How to Attract and Build a Skilled Workforce

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How to Effectively Build or Attract a Skilled Workforce in 3 Simple Steps
I discuss How to Effectively Build or Attract a Skilled Workforce in 3 Simple Steps. For small businesses, attracting and building a skilled workforce can be hard especially with limited cash and sales revenue. How then can a small business attract and build a skilled workforce?


Whose Today’s Guest?

Thomas Banda is a Multi skilled Certified Reward Professional holding the both GRP (Global Remuneration Professionals) certification and accounting and finance qualifications. He has several years of experience in Specialist Total Rewards Management, Compensation and Benefits management, HR Administration, HR Operations and Governance and HR Business Partnering together with Financial Management experience obtained through working for various multinationals in financial, manufacturing and mining industries.

The Biggest Challenge

The biggest challenge that every small business has is that of building or attracting a skilled work force. This usually stems from a common mistake that most entrepreneurs make, they tend to hire like a small business, bring on board friends and family members. But to build or attract a skilled work force one needs to start hiring using the same process that a big company uses but on a low cost budget.

Attracting the Right Work Force

The first thing that one will need to do is to recruit like a big company, this can be done by first structuring the job requirement. What is it that you need from the candidate that will be needed to fill in the position? Secondly you will need to determine the mode of advertising.

Will it be via newspaper, radio or television (high cost channels) that that’s if you can afford or will you use cheaper channels like online platforms. There many platforms that can be used advertise your vacancy in this era. Examples are social media platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn or you could turn to online boards like

These are all free advertising platforms that small business owners can use to place their advertisements with a detailed job description in an aim to bring in the right kind of people into the business.

Always Having a Skilled Workforce on Hand

For a small business operating on a limited budget it is very important to point out that there certain skills that they need to borrow from the market and not own as a business.  What does this mean you may wonder, well, there are certain skills that a small cannot afford to hire on a permanent basis but the do need to have them anyway.

A small business cannot afford to hire an accountant on a full time basis but they can go out and search for an accountant to offer his/her services when needed. You can have skilled professionals coming in from time to time to ensure that your business is running smoothly and provide specialist advice.

Helping Unskilled Workforce

As a business owner you will need to link them to an expert from whom they can learn from and be mentored. But other than this one can:

  • Expose employees to trainings

There a lot of free online training materials that are available, materials and courses that are cheap for one to invest in and train the unskilled workforce.

  • Up Scaling your Employees

It is actually advisable to get employees that can be up skilled than those that are already skilled because as you build on their capabilities it is much more easier for them to excel

Covid-19 and the Impact of Working from Home for a Small Business

The Good part with small business during this period is that the policies that exist for them actually allow for employees to actually work from home. With the prevailing situation it is actually easier for a small business to deploy a computer at the employees residence so that they are able to continue working. Oversight of there work is made even easier with the number of platforms available.

These platforms like ZOOM, Skype etc allow one to connect with his or her employees so long as data availability and connectivity are there. The only way to ensure that everything runs smoothly is through constant communication with your employees.

Policies to Implement 

Attracting a skilled workforce requires one to build a proper employee proposition package, this means one will need to have policies that align with the interests  of the employees. Most employees would want a company that has good conditions of service. The conditions refer to the package that comes with taking the job.

By package I am not referring to the salary but the add on, as an employer you need to make sure that the package that is offered is attractive  enough, motivating  and able to ensure that you can retain your employees.

Instead on focusing on the salary as a small business you could incorporate a policy of variable pay, pay that comes from bonuses for doing or performing a duty. This will help drive performance and build the grounds for a performance management policy.

Lastly as a small business, you can implement the work/life policy, allow your employees to strike a balance between work and their personal lives by offering them leave days and allowing them to work from home when necessary.

Key Insights:

  • A small business cannot afford to hire an expert on a fulltime basis but they can afford to have one from time to time.
  • Attracting a skilled work force will require one to have built a proper employee value proposition that aligns with the employees expectations.
  • Get employees that can be up scaled rather than already skilled employees.


“As a small business, you can not afford to hire a fully skilled employee, but you can afford to have one.”

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Insight Partners Africa— aims to bring you actionable insights from leading respected experts. However, before making any business decision, you should consult a professional who can advise you based on your individual situation.

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