TOP TEN TIPS : Recruiting and Retaining Good Staff

Good staff recruitment and retention are more vital than ever before. Grant Thornton International recently found that employers in New Zealand are more worried about skills shortages than their counterparts anywhere else in the world. problem for many sectors in this tight labour market is that when good people become available they are offered jobs fast. We increasingly hear about employers calling to invite people for interviews after the closing date for applications only to find they have already taken another position.
Introducing improved recruiting and employment practices may seem like an uphill task – but in the long term it will make your role lot easier and your workplace much healthier.

•Be timely If an application you like arrives before the closing date then call that person in for an interview as soon as possible.

•Communicate Let applicants know when you are going to make decision and deliver in that time frame. If your decision has to be delayed for any reason let them know. Your applicant is looking for job, which means they’re open to possibilities other than just your position. They may prefer the job you are offering and if you let them know that they are in the running and give them clear date for when they will hear, then they may hold off accepting another position.

•Retain good staff Recruiting new staff is expensive, stressful and time-consuming and, given the current climate, there’s no guarantee of finding someone suitable. It’s not rocket science to work out that once you have good staff it pays to make sure they stay.

•Drive good organisational culture People leave their jobs for many reasons but extensive research shows that the majority of employees choose to leave managers, rather than organisations. The culture of an organisation is driven from the top. If management aren’t doing their jobs well, then the employees are unlikely to be achieving job satisfaction and will seek it elsewhere.

•Research Research the percentage of your staff turnover and compare it with the industry average. Is it greater for some roles or departments – or with some managers? It is generally accepted that it takes salary increase of around 20 percent to encourage an employee who feels suitably paid and managed to leave for new organisation.

•Maintain good employer brand Employers are increasingly reporting that, in the tight employment market, number of new staff come via referrals from existing or former employees. The power of recommendation and maintaining good employer brand cannot be underestimated.

•Go the extra mile Create the right culture and you will have an advantage when it comes to attracting and keeping good people. simple but common sense way to start looking at what you need to do to create positive difference, is with checklist.
Do you:
•Acknowledge good performance face to face?
•Provide as much flexibility as possible?
•Make jobs as interesting and varied as possible?
•Give staff sense of purpose and job satisfaction?
•Train or upskill staff as much as you can?
•Allow staff autonomy and ownership of their responsibilities?
•Delegate authority and decision making wherever possible?
•Act with integrity and authenticity at all times?
•Make them proud to work for you and your organisation?
•Try to answer the questions from your employees’ viewpoint?

•Look after staff You might perceive that staff are well looked after – but do they? Consider whether managers are genuinely high quality. Are salaries sufficient? Do they feel supported and their worth acknowledged? Is there sufficient training and development?

•Be flexible public consultation carried out by the Department of Labour has found that over 90 percent of New Zealand employers and employees support increasing flexibility in the workplace. The most important factors identified in making flexible work arrangements effective were good communication and information, backed up by processes and structures within the workplace, and strong leadership.

•Learn from those who leave When staff leave consider conducting an exit survey, though many may not reveal their true reasons for leaving. All employers should aim to be able to say that every employee leaves their employment better and more skilled worker than when they arrived.

Beverley Main is the chief executive of the Human Resources Institute of New Zealand.

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