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An SME's workforce is critical to its overarching success, yet many SMEs don't have a clear plan for replacing critical talent if they suddenly leave. Succession planning is a hot topic, yet many are unsure of a clear definition. The CIPD defines succession planning as the process of identifying and developing potential future leaders or senior managers, as well as individuals to fill other business-critical positions, either in the short- or the long-term.

The first few years of growth at an SME can be both rapid and exciting. Yet in many cases, the sheer pace of growth can mean the business lacks the necessary structure and processes required for sustainability. Often in the early years, the HR function is handled by the founder of the business or the Financial Director. Amongst already busy roles, they struggle to fit in basic tasks such as offer letters, contracts and payroll. Whilst this can work for a while, with growth comes the need for a more refined approach to HR.

As an SME, the decision to hire your first marketing professional can be a difficult one. Margins are tight, and many SMEs are operating in competitive markets. Most often, the idea of hiring a marketing professional comes hand in hand with a concern that you can’t warrant the cost.

Often when working with SME's, one of the first hires we're asked to source is a Finance Director or Head of Finance. In the early stages of a business, most founders or owners tend to do one of two things; either manage the finances themselves or outsource their finances to an accountancy firm. Both options have their benefits in the short term, and for a time they fill a need.

Capability Jane Recruitment are delighted to have been recognised as the UK’s Flexible Working Recruitment Firm of the Year in the Innovation and Excellence Awards.  The awards are sponsored by theInternational Business Innovation Association and recognise businesses that have transformed over the past 12 months setting clear industry trends and advances.  

During December Capability Jane has been actively supporting the ‘Happy Backpacks for Refugee Children Appeal’ which forms part of a wider project organised by Refugee Aid. It asked that bags be purchased and packed full of basics and goodies so that they may be delivered to Syrian refugees; babies, toddlers and children,  in time for Christmas.

Rebecca Eames, Client Account Manager for the Thames Valley, recently spent a day from dawn until dusk sorting through the mountains of clothes and essential supplies that have generously been given in support of the cause.

Returnships, established in the US, are now gathering pace in the UK. Pioneered and subsequently trademarked by Goldman Sachs in 2008, returnships have proved to be an incredibly successful bridge allowing talented professionals to return to work after an extended career break.

Building talent for growth through flexible working – Part one

This week we have a guest blog from flexible recruitment specialists Capability Jane. Today they’re looking at how the world of work is changing and how the various generations now in the workplace have different expectations of their employers. Next week they’ll be writing about the benefits flexible working can bring.

In a previous blog from flexible recruitment specialists Capability Jane, they examined how the world of work is changing. This week they’re looking at five ways in which flexible working can benefit smaller to mid-sized consultancies.

1. The labour market demographic is changing

Making the decision to take on a new member of staff is critical for any business. For SME’s this decision can hold even more importance given the financial ramifications to the business.

During periods of rapid expansion SMEs quickly find the need for additional expertise, frequently for a role that they haven’t employed before. As is often the case with entirely new roles, it can be hard to find the budget or to be sure whether there is the need for a full time role.

Businesses are built around people and it is the expertise of their employees that lead to success.

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