Hiring staff is a costly business and it goes without saying that you need to attract the best people to fill the vacancies in your business to help you to continue to grow. The consequences of getting the recruitment process wrong can be catastrophic. Get the wrong person in and at best, they will be a drain on your resources, resulting in a need to manage them out of the business and re-recruit in the future at even more cost. At worst, recruiting the wrong person could have a negative effect on the rest of your team, reduce morale, damage client relationships and harm your business. Here’s a recap on some of the fundamentals of effective recruitment to help you get this important task right.
Create effective job descriptions
Once you have identified the need for more resource in your business, whether that be to replace an outgoing member of staff or to fill a brand new vacancy, it’s important to get your job description right. The job description is your shop window. There will be the right person out there to fill the vacancy and you need to ensure the description appeals to them, communicates what you are looking for in the position and is easy to understand. It is also vital in helping you avoid applications from those that are not qualified for the position. Far too often job descriptions are full of corporate language and buzzwords which make it almost impossible to understand what the day to day responsibilities are. Ensure you convey the key responsibilities for the role, the qualifications and skills required, how much experience is needed, who the applicant will work with and report to, immediate and long term objectives and how you will measure success. By outlining in detail these points, applicants will have no doubt what the job entails and you will have a starting point from which to conduct performance reviews in the future.
Reach the right candidate
For small businesses it is vital to use every resource you have available to you. There are many options available to you before resorting to expensive professional head-hunters or recruitment agencies. Place postings on job boards or recruitment websites, use local, national or industry press, advertise the vacancy on your website, use your company’s social and professional networks and ask for referrals from your existing employees. There may also be exceptional talent already within your business that you have overlooked, so it is important to also advertise the position internally. Don’t overlook candidates from competitor firms or similar industries either! The search functions in LinkedIn are an amazing tool to help you find and reach out to these people.
Make applicants WANT to work for you
It’s amazing how many businesses get this part wrong. Many are so busy, or at worst so arrogant, to believe that everyone will want to work for them, no matter how little effort they make. The way you respond to applications, prepare for interviews, follow up after interviews and communicate throughout the process is vital in driving applicants to want to work for you. Ensure your business comes across in a highly professional manner throughout. Communicate with candidates, offer feedback and ensure interviews are conducted professionally and on schedule. Don’t give candidates any opportunity to have doubts about working for you. If you can’t get the recruitment process wrong, it will raise warning signs to the applicant that you might not be a great business to work for, no matter how much you are willing to pay them. It doesn’t take much to make the whole recruitment process seamless. Treat people with respect, establish expectations and communicate throughout.
Make the job offer properly
Once you have selected a suitable candidate, it is time to make the offer. But this must be a considered decision to ensure that you are offering terms and conditions that appeal to the candidate and that are effective for the company. Ensure you make the offer in writing to avoid any confusion from verbal communication. If an offer is conditional on your completion of checks or references, be transparent as to what those checks are and obtain consent from the candidate to undertake them. Make sure you do not discriminate in the terms offered to your employees. Do not offer a package that your business cannot afford or terms that will put you at risk in the future.
For professional advice on how to run an effective recruitment process in your business we are here to help. Give us a call on 0330 555 1139 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
At this time of year we look to all things new; this week CrosseHR is looking at millennials (those born circa 1982 and 20 years after) and how they are shaping the world of work. So what do the studies show? Well…
Millennials are constantly sharing and communicating with others, putting forth their ideas and creations and working together to make them better. We only need to look at social networks to see this is true; it’s a common misconception that people only use Facebook to post mundane and self-righteous things about themselves, which is true in some cases but certainly not the majority of millennials. If we examine social media use for what it actually is millennials post things that they have thought about, are interested in or have created, opening themselves up exposing opposite or similar opinion, interests and creations constantly building upon each other. Collaboration is key to the millennial’s success, they build together rather than fighting it out for the best idea. If we look at google for instance; collaboration is at it’s very core and employees work in groups to find solutions to the worlds problems. A correlation can be drawn between workplaces which have free flowing communication and good employee satisfaction, 47% of millennials are likely to remain with a firm for 5 years or more which achieve both.
