As employment in the UK continues to improve and competition for the best talent becomes tougher, recruiting the best and retaining them is more and more tricky!
We recently surveyed 400 candidates who have secured roles in the last 12 months via a variety of methods to gain a better understand as to what attracts them to a role in the first place and then what makes them stay!
The results have enabled us to put together the following top tips for recruitment and retention.
1. Create a strong employer brand
Candidates really buy into the reputation and brand of a company, many candidates in our survey were attracted to a company via the brand they had put out.
Use social media platforms to demonstrate the opportunities and working environment at your company, introduce your team, ensure your reputation is being managed correctly online i.e. reviews on google and glassdoor. Make your brand stand out in the marketplace as the one to work for!
2. Make the recruitment process a good one
A number of candidates in our survey commented on the fact that in many cases the interviewer has been late, or poorly prepared, or in some cases showed a lack of interest.
We are always surprised to hear that, in a large majority of companies and in particular in SME’s where there may not be a HR function, that interviewers do not have the background and training in interviewing, a skill that is crucial in ensuring you secure the very best talent.
Ensure that your hiring managers are trained appropriately to interview and that, they are ambassadors of your company, and can speak passionately about the opportunities and environment. Ensure that the processes are in place to ensure that interviewers are prepared, on time and always provide consistent and timely feedback to candidates.
3. Exploit Social Media
Candidates complete a great deal of research across social media platforms to get a feel for you as an employer and in addition to search for roles.
Exploit social media sites with good, relevant and up to date content and information about you as a company and your team. If you are managing the recruitment process yourself look at options like facebook advertising for a cost effective yet relevant recruitment tool.
4. Your offering
The salary on offer used to be the main driver for candidates, however our survey demonstrated that it is now on an equal footing with the flexible benefits that are available. A company’s brand and reputation in the market place is very close behind. Therefore offering a package that encompasses all of this is really important.
5. Be innovative with your offering
Think of innovative ways to make your package more unique and relevant, ideas from some of our clients and ourselves include: No formal holiday or hours, 6 months fully paid maternity leave, on site crèche, pamper room, dog kennels, 40 days holiday, 5 extra days for newlyweds, % of graduate fees paid back, puppy paternity leave.
You won’t be able to offer everything, so enable employees to pick and choose the package that is most relevant to them.
6. The Team
We asked candidates what keeps them in a role, 91% said that it was the working environment.
Companies, particularly SME’s with smaller teams must work hard to ensure that they don’t just have the right people in terms of ability, but that they fit your team and company ethos after all we spend most of our time at work, we have to get on with the people we work with!
7. On boarding
The transition into a new role is key. We find this one of the most important parts of the recruitment process. Ensure that there is a desk and a welcome pack available for newbies, maybe a gift to really welcome them in their new role – could be just a new mug with their name on! Take them out for lunch or a drink on their first day in the office and carry out regular updates with them just to ensure they’re settling in well.
7. Be innovative in creating a career path for individuals
You are more likely to retain employees who think they are going somewhere! We find that many of our SME clients, can struggle in retaining employees who want to further their careers and have hit a wall! Think about ways that they can go further with you, where they wouldn’t be able to in a larger firm, look at options like share schemes. Not everyone wants to take the management route therefore make sure there are other ways to for an individual to develop whether that be leading a wellbeing programme, managing a project etc
9. Communicate regularly
Engaged employees are happy employees, keep them up to date with what’s happening in the business from a general point of view and a more strategic one. In an SME this is even more crucial as all employees can make a real difference to your business.
10. Two-way street
We are rapidly approaching a candidate short market ( already there in some sectors ) therefore it is so important that we do our best as potential employers to make sure every candidate that comes for an interview walks away wanting to work for us. Make sure the people representing your business are the ones who will get this message across in the most positive/accurate way possible .. first impressions do still count .