Small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) are often at a disadvantage compared to major companies when it comes to recruiting qualified professionals: they only have limited resources for recruiting, qualifying and developing their employees.
There is often potential for partnerships where numerous SMEs from the same field are located in the same region, since this scenario calls for professionals with similar qualifications. In addition, attention should be drawn to the attractions of the region.
A needs assessment is crucial
Starting with their strengths and growth markets, companies and regions should analyse exactly what qualified professionals they are looking for.
What skills are needed? Where might there be bottlenecks and shortages on account of qualifications and age distribution?
Above all, securing qualified professionals is a strategic task - and should not be left until jobs fall vacant. Short-term measures for recruiting or keeping employees, combined with the long-term accumulation of qualified professionals, promises success (see illustration). Lifestyle choices and career histories have to be taken into account here.
Benefitting from regional anchoring
When securing qualified professionals, it is good to cooperate with local partners. Private companies, institutions and public authorities can contribute expertise and funds - closely coordinated, and according to their means, as industry, job market and education experts.
Generally speaking, SMEs are well-known regionally, have a positive image and maintain close ties with local decision makers. When recruiting professionals, it is wise to emphasise the attractions of the location and the employer.
A family-friendly environment, quality of life, good working conditions and a culture that welcomes foreign workers are becoming increasingly important. Both companies and regions should work on these aspects and promote their causes with them.