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UKIE Recruiting & Retaining Staff

Filling your team can be super stressful, and as you expand you’ll find that it becomes more and more important to fill your roles effectively and efficiently. When you’re first starting out you can get away with posting on Reddit, forums, and the odd job board. But as you grow you will find that competition for talent is actually pretty tough. Which is annoying because you may well have just come from a position of finding work incredibly tough. Nothing is simple in this industry.

This blog is split into two parts: Finding talent, and keeping talent.

Finding Talent

Employment Agencies

According to Ian Goodall, Managing Director of Aardvark Swift, roughly 60% of the job market are passive job seekers, the other 40% is split between people who are out of work or people looking for promotions or to enter a new industry. Passive job seekers are pretty self explanatory, they’re happy where they are but could move if something lands on their lap.

So how do you reach these passive job seekers? Using an employment agency is probably the best solution passive job seekers don’t (usually) look on job boards.

Job Boards

Don’t forget that still leaves 40% of other talented job seekers – which is where job boards come in, these are often cheap and easy to add your job to. It’s also obviously one of the more likely places a job seeker will look.

Goodall also pointed out that it’s unlikely you’ll find the highest talent on job boards because they have a strong enough portfolio that people come to them (People like those who use employment agencies).

Hiring A Graduate

There is an ongoing debate across every industry about just how important academia is, some people learn on the job, some people learn in a very academic way. Being a student, I found this particular segment quite interesting. Goodall suggests linking up with your local universities and sending your staff out to careers talks, this allows you to talent search and grab talent the second it’s out the door. Plus students like being told by outside sources their work is good, so you’ll be making someone happy and that’s always good.

By hosting guest talks and working with the local colleges and universities you are able to help cultivate talent in a way that will help your own company.

Retaining Staff

The next speaker was Catrin Jones, Operations Manager at Skill Search. Her first slide showcased what are always the top areas for retaining staff. It’s not hugely shocking really.

No Average Person

Once you realise you are massively behind on your work load and you need a new team mate you’ll probably do the usual thing of looking up average salaries for that position (Which changes dramatically depending where you live as a side note). Now I’m not a maths guy, but the median average is calculated by basically splitting data in half – which means half will be paid less and half will be paid more. This means treating your employee as an average is likely to end up in disaster.

Asking The Right Questions

Jones spent quite a long time discussing the questions employers ask their employees. She showed an example of how asking the same question but worded differently can provide inaccurate data. She then explained the importance of not asking leading questions, offering the example of “Should we implement Friday drinks together?” – your employee says yes, and you feel you’ve made everyone happier. And while you probably did make your office a little happier, it’s not going to change everyone’s mind about swapping jobs, because their prime concern wasn’t how social they can be at work.

So how do we combat this? We try to get the employee’s brain into gear with an open question, one with no yes or no answer that takes a little bit of time to think and consider an answer to. This allows you to tailor your office to each employee.

Thanks for reading! There were several other talkers, and it is worth having a watch of the material on UKIE’s website whether you’re hiring, retaining or even a student trying to figure out a path into the industry.

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