Following the success of our September blog post, we’ve put together a similar A-Z for employers; some tips and suggestions to make sure you’re delivering the best possible employer/employee relationships. Have a read and let us know what you think. How do you as an employer shape up, or how does your employer fare if you’re reading this as an employee?

 

A – Appraisal

What is your appraisal process? Do you carry out regular appraisals? Encourage employees to take the process seriously, really looking at their own performance and opening the floor for a two-way conversation about the working relationship on a regular basis. Engaging the workforce and validating their views and suggestions through this process will provide valuable insight into the business from a ‘shop floor’ perspective but also creates a happier team, with individuals understanding their views have been heard.

B – Bonus

When you advertise a role with a bonus element to the remuneration package, carefully consider what you mean when you talk about a bonus scheme. Be realistic and honest about the achievability of the bonus scheme; if the commission bonuses are uncapped, give some real examples of the sorts of figures being achieved by serving members of the team in order to be realistic. Candidates don’t want an unachievable dream, they want real talk!

C – Contracts

When was the last time you properly looked at your employment contracts? Are they clear? Are they still fit for purpose? Do they need an overhaul? Especially with how much has change in the last 18 months have you considered your WFH policies; how your equipment that is in someone’s home is managed and what happens if anything is damaged as an example. What about your Health and Safety obligations? Are all of these being met?

D – Development

What are the development opportunities available to candidates who join your team? Is there scope to develop employees through training and career progression that will aid with longer term workplace retention? Most candidates we see are looking to move because of a lack of development opportunities available within their current company. It’s not always about salary (although it helps!) but about developing employees before they stagnate and start to look elsewhere.

E – Equal opportunities

It goes without saying that employers should be aware of creating equal opportunities and actively encouraging applicants from all backgrounds to apply for any roles they may have. As a recruitment agency, we can offer an additional level of equality, processing all applications for a client without bias, and presenting applicants who meet the job criteria in a uniform fashion with all personal information initially redacted if required.

 F – Flexible working

Flexible working is a massive buzzword right now, especially with the law recently changing around this specific topic. It’s not going to go away any time soon! Be prepared to deal with requests for flexible working, but also be upfront and honest about the feasibility of flexible working for each job role when you look to fill it, so there is clarity immediately and neither employee or employer feels misled from the start.

G – Greatness

Don’t be afraid to shout about why your company is great! There’s a lot more to a job offer than the salary and package these days. Be loud and proud about your greatness, whether that’s well-attended socials, strong support for a particular charity, free tea/coffee/fruit; we even once had a client offering free lunch every day where the whole team stops to eat together! These sorts of things won’t be to everyone’s tastes, but they’re what make you great, and if you shout about them, you’ll find you can attract the type of people who agree that these offerings are great and who will really appreciate them!

H – Health and Safety

When you have a new starter, be it a permanent member of the team or a temp joining for a matter of days, it is vitally important to ensure they are aware of all health and safety procedures and general housekeeping in order to keep themselves and their colleagues and customers safe. It also makes the employee feel valued and safe within their working environment, as well as being an essential legality!

I – Infrastructure

How is your company set up? Are there rules around WFH or hybrid working? Do you have the infrastructure in place to support this? Can your IT support function handle this? Who do employees contact if there are any issues? There is much to think about now in the “new” way of working it is no longer as simple as here is your desk at the office! Reform IT discussed some key points to consider with us back last year if you want a refresh, take a look here.

J – Jargon

We’re just as guilty of this as everyone else; explain any industry or company-specific jargon immediately! Of course, if you’re in Project Management, scrums have a completely different meaning to that seen on a rugby pitch and those in the correct industry will understand the right reference, but also think about specific little acronyms or sayings used in your own business. Make sure you are aware of them before you go bamboozling an interviewee or new member of the team, and explain them first, so they understand and feel part of the business straight away.

K – Knowledge  

Knowledge is power and all that… What knowledge do you have about your industry and where your business stands in comparison to competitors and local/national averages? The Truly Tailored Recruitment Annual Salary Survey is always a good source of knowledge, keeping you abreast of Gloucestershire salaries for a huge range of different roles so you know where you sit in comparison. Once compiled, we share it at the beginning of the year to our clients and contacts. If you want to receive it too, get in touch to be added to our mailing list for 2022!

 L – Legislation

This is a huge minefield! Employment law changes frequently, not only with the scheduled updates, usually in April and October, but also with case law presiding. GDPR massively impacted everyone a few years ago when this change was implemented, and each industry or sector will have its own legislation that it is governed by. Are you up to date on what you should and shouldn’t be doing? Is your workforce? If not, you need to act, and quickly, as the law waits for no-one!

 M – Mentoring

Do you have a mentor scheme in place? Have you considered one? Buddying up new starters or less experienced team members with those who can help develop them is a great way of investing in your team. Both parties will feel the benefits, one by gaining responsibility and developmental coaching skills, and one by being developed and achieving professional (and personal) growth.

