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Recruitment - how do I attract and then retain my staff?

It's a hot topic at the moment - how do I find decent staff? And then keep them? Money is not always the answer so you need to devote some time and effort to these processes. Luckily, we're here to help!

The combination of Brexit and the pandemic has resulted in a double-whammy deficit in the UK workforce and means that several business sectors are finding it increasingly difficult to find the staff they need with the right experience and skills. This is reflected by recent figures shared by the UK Office of National Statistics that show the UK has a record number of vacancies - it puts the number at 1,219,000 which is an increase of almost half a million vacancies since pre-pandemic levels were recorded.

So, how do you make sure that your company and your vacancies stand out in a sea of adverts? The good news is, there are lots of ways to do this:

DO - bring the role to life. Describe the office or the work environment, paint a picture of a few aspects of the role that the employee will experience day to day, make it fun, help the candidates picture themselves in the role. Ask them direct questions they can nod to as they read, draw them in.

DON'T - copy and paste the job description. One word - BORING! You need to sell the job in the ad - make the person reading it relate to it, want to be there, see themselves smiling in a sunny environment! The time to share the job description is when they apply. Hook them in first!

DO - shout about your award winning status! Whether that's a five star food hygiene rating or an OFSTED outstanding award. In the same way you would sell yourself in your CV to get an interview, sell the company to attract candidates.

DO - list your company benefits in the headline. Do you offer Taco Tuesdays? Vouchers for staff referrals? Day off for birthdays? Petrol allowance? Additional child care contributions? Shout about anything that sets you apart from your competition.

DON'T - list 20 days of holiday as a benefit - it's not! It's a statutory requirement! However, if you're offering 30 days holiday DO shout about that!

DO - put a salary or salary range on the ad. Research has proved that more people apply to roles that state the salary. There's no advantage to you by being coy! If you're concerned an existing employee will be miffed about it, have a chat with them before the ad goes live. Explain to them why you are recruiting at this level and that's why the salary is appropriate. Use it as an opportunity - not to defend your decision - but, instead, to talk about development opportunities for them. Is it a role they'd like to be considered for in the future? What skills/experience are they currently lacking that you can work into a plan with them, training they can undergo, etc.

DO - use social media to get the word out and ask people to SHARE it.

DO - encourage existing staff to apply and remind them that a referral bonus is on offer if they know anyone they think would be interested in applying.

There are other ways you can be pro-active about finding staff that don't just include advertising. You can seek them out!

There are lots of job boards that allow employers to set up an account that lets you search the candidates that are available - basically, it's head hunting! Search functions are pretty detailed so you can really narrow down your search criteria to produce a very specific list of suitable candidates.

DO - get on the phone to them! People are flattered (it's human nature!) when they hear someone on the other end of the line singing their praises and telling them how wonderful they are, how they are the ideal candidate for your company, etc.

DON'T - email them with a job description and ask THEM to phone YOU. This is not how you get the best out of the hard work you have put into finding the right candidates and drawing up your wish list. If you do this, don't expect many - if any - responses.

You can also have a physical presence at job fairs and career events. These have been thin on the ground in the last couple of years but they are coming back! There are some online events you can sign up to. Otherwise, get some banners made, practise your elevator pitch and get a stand confirmed. This is especially important if you know that certain roles in your business have a life span on them and/or might be a springboard to bigger things. Getting a recruitment pipeline in place puts you in the driving seat of your recruitment strategy so you aren't at the mercy of job boards all the time.

DON'T - wring your hands in horror every time someone resigns after 2 years!

DO - recognise it as the opportunity it has given the person to flourish and move on. Use it as a marketing tool to recruit a replacement! Big up your training and what people in this role have gone on to do.

There are other proactive approaches to recruitment that we would be delighted to advise you about. This has, hopefully, given you some encouragement and a flavour of how to be more in control of your recruitment strategies. To put them into practise, contact us today and we'll make 2022 a recruitment-tastic year for you!

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