Recruiting and retaining your workforce

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Written by Jeremy Scorer on 31 January 2014

Attracting talented people into your business is never easy; many managers will find themselves sifting through several applications, desperately looking for one to leap off the page at them. Anyone who has ever had to recruit staff will know what I am talking about: the seemingly endless quest to find a candidate with the right experience, core skills and the ability to slot straight into the business, whilst meeting the all too frequent need to source staff at short notice to fill a sudden vacancy. As such, the recruitment process can be an expensive and time inefficient task, but it needn't be.  

Before investing in a national recruitment agency, businesses should look to the community as a first port of call to source new staff. Aside from the social responsibility a company has to support their local economy, seeking out the potential talent in the immediate area is a tried and tested method for a number of employers and, from my experience, can save an organisation a large amount of money. This can be achieved through a number of simple, cost efficient methods including: flagging vacancies on social media platforms, engaging with potential candidates on LinkedIn, publishing job adverts on the company website and building your company profile through PR to target the right people for a specific role. 

To my mind, traineeships are another invaluable recruitment tool for employers and should certainly be considered when looking to fill an entry level opening. These schemes, launched in August 2013, have been specifically designed for young adults to help them develop within employment. Courses are tailored by the employers to be sector specific so all training is relevant to any company that undertakes the programme. By delivering bespoke high quality work placement, work preparation training and academic support, companies will help trainees develop into either a valued team member or a high quality applicant for the wider sector to acquire. 

Looking further afield, with the UK government focused on getting more young people into employment over 2014 and providing a large portion of public money for this purpose, there can be little excuse for employers across all industries not to take advantage of some of the recruitment schemes available to businesses, such as pre-employment training programmes and AGE Grants 16-24. 

After overcoming the first hurdle of recruiting staff, employers should be investing in retaining them. I believe that a greater degree of staff retention can be achieved through constructive and practical workplace training. I cannot stress enough that employers should be exploring every opportunity to provide this invaluable resource for their staff. From my experience, I can assure you that the result will be of great benefit to your business. 

I ran an independent pub for a number of years and quickly came to realise that my staff were, above all, looking for more than just the assurance that their pay packets would be delivered to them at the end of each month. When I offered them the chance to learn something new and possibly be given a little more responsibility, they positively chewed my arm off! In an industry known for high turnover rates, offering training gave me a valuable opportunity to establish who was in it for the long haul. 

The widely accepted 70:20:10 training model suggests that practical experience is the greatest way for employees to learn. Managers can improve retention by empowering employees with leadership skills and offering increased responsibility and subsequently greater worth. However, I would suggest to managers looking for a course and provider to do their research carefully and pick a training company which best suits the overall business strategy. 

Ultimately, fostering loyalty is a challenge for many companies - the holy grail of employment - and no one set of rules applies across all industries, but I do believe in a universal truth that training is 'key' to encouraging fidelity within an organisation. It should start at the earliest possible opportunity from recruitment and continue throughout an employee's tenure in a company. Offering an attractive training package within an organisation has a considerable impact, developing a more engaged, better performing workforce, striving to do better for themselves and their employer. 

About the author
Jeremy Scorer is a managing partner at Charnwood Training. He can be contacted via jeremy.scorer@charnwood.co.uk

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