Finding the right people – and keeping them
Tips for attracting and retaining talent

Finding the right people – and keeping them

Atrracting and retaining the right talent

What are people looking for in a job these days? It’s a million-dollar question, but if you can get close to answering it, you can save your business time and money in both productivity and recruitment and onboarding costs.

Research suggests that it costs somewhere in the region of £12,000 to replace an average employee. Think about what you could do with that money if you could leave it in the bank to invest in the business.

Building a team

To start with, the important thing is finding the right people. The services of a recruitment company will help, but before you take that step, you need to identify what you can offer a new employee. Wages are, naturally, high on the list of attractions, but they’re certainly not the be-all and end-all. You also need to consider additional factors such as flexible working, employee benefits schemes, incentives, and a good business ethos and atmosphere.

At the same time, especially if you’re still a small or young business, you can’t afford to promise anything that may be detrimental to your day-to-day operations or your bottom line. Flexible working must be shown to work your way, for you, before you go down that route, for instance.

Keeping the team together

People will move on, that’s a given. It’s something you can’t do much about and people leave a business for all sorts of reasons. But losing a good employee is expensive – you not only lose their knowledge and understanding of the work they are doing, but you also face the prospect of having to go through what can be quite a lengthy recruitment process, followed by a settling-in period that disrupts the smooth running of the company and can unsettle other people in the team.

So, what can you do?

Culture matters

By creating a culture where people are happy to come to work, you increase your chances of retaining staff. That could be something as simple as buying pizza one Friday a month or it could be something more entrenched, such as flexible working hours and a focus on attaining a good work-life balance for staff. Listen to what your team have to say and, as far as you can, try to meet their needs.

Engage people

Relinquish as much control as you can and makes sure that every member of the team feels like they are a vital cog in the process. Give them a chance to share their ideas about how things could be done and ask their advice if and when an issue presents itself. Encourage good relationships within the team to create a fulfilling and effective working environment.

Training and development

Workers often want to see the progression. Building on skills that someone has developed is not only beneficial to them, but it presents an opportunity for the business owner to promote from within as employees increase their knowledge and skills. Not only does that avoid the expense of hiring a new, senior person, it means you’re filling a role with someone already comfortable and familiar with the company’s work and ethos.

Find out why people leave

There are many reasons people move on, some good, some not so good. But it’s never a bad idea to find out what the person leaving the company thinks about the way the business is run. Encourage honesty, be upfront and tell them you would value their comments about the experience they’ve had working for you. Even if you get a few home truths you’d rather not have heard, at least you’ll know what areas you can work on in future.

Remember that everyone wants to be happy in their job and most will stay if they feel valued, and engaged and that they have a route to progression. It’s not an easy balance to strike but once you have a good team in place, the more settled they are, the more productive they generally become. Build a business people want to work for and it will pay dividends.

Chris Wright
July 15, 2022
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