How to Attract and Retain the Best Talent in 2019

When thinking of hiring in the new year, it can be tempting to wait until things have ‘settled down’ after a few months before taking action. Although, with people often taking time over the holiday break to reflect on their professional successes and happiness over the last twelve months, January is certainly peak hiring season,…

When thinking of hiring in the new year, it can be tempting to wait until things have ‘settled down’ after a few months before taking action. Although, with people often taking time over the holiday break to reflect on their professional successes and happiness over the last twelve months, January is certainly peak hiring season, and the ideal time for companies to source great, fresh talent.

Take a look at your current employee base, with the goal of identifying any recruitment gaps you may have to take advantage of this active pool of quality candidates. It is also important for you to learn the happiness levels of your current staff, to ensure they are not amongst this active pool. Conducting a ‘Stay Interview’ with each team member to learn why they enjoy and wish to continue working for you and what you can do different will be invaluable. It also demonstrates your ability to listen to your staff and that you are prepared to make changes.

Whilst recruiting for vacant roles, you should factor in and recognise the most common reasons why candidates want to leave their current employer and use this to showcase how your employment value proposition is different.

So, when you start hiring in January and considering the myriad of ways to attract new employees, think about this one important point: what are candidates really looking for in 2019? Let’s break it down. 

Flexibility

Having flexibility is a very important step towards employee attraction and hiring in 2019. Almost everyone, no matter their current situation or background, would love access to some level of flexibility in their working environment or hours. If you do offer flexible working arrangements or are happy to discuss working hours with candidates, make sure you promote it from the get-go. 

While not all work environments can be expected to cater to everyone’s personal needs, it should be noted that flexible working is becoming extremely popular, as candidates try and make work fit around their personal circumstances – so where possible, it should be considered as an option to start providing to new and existing employees alike. 

Growth and Recognition

When we talk about opportunities for progression, this is more than just recognising the possibility of promotions down the line. Not all candidates are won over by a glimpse into a possible future; many are just as interested in understanding the benefits of working with your company in the present. Discuss how they will be operating as part of an inspirational team, in a place where everyone’s input makes a difference, and where they will be able to learn and gain a great deal of experience. 

Set up progression plans for new and old employees to track upward momentum and growth between team evaluations. This can be a benefit to both management and the team itself, as it provides a practical and tangible way to show what has been achieved.

Furthermore, recognition schemes can be an incredibly valuable tool; employees want to be recognised, and to feel that the work they do is meaningful. The recognition itself can even be simple things – like mentioning achievements in a team meeting or having ‘well done’ drinks on a Friday.

Professional Development and Benefits

Beyond simply showing candidates how to progress with the company, it’s time to talk seriously about any available opportunities for further education or qualifications the job may present. If these things are provided, mention them up front, and it will open a whole new well of job-seekers that would not have otherwise been tapped into. Also, don’t forget to explain the many great benefits that candidates can expect when working for your company – whether that is a better work/life balance (coming back to our point on flexibility), insurance, holiday pay, wellness programs etc. 

Once the hook is in, and the candidate becomes a new hire, think about the training budget available. What does this mean for their start in the company? Alternatively, if setting aside time specifically for training is not an option, then it’s vital to be sure that on the job learning (working with a person/team with extensive experience, which they can learn from) is available – even for those with prior experience in this field, as every organisation has a different set up, rules and expectations. Again, this will help to prevent anyone feeling blindsided or overwhelmed. 

Finally, it may be worth implementing mentor schemes – particularly for candidates with potential, but less experience. Basically, an employee is given an experienced mentor to help progress their knowledge, understanding, experience and growth. These schemes are becoming more popular due to their effectiveness and how simple they are to implement. 

Trust in the Organisation

Discuss the leadership of the company and dive into future plans in order to excite candidates; this can make them feel involved from day one, by showing that the operation and growth of the organisation might be something that they could have a play in at some point. Trust is an important factor in any team environment. Having trust in the management/leadership is vital to ensure that everyone feels confident, inspired and appreciated.

The culture of the company is also extremely important. It’s important that the candidate is a right fit culturally for the organisation and vice versa. 

When it comes to hiring in the new year, these are the core factors of importance to both employees and jobseekers alike. But don’t forget that everyone has different wants and needs – therefore, you really need to paint a picture from the start as to why people should a) stay with you and b) want to join you. If you remember these tips, you’ll be working in the right direction for 2019 and attracting candidates with ease. 

If you would like to discuss a vacant position, please do not hesitate to contact one of our dedicated consultants.