They’re not as loyal
A quarter of millennials expect to have 6 or more employers in their lifetime signalling higher employee turnover for businesses, further this figure has risen from 10% in 2008 perhaps indicating future rises. The other headings in this article may go some way in explaining this, there is certainly an emphasis on work/life balance and that the money is no longer the key driving factor. Perhaps a presumption can be made; millennials seem to factor in personal happiness in their career choices so are less likely to stay in a job where they’re not happy. Another factor is flexibility; they actively seek it. Many workplaces work within traditional rigid hours and emphasise punctuality, whilst for some workplaces this is of course vital, millennials enjoy the freedom of being able to work where and when they want. Flexibility doesn’t mean the work doesn’t get done but instead means if you as the manager need something done by a certain time and to a certain level than it may be in your interests to employ flexible hours. Studies have shown when workers are allowed to set their own working hours and workplace they are likely to be more productive and their work of a higher quality. Perhaps it’s time for the world of work to recognise that traditional systems are not fit for the modern workforce, especially taking into account the pull factors for millennials, they are unlikely to change their way of thinking to fit traditional practice. 71% of millennials in the UK expect to leave their current organisation within the next 5 years.
They want a quick climb
Millennials look to the stars and want to get to the ceiling as quickly as possible. The number one pull factor for millennials is career progression, 54% said that progression prospects make an employer attractive, this trumped competitive salaries with 44% citing wage packets. Millennials have grown up in a world where anything is possible, their generation is truly one of ambition and technology is often their way of achieving it; they understand it, harness it and make the workplace smarter, quicker and profitable as a result. A survey carried out by Deloitte found that 71% of millennials are likely to leave their job within 2 years if they felt their leadership skills weren’t being developed, 57% leaving their job within 2 years if they felt they were “being overlooked for leadership positions”.
It’s a common misconception that millennials focus on a businesses “buzz” says Deloitte, which rings true. Many employers think that a companies age and standing are a huge factor; the glittering skyscraper, global head count and power of a company just isn’t that impressive anymore. The focus is no longer on what the company is but more what are they doing? The millennials focus on ethics; when asked “what are the values a business should follow for long-term success” the two most popular answers were employee satisfaction/fair treatment and ethics/trust. The millennial is socially aware and politically active; they care about the issues which affect wider society and seek to work with ethical companies making a change.
What is clear from research is that there is a real gap between what workplaces are and what millennials want them to be, which is ultimately what they will become. This is a generation which shrugs off the old, thinks differently and cares about the long-term. Millennials certainly cannot be ignored and many business have implemented strategic plans for attracting them, recognising them as assets in the world to come.
CrosseHR offers sensibly priced consultancy services to SME’s and NGO’s seeking strategically targeted recruitment and retention plans. We offer a number of recruitment services which can be found on our solutions page. To contact us email email@example.com alternatively call 0330 555 1139. You can also follow us on Twitter or connect to us on LinkedIn for further HR updates.
PWC: Millennials at work
Deloitte: 2016 Annual Millennial Survey
Yippee, you are doing well, its time to stop using family and friends and calling in favours and take that very grown up step of hiring your very first member of staff.
Firstly, well done, thats quite an achievement, feel very very proud.
Secondly, you are petrified right, well this blog post will hopefully calm things down. Now down to business.
The job description & person specification
- Think about what you want them to do, and write that down, forget job titles at this stage, just think job content.
- Think about what kind of person in terms of attributes, experience and qualifications (and be reasonable, I’ve come across 2 man bands operating from their front rooms wanting Oxbridge graduates, to do admin)
- Research similar roles and no harm in having a nosey at what your competitors are doing (if it ain’t broke etc), this gives you some pointers to setting a salary
- Once you have an idea of the salaries the competition are paying, you need to figure out if you can afford it, always remember you need to add another 30% plus in on costs to cover Employers NI (12% of total salary), pension (more of which later), their work environment, other benefits etc
- You are now ready to draw up a job description (which describes the role) and a person specification (which describes the attributes at a minimum a person must have to be suitable).
- Decide where you are going to find them, i.e. LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, websites, agencies, print media
- Draft an ad for the job
- Its always worth thinking about at this stage where you are actually going to put them, do you need to buy a desk, hire office space even, computers cost how much?
They’ve started to apply. Wow another milestone passed, people are interested and want to work for you, nervous yet?
- Work out in advance of the interview what you want to learn from them
- Do you just want to have a one on one interview and deal with it all in one go
- Do you want a demonstration of their work presentation style
- Do you want someone else’s opinion
- Prepare well in advance, draft questions, give enough time per person (there is nothing worse that candidates bumping into one another in the corridor or reception.
- You’ve decided you’ve found the one!
- You need out of politeness to let the others down gently, you never know when you’ll bump into them again, so be nice.
You found THE ONE
(now the real fun starts)
- You need to offer them the job (provisionally usually), apply for references, make sure you have employers liability insurance (up to 5 million at least). Look at the partnership tab on this website which will help you.
- Give them written particulars which at a minimum should contain salary, pension arrangements, start and finish (where applicable), place of work, date of pay, where they are based, disciplinary and grievance processes, termination and leaving, probation, any benefits, confidentiality etc. If you don’t do this within 28 days of them starting well you have been told!