 N – Negotiation

The candidate market is tough at the moment. Good candidates looking for their next career move are in short supply, and then even once you’ve found and offered to one, you will need to be prepared to negotiate! Counter-offers are common, so be prepared to discuss key deal-breakers to aid you in your negotiation to secure your top talent.

 O – Opportunities  

As we have mentioned, there is a definite skills shortage, so it could be wise to work with a recruiter and take advantage of opportunities as they present themselves, rather than wait until a need arises. Good recruiters actively work on marketing their candidates to relevant clients and with the market conditions currently, it can pay to take the opportunity when you can, rather than wait for the right time. Creating opportunities can be rewarding for both parties and will certainly show you are a forward thinking, proactive company to work for.

 P – Package  

A salary is not the be-all and end-all to candidates anymore. They’re interested in the whole package on offer, from holidays to health and life cover, working hours and hybrid or flexible working. Consider the whole package and what you can and can’t offer. Be honest about this and look at what you can tweak in an offer package to secure a candidate if the salary is already at your upper limit.

 Q – Quality  

We believe in quality over quantity. Don’t waste everyone’s time waiting to interview tens of candidates for a role when it is unlikely there will be that many of them on the open job market. Are there other methods you can adopt to speed up the process so you don’t lose candidates? Perhaps you could telephone screen (or work with a recruiter to conduct video screening on your behalf) candidates and then invite the ones you really bond with to a face-to-face interview.

 R – Resignation  

Accept that employees will leave. Conduct yourself with integrity; congratulate the employee and if possible, carry out an exit interview to understand what their motivations were for leaving. Can you learn anything from this that will help future employees to have an even better experience with your business? This may be the time you will consider making a counter-offer but there is evidence that suggests that 80% of candidates who stay following a counter-offer leave within 6 months anyway. Think carefully about why the person is leaving and if persuading them to stay will be beneficial to both parties in the longer term.

 S – Salary

It’s still a very important part of the overall package; ensure you pay a basic salary in line with industry expectations to ensure you attract the right calibre of candidates. It is important to offer the candidate what they are worth, that is within your salary range and budget. Don’t just opt for the lowest possible salary!  Our annual salary survey can help you to understand where average salaries for a range of job roles sit year on year. (link to this year’s salary survey blog post)

 T – Training

There is no limit to training. Everyone can benefit from ongoing training, regardless of seniority. Our MD, Abi, is constantly attending webinars and expos to ensure she’s at the top of her game with ongoing training and development. With so much free, accessible training now available online, it’s a no-brainer in our opinion.

 U – Unsuccessful

Any job advert will receive applications that are not successful. In order to ensure your business maintains an excellent reputation, it is important to consider the journey of the unsuccessful candidate. We believe it is important to get back to every applicant, even if that is with a simple email informing them that their application will not be taken further. There’s nothing worse than radio silence and being left with the unknown!

 V – Value  

Do you value your employees? Of course you do. Do they know that? Not always the case. Make sure to communicate regularly the ways in which you value and appreciate your team. Also ensure to listen to their views and show that you value the workforce by actively implementing suggestions and strategies from their input. It’s all well and good telling them that you value them but ensure that you take the time to show it too.

 W – Wellbeing

This is not just the latest craze that is going to vanish into the background. Employee wellbeing is of critical importance. Mental health issues are on the rise – a study by Perkbox found that the 59% of British adults commonly experiencing work-related stress in 2018 rose to a massive 79% in 2020!  Clearly it is something that employers need to be mindful of, and proactively working on maintaining good mental health amongst employees.

 X – X, Y, Z?  

We’re talking different generations here. The way in which we as employers communicate with different generations is key to getting the most from them individually. A Gen X-er, who remembers the days of paper filing systems and no internet will manage situations in a totally different way to the super tech-savvy Gen Z who are entering the workforce. Allowing different viewpoints to be expressed and acknowledging there are benefits and drawbacks to their problem-solving approaches will help to lead to a cohesive team who are respectful of one another, using individual strengths to achieve a shared goal.

 Y – You!

Yes, we literally mean you! From the moment the candidate sees your advert and decides to apply you are on show! Not just the business but you as the professional in that business recruiting for the role, being part of the interview process, being the hiring manager or the person that sends out rejections, offers, interview requests or arrangements. You could be the reason the business bags top talent, but you could also be the reason that they choose not to pursue an opportunity. Just remember to always put your best foot forward!

 Z – Zebra  

Is a zebra white with black stripes, or black with white stripes? You could argue either way. Or you could accept that there are two ways of looking at it and encourage conversation to find cohesion between the two viewpoints. Remembering that individuals don’t all see things the same way, but embracing that individuality and opening the floor to positive discussion is a great way to get the most out of your team.