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The RIGHT way to save money on recruitment costs

A few weeks back we looked at the wrong way to save money on hiring costs.

Now, here's a rundown of things to try (even closer to home than your hardworking recruiter) that should actually save you money in the long term.

Added on 30.06.2014

Have you ever lost a team member because they were not happy with (and not a good fit for) their role? If so, you'll probably know that this costs everyone involved. But the problem goes deeper than just the hassle and expense of recruiting a replacement; a less than happy employee is never going to be firing on all cylinders, even if they are a conscientious and skilful person. People don't shine unless they're doing what they like.

These days, quality second and third jobbers are rare in many areas (this was one of the topics touched on at the first PRWeek Employer's Forum) because graduate recruitment was all but stopped in the early days of the recession and so the roles that would have produced people with the required experience to recruit now were never created. This means that the right people will have a choice of jobs.

So, if you've found the right person, and haven't made any mistakes in the recruitment process, make them feel valued and make sure that they settle into and enjoy their new job.

Hiring mistakes

When it comes to employee selection and retention, doing the right (or wrong) thing obviously starts with the recruitment process. This is a topic in its own right - and we've already written about costly recruitment mistakes and how to avoid them. That article was mainly about the advertisement, interview and selection process, so here's some more things to bear in mind more geared to employee retention:

Try working interviews

Think about building a recruitment and interview process that simulates the work your new employee will be doing. This will enable you to measure their aptitude and skills, and allow them to see whether or not they are going to enjoy the job.

It's called false economy for a reason

Do make sure that your package matches that of your competition. One of the two best ways to make someone feel under-valued is to under-pay them. If you can't meet expectations straight away, offer performance bonuses or the opportunity for progression.

Settle them in

Just because someone can cope with being thrown in the deep end doesn't mean they won't resent it. Make sure that any required training happens quickly, and that your new employee has access to the support and mentoring they need to grow into the job. They'll be more effective faster, and they'll appreciate it too.

Look forwards and upwards - BUT only when it's realistic

Most people want to see where their job could lead, even when it's brand new. But do be aware that people with young families or other commitments outside work might be happy to chug along, and never promise or hint at what you can't deliver. Never raise expectations.

Keep an eye on things, and be seen to be doing it

Make sure that everything is going to plan, that your new team member is happy with the education, support and information they receive and the workload they have. Almost as important as what you actually do for them is demonstrating to people that you care about their welfare and are interested in their experience of your business.

Be a 'better boss'

When employees are are surveyed about their reasons for choosing a new company to work for, one of the most common responses is 'I want a better boss'. Here are the qualities that people value most in their immediate manager, in order of importance:

  • someone who is approachable;
  • someone who makes me understand exactly what they expect from me;
  • someone who supports me;
  • someone who is a good leader;
  • someone who respects me for who I am.

Make sure that you have a properly working system of feedback and that you are seen to be accountable to your team. Foster an environment that looks to include people and acknowledge their contribution; encourage collaboration and lead by example. Understand what makes your individual team members tick and try to ensure that they get a chance to do what they do best for you, singly or together.

Create positive pressure

Competitions are a good way to create friendly rivalry and positive pressure, but if you have people with a diverse skill set be careful to devise a series of ones that will allow everyone to compete and win. Don't just pay attention to the winners; try to understand why those that came last did so. Are there any lessons to learn from this that you can apply to their role?

And last, but not least...

Don't forget team building

It's not called 'team building' for nothing. Make time for shared social activities - even something as simple as a shared lunch or pub quiz can work wonders for morale. Try to be the conduit between the different personalities that work for you and devise fun activities that will allow them to come together and bond. One great idea we saw recently for a pub quiz was to pick teams to include as wide a range of people as possible, with the junior members as the team captains, then ask each team member for one fun, strange secret about themselves. These were then read out for those in all the teams to guess.

To put it as simply as possible: pay real attention to your people and make them feel valued and supported. You'll be well rewarded, and you'll be creating the sort of company that those elusive 'dream employees' want to work for.