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Recruiting staff costly and time intensive for firms

Taking on staff consumes too much time and money, a new survey has suggested.

The survey, which covered 500 SMEs and was carried out on behalf of the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), found that over 80 per cent of respondents identified the recruitment of workers as a major challenge when it comes to workforce management.

Hiring new staff appears a particular problem for smaller employers because recruitment places extra demands on limited resources in an already challenging economic climate, the BCC said.

Over 40 per cent of firms estimated the cost of recruiting a new employee at more than £2000.  

For 53 per cent of the businesses surveyed, the owner was responsible for recruitment. Less than a quarter of the businesses had personnel departments to handle staffing.

Only 3 per cent of the businesses regularly used a recruitment agency. Just over half used agencies occasionally, while 46 per cent said they would never use a staffing agency.

Online recruitment websites, which allow employers to post open job positions and job seekers to post their curriculums vitae, fared only slightly better.

Almost one-fifth of respondents always used online job boards, 43 per cent sometimes used a job board, and 39 per cent said they never would.

Nearly half indicated that the curriculums vitae they receive via online job boards do not match the requirements of their job openings.

David Riches, director of operations at the BCC, commented: "There are many barriers for companies attempting to recruit new staff.

"As the survey shows, the cost and time involved in hiring new staff can be difficult for small- and medium-sized firms. There are currently almost 2.5 million unemployed individuals in the UK, including over one million young people, so we must make it easier for companies to recruit."