable time that would otherwise be spent sifting through numerous applications. Instead, they can focus their efforts on engaging with the cream of the crop candidates.

2. Hiring challenge: time-consuming screening processes

When an organisation receives a high volume of job applications for its open positions, manually sorting through CVs will be extremely time-consuming. This challenge often results in valuable candidate information being overlooked, delays in response times, and a less-than-ideal candidate experience.

Solution: streamline recruitment with ATS software

Applicant tracking system (ATS) software simplifies the (often chaotic) process of managing paper CVs by offering a digital platform for organising all applications. This structured approach ensures that no candidates are inadvertently overlooked, allowing SMBs to navigate through applications efficiently and identify potential candidates without feeling overwhelmed. By scanning applications for specific keywords, skills, and experiences, it helps narrow down the pool of candidates who closely match the role’s criteria. 

ATS recruitment software equips SMBs with the ability to track candidates from their initial application right to through the onboarding phase – helping you keep the process on track at all times. Its central database also securely stores recruitment data in one place, aiding GDPR compliance, and creating a data pool that can be used to monitor key metrics such as time to hire, and, therefore, make smarter decisions. 

We all know that resource efficiency is vital for SMBs; ATS software tackles this by automating repetitive tasks. Its effectiveness translates into quicker, well-informed hires, which in turn leads to tangible cost savings and a swift return on investment.

3. Hiring challenge: geographical limitations and expanding talent pools

Many SMBs operate in specific geographic locations, which can limit their access to a diverse and extensive talent pool. Finding qualified candidates who are willing to relocate or commute to the business’s physical location can be a significant challenge. This limitation can lead to a shortage of suitable talent, particularly for specialised roles.

Solution: video interviews and remote assessments

Recruiters for SMBs now have the convenience of connecting with candidates from various locations, simplifying the process and broadening the talent search. Video interviews and remote assessments offer valuable insights into candidates’ skills, communication abilities, and cultural fit, which can be missed in text-based interactions.

Software like Microsoft Teams, Zoom, and other specialised interview platforms offer insights into candidates’ skills, communication prowess, and body language—nuances that text- or phone-only exchanges often miss. These platforms provide features like recorded interviews, skills tests, and collaborative assessments to further improve the quality of candidate evaluation, and make your virtual recruitment process even easier.

Asynchronously recorded video interviews also accelerate decision-making by eliminating the need for all stakeholders to be physically present. This speeds up the hiring process, reducing the risk of losing top candidates to competitors.

In summary, video interviews and remote assessments are valuable tools in the hiring process for SMBs. They offer convenience, cost-effectiveness, and efficiency, enabling SMBs to connect with and evaluate candidates seamlessly. 

4. Hiring challenge: limited resources

Limited resources can pose significant hiring challenges for SMBs as they often lack the financial capacity and dedicated team to efficiently manage and scale their recruitment efforts. This constraint can result in slower hiring processes, and difficulties sourcing and attracting top talent.

Solution: revolutionising hiring through AI matchmaking

Artificial intelligence (AI) recruiting tools bring precision to the task of hiring, navigating candidate profiles armed with job descriptions. Through adept pinpointing of essential keywords, necessary skills, and relevant experiences, this candidate matchmaking technology crafts a curated list of potential hires which align with the role’s prerequisites. This impartial approach also ensures that candidates are evaluated based on merit, effectively levelling the playing field and fostering inclusivity throughout the entire recruitment journey, enabling a greater equality and diversity in the workplace.

AI’s influence extends to the quality of hires as well. By skilfully shortlisting candidates that match job requisites, the probability of identifying a candidate who excels in the role and can add to the company culture significantly increases. This, in turn, can lead to reduced turnover rates and an overall enhancement of team dynamics.

AI’s ability to align job prerequisites with suitable candidates can save time and lead to the selection of strong candidates, contributing to a more diverse and skilled workforce. As SMBs adopt AI in their recruitment efforts, they aim to achieve efficiency and effectiveness in their hiring practices, positioning themselves for future success.

5. Hiring challenge: lack of efficient and objective evaluation of candidate skills

SMBs often receive a large volume of job applications and may have limited resources for conducting in-depth assessments of each candidate’s qualifications. SMBs that lack an efficient way to evaluate candidates’ skills during the hiring process may struggle to keep pace with industry demands. 

Solution: evaluate candidates quickly and accurately through skills assessment technology

Digital instruments such as online tests and assessments are useful tool for SMBs to accurately measure candidates’ skills, both technical and soft skills, such as communication and management skills. Online tests encompass a wide range of skills, spanning from programming prowess to analytical thinking and effective communication. This comprehensive approach ensures that SMBs do not overlook a candidate’s potential due to a narrow evaluation perspective.

Relying solely on CVs for insights into skills and knowledge is becoming a thing of the past. Online assessment platforms offer a diverse array of tests, covering technical proficiency, language fluency, cognitive capabilities, and behavioural traits, for example. This enables SMBs to holistically evaluate candidates, ensuring a well-rounded assessment. These platforms can also embrace customisation, allowing tests to be tailored to specific job profiles. Whether it’s a coding challenge for a developer’s position or a scenario-based test for a managerial role, SMBs can assess candidates’ abilities in alignment with the job’s requirements.

Candidates can take these tests remotely, eliminating the need for coordination of in-person assessments. This streamlined process accelerates the evaluation timeline, and the insights obtained from online assessments provide valuable candidate performance data which data offers a glimpse into candidates’ strengths and areas that may need improvement. Armed with this information, SMBs can make informed hiring decisions and provide targeted training for new hires.


Experience a more streamlined approach to hiring with Ciphr’s advanced onboarding and recruitment software. Bid farewell to the challenges of candidate management and step into a world where efficiency and precision are at the forefront. Schedule a software demo today to see the transformation in action.