- Why not think about including a staff handbook (give us a call) and HR policies & procedures (again you know where we are) and you are covered.
- So references, qualifications all check out, terms are agreed and a start date sorted
Before they start
You need to think about a probation period, how you are going to pay them (we can point you to some brilliant payroll providers and accountants), what sort of induction (please have one) process you are going to have.
You are pretty much now ready to welcome your first employee. Good luck and well done, the second time is always easier.
You are on your way.
Tis the season where some of you will be thinking about hiring additional staff to cope with the Christmas demand with the key word being flexibility. These are the types of contracts you may wish to consider: –
Its exactly that, its exactly the same as a permanent contract along all the benefits and entitlements that come with it, including holiday and benefits, except this contract has a specific end date. This might not be the best fit for an organisation who needs staff for just the Christmas period, but its certainly worth considering.
You have the work, you offer the work to a person and they have the option to either take it or leave it. They get paid for the work they do for you. The obligations stop when they finish work that day/evening. Its usually used to cope with spikes in business such as Christmas. The downside here is the person is under no obligation to accept the work, and with the demand for staff over Christmas, it might leave you in a difficult position, as others will also be offering work.
Much maligned and talked about usually not in a good way, but they have their benefits. Similar is a way to casual contracts with one key difference, the contract is ongoing and does not stop when the person leaves their work or shifts despite them only getting paid for the work they do. Since the brouhaha during the summer concerning zero hours contracts, changes are afoot particularly in relation to exclusivity clauses. As an employer you need to determine how you deal with someone on such a contract who turns work down. Zero hours are really useful in my opinion for the Christmas period, as the employer has the security of knowing they have a ready bank of staff to call on.
These are employed usually through an agency, sometimes directly and are paid hourly. If they come through an agency, they are the responsibility of the agency legally. The agency then charges the employer a fixed hourly fee which includes the temps wages, holiday pay and entitlements together with the agency mark up fee. Temps are only paid by the agency for the hours worked and upon receipt of a signed timesheet. Very common and very useful for peaks in demand with all of the administrative burden placed on the agency.
Self employed – for services
These types of arrangements are very common in the courier industry (think Yodel), where to cope with peaks in demand self employed couriers and van drivers are hired on a self employed basis. The employer has no legal obligation towards them in terms of employment law as they have no employee status. They are usually paid upon receipt of an invoice.
Other options to think about
- Offering overtime to existing permanent members of staff whether full time or part time
- Offer flexitime which allows employees to ‘bank’ extra hours and take the accrued days at a later date.
- Offer time off in lieu over an above hours worked at a later date
You will need to ensure you comply with employment legislation when taking on any staff for any length of time regardless of the status of their employment. Thats why its essential to get a written agreement in place which Crosse HR can help you with.
I’m rather taken with this new notion of Holacracy first coined by Brian J Robertson, so in my earlier post I just provided an overview. After a bit more research I am able to provide you with a more in depth view of how it works which is described below.
Further information can be got from www.holacracy.org
To say there’s no hierarchy in a holacracy is inaccurate. There is, but it’s much less rigid than a traditional structure. Its constitution is made up of semi-autonomous circles, with each circle having its own goals and responsibilities. Every circle has a ‘lead link’ that designates people certain roles. Each circle exists within the context of a higher-level circle, but no circle is fully autonomous.
With holacracy, governance meetings structure how the work gets done, making it clear who is responsible for what and with how much authority. Each employee has complete control over the roles they’ve been assigned or elected to. However, they are still accountable, so if there’s a problem or they have an issue with a colleague, it’s their responsibility to sort it out.
Hiring and firing
In a typical top-down management structure, the power to hire and fire is usually in the hands of managers. With holacracy, it’s less personal, making it more about who is the best fit for each role. But because there are no managers, who actually does the hiring and firing you might ask?
As with any business, employees can be removed, but the process needs to be decided upon by governance, a committee sometimes referred to as an anchor circle. A circle’s lead link can remove someone from a role and find a better fit from the talent pool available if necessary. An employee may also be removed if they can’t find enough roles to do within the company.
Is holacracy right for you?
A company without managers might sound like a recipe for chaos, but supporters of holacracy say it actually has the opposite effect because a workplace free from office politics results in fewer tensions and empowers employees. Ultimately, it gives everyone a voice, which fuels more ideas and opportunities, and is extremely flexible, which is paramount for success in a modern workforce.
However, it isn’t for everyone, and shouldn’t be undertaken without due consideration. Without any one person truly in charge, it’s not always clear where the buck stops when it comes to issues such as company under performance and finance. Also, because staff aren’t promoted or given a clear career path, they may be tempted by more lucrative offers elsewhere. It might also be difficult for current managers to relinquish power.