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What you need to know about business support services recruitment

Date Posted: 24 December, 2018

Business support services recruitment has never been easy. However, in the midst of the skills crisis, this process has become more challenging for recruiters and employers alike.

This industry requires a diverse skill set, with employees typically adept at administration, accountancy, or a combination of the two. They might also be required to work with anyone from SMEs to trans-national corporations.

Here, we’ll introduce you to some of the key trends affecting business support services recruitment. Then, we’ll tell you what qualities to look for in business support staff, and what strategies to adopt to find them.

Business support services recruitment trends

First, you should be aware of some of the trends currently impacting on the business support services sector:

  • As with the vast majority of industries, the skills shortage has made it harder for companies to secure the volume of business support candidates they need
  • Companies are now more willing to hire business support providers from outside of their sector; there may be some benefits to this, but it’s most likely due to the skills shortage
  • Automation is having a huge impact on business support, with a host of admin and accountancy processes now conducted by computers, making it a less attractive career to pursue
  • Pay has stagnated in the business support sector in recent times (especially for financial services staff), although sustainable levels of growth over the last few years suggest this could change
  • Existing and potential future visa restrictions mean that fewer newly-qualified staff are staying put, therefore reducing the number of industry entrants
  • Despite this negativity, increasing numbers of start-ups present a great opportunity, while larger companies are leveraging business support for project/change management
  • Candidates are increasingly prioritising flexible working arrangements, which also lends itself to business support services employment models

Key traits to look for in business support services staff

Next, you need to understand the traits that define top quality business support services staff:

  • Accuracy/attention to detail
  • Experience (although this is a balancing act in terms of salary expectations)
  • Customer service ability (both with clients and their customers)
  • Familiarity with the technology and types of language used in the sector
  • Exemplary communication, literacy and numeracy skills
  • Frugality and a process-orientated mindset
  • Ability to adapt to different customer requirements and processes

Strategies for securing top business support services talent

Lastly, you’ll need to develop strategies to enhance your business support services recruitment processes. We recommend:

  • Understand that your offering is – on face value at least – likely to be similar to others’ (so has the potential to get lost amid the noise) and work to differentiate yourself
  • Achieve this via your employer branding efforts; highlight your credentials as a supportive employer, emphasise the happiness of your workers, flexible working policies and other softer elements
  • Also, be sure to promote the capacity for future development; training, gaining a broad set of skills highly relevant to a range of industries, and the chance for individuals to make a name for themselves with reputable companies
  • Applicants are also likely to be similar in nature; create a longer, bespoke application process to see who’s serious and use filtering software to quickly create a shortlist
  • Expand your recruitment efforts to cover a wide variety of platforms – from job boards to social media sites – to ensure you stay top-of-mind and make the recruitment process as convenient as possible
  • Build relations with universities; you can help them improve their employability ratings and act as a bridge to get students into the industry, while also gaining educated and energetic talent

Use these insights to help optimise your business support services recruitment strategy and don’t look back.

Acquire the level of understanding you need to hire talented business support staff by contacting our expert team.