Exciting News, Employsure is now Peninsula. We're building a new website to make your experience even better. While we're working on it, your online experience might be across both Employsure and Peninsula sites

Call Now
  1. Home
  2. Blog
  3. Marketing a handy survival tool for smes

Marketing: A Handy Survival Tool for SMEs

Published November 23, 2022 (last updated on July 9, 2024) | Adam Wyatt - Content Writer


Before the pandemic, just 0.2% of the businesses fell outside the small business sector. 66% of employment was accounted for small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and it made up for half of all value added to the economy. Amidst the doom and gloom of a global pandemic, this is the silver lining we desperately need. How do we ensure that we foster small businesses and give them all the tools they need to thrive? How can SMEs specifically stand out and attract talent? And the answer is Marketing. Let’s find out how.

The future is small business

Research has shown that the small business boom in Australia has no signs of stopping. It is projected that up to 3.5 million small businesses will be registered by entrepreneurs in the next decade. These businesses (small to medium enterprises, or SMEs) will add up to $60 billion per year in value by 2031. They will support 1 million Australian jobs, making up close to 6% of the labour market. These numbers are a ray of hope and an indication that we are in the right direction. However, there are still some ways to go. The current reality looks completely different.

There is a global skill and labour shortage. Almost 38% of business owners have said the labour shortage is going to have a significant impact on their business over the next three months. Hiring and retaining staff remains a challenge and an obstacle that prevents SMEs from growing successfully. With every challenge, there is an opportunity to pivot. SMEs can use this opportunity to take a step back and see how they can extract the best talent from the existing labour market. What tools do they have at their disposal?

Call Us

Not a Peninsula client yet? Our 24/7 Advice Line is available for free for all business owners. Call us today to get all your tricky questions answered.

Call Us

Marketing as a survival tool

Human Resources (HR) is struggling to evolve. The same old approach of templated job descriptions, extensive and irrelevant interview processes, standard interview questions, and a failure to adapt has not helped HR. There are no disruptions or innovations, every recruitment campaign or process involves the same steps and fails to understand that employees now have the choice of their jobs at their fingertips. Why should they work for you?

Employees are looking for flexibility, work-life balance, mental well-being, and purpose-driven roles.

By integrating a marketing-based approach in their recruitment and retention, SMEs can attract the required talent efficiently.

Basic marketing principles

Marketing and HR rely on the same strategies. Media coverage, promotions, advertising, and other marketing initiatives serve a dual purpose by attracting talent and attracting new customers.

Making a good first impression

We all know the power of first impressions. SMEs can take a leaf out of marketing’s playbook. By developing and promoting a company’s values internally, they can create an authenticity that employees value. Marketing is the first gatekeeper for a company, it defines the company’s value proposition and sells it across various channels. That’s how HR should be. It should focus on creating a first impression on potential candidates.

This can be done by:

  • Consider the job title being advertised. Is it accurate? Does it reflect all the expected duties and responsibilities? Does the salary meet industry standards?

  • Write the job description and ad practically and thoughtfully. Why should an employee apply for this role? Are you offering actual value and purpose to them?

  • Maintain consistency across all advertising channels. Is your recruitment strategy aligned?

Location matters

Any marketing message is more about where it is placed rather than what it says. SMEs could use this strategy for hiring employees. Is LinkedIn your best bet to attract new candidates? Are you leveraging all your strengths?

Most employees do considerable due diligence when applying for a job. They visit websites, and company social media platforms, and learn about their future employers before applying. The location of your visibility will also determine the quality of your candidate. Think carefully before you place an ad or a recruitment message on any platform.


Customer retention and employee retention have parallels that are worth noting. The first 90 days are critical in retention. If a customer is happy and satisfied for 90 days with a product or service, they will tend to stick with the company. The same goes for an employee. The first 90 days are vital when employees decide if they want to stay in the role. SMEs can create an experience that focuses on making employees feel valued and accomplished.

This will also avoid ‘shift shock’ as employees experience it. Shift Shock is that feeling when you start a new job and realize that the position or company is very different from what you were led to believe. A survey conducted on Gen Z and millennial candidates revealed that more than 72% of employees have said that they have experienced shift shock. Those surveyed further admitted that 41% would quit a new job within the first two months if they experienced ‘shift shock.’

The message for SMEs and business owners is they can no longer rely on old and outdated HR models or approaches. They must adapt and seek disruptive ways of marketing themselves and their jobs to take advantage of the labour market.

Related posts

Have a question?

Peninsula Logo

Not a client yet?

1300 207 182

Existing clients call (AU)

1300 651 415

Existing clients call (overseas)

+61 2 8123 3640

Peninsula HQ

Level 6/180 Thomas St, Sydney NSW 2000

Copyright © 2024 Employsure Pty Ltd. ABN 40 145 676 026

Peninsula Protect is a financial product issued by Peninsula Mutual Limited ACN 630 256 478, AFS Licence No. 544232. Peninsula Mutual Limited has appointed Peninsula Australia Pty Ltd as its Authorised Representative 001274577 to distribute the product and provide general advice. To decide if this product is right for you, please read the Peninsula Protect Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) and Target Market Determination.