Employees are your business’s prime asset. Period.

You’ve opened the door, taken a walk around and have begun to implement the basic infrastructure in your empty room. The next step is to learn how to hire quality employees who can seamlessly understand how to execute your business’s short, medium and long-term goals. 

Numerous schools of thought exist about what constitutes the ideal employee. The answer isn’t as simple as you may think; many layers need to be unwrapped. In this article, we’re going to discuss all aspects of the reciprocal relationship required between an employer and his/her employees so that together, the best possible human resource infrastructure can be developed.  If you’ve never hired employees before, the three most pertinent questions that you are asking most likely are 

  1. How do I attract my ideal employees?
  2. How can I retain my employees?
  3. How do you know if I’m hiring the right candidate to fill a role in my business? ‘What am I looking for exactly?

How do I attract my ideal employees?

Whether employers like it or not, we live in the age of digital disruption. Job seekers are more tech-savvy than ever due to the advancement of technology, they have many avenues through which to access key information about your business. It’s in this light that HR managers and employers need to find innovative ways to separate themselves from competitors by piquing the interest of candidates.

  • Online visibility

If job seekers can’t find your business online, it’s a massive red flag. Brand reputation is a significant attribute for any potential employee. So, before you even think about hiring someone, ensure that your website is fully functional and optimised to be search engine friendly. If you’re having trouble in these departments, consult a marketing firm that specialises in search engine optimisation (SEO) as well as website development.

  • Offer a fresh work environment and office culture

According to an article published on Inc., ‘The happiest employees get along with their co-workers and even continue to see them outside the workplace. An environment with unnecessary stress, flexibility, an attitude of acceptance, and supportive supervisors make people glad to come to work every day.’ It doesn’t matter whether you’re a start-up or established corporate; happy employees who care about their jobs are more proactive, will produce high-quality work, enhance brand reputation which, in turn, leads to more sales.

  • Be transparent 

Through social media (specifically Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn), review sites such as Hellopeter as well as word of mouth, it’s effortless for a candidate to see whether you’re burying certain negative aspects about your business in a job post. For example, you may be touting your company as the best place to work, offering numerous perks, but it’s found out that you have a high staff turnover rate, you’ll never appeal to top talent.

  • Offer internships

There are many benefits to offering internships. They are a unique platform which you won’t find through traditional hiring methods. It allows you to assess the prospective employee ‘on the job’. It’s the most effective way to determine whether credentials on a CV can be backed up in real-life stressors such as tight deadlines and managing multiple tasks. From this, you have concrete evidence of whether or not an individual is right for the job role. The most significant benefit is that it’s likely that interns will want to stay with the business in the long term. If you’re a start-up, an internship programme is a practical, cost-effective way to test talent before bringing them on board full-time.  

Interns also bring refreshing energy and enthusiasm. They are eager to learn as well as develop new skills. This is precisely the type of atmosphere you want pumping through your new room; it should set an exciting tone for the work environment you want for your business. As you grow, you’ll find that the infectious energy will rub off on new interns and continue to improve the work environment, which boosts productivity. If you are interested in starting an internship programme, it’s best to get in touch with a professional HR company who will be able to assist you with everything from set-up to implementation as well as monitoring the programme. Well-run internship opportunities spread by word of mouth like wildfire and you may soon be attracting top talent who are chomping at the bit to work for your business. 

However, it needs to be stressed that once you’ve attracted and secured employees, you need to be able to retain them. As mentioned earlier, a high