Recruit to Keep and Develop Staff

26th September 2012

OPERATIONS

Recruiting excellent employees can be a difficult and long process.

Whilst time constraints, job descriptions, person specs and ways to hire can pressurise you into making a hasty decision, don’t just have a view point of what skills and capabilities you feel you need for just ‘here and now’, but aim to plan ahead.

Consider where this role can develop and more importantly, what accountability, skills and capabilities you need this role to develop into longer term, to support the business strategy needs and growth. In essence, this enables planning for the future, creates a starting point and makes the start of succession planning easier to grasp and implement.

By having a framework for a career path, this will considerably assist in limiting turnover and retaining your most valuable employees, which is essential for all businesses, but critical for small businesses.

However, high-performing employees do leave businesses whatever framework or ways to support their development you put forward. The key is to minimise the regularity of these occurrences. Unfortunately there isn’t a crystal ball to know when these will happen, so a great way to address concerns is to devoting a focus of the route causes and patterns of employee turnover.

During selection at interview stage, ask why the candidate left their previous employer. Consider if the reason is related to any of your own most recent resignation reasons. Also, what actions can you put into place, so the reason they left the previous employer will be reduced if they join you?

If you don’t have them already, introduce exit interviews to establish common concerns and patterns that can be reviewed, reported upon and action plans put into place to address.

Many employees leave their jobs for different reasons but common responses are:

• Unsatisfactory package/benefits
• Management dissatisfaction
• Lack of career path
• Lack of development
• Lack of engagement

What can you do now to manage expectations of a new recruit in relation to these areas?

In the event of an offer being turned down, try to find the reason why? It’s essential to gather this information in order for you to know the reason and whether the offer needs to be adapted.

Keep an eye on employee engagement. Those employee and employer relationships create the culture and working environment. Is your working environment attractive to candidates who interview at your premises?

Furthermore, offer an employee survey once or twice a year to improve or maintain morale and satisfaction.

Where you can, advertise opportunities internally first before going external. This promotes growth from within and an opportunity of advancement in a career path. Additionally, there is no hiring cost you would otherwise have to pay via an agency or recruitment campaign. The internal candidate will also require less training and a reduced induction into their new role.

So the aim of the game is to consider ways to retain and develop from the outset. They don’t have to be too taxing or technical, but by spending some time now on a recruitment strategy, will reduce the stress and cost of replacing key employees in the future.

Scott Maddy MCIPD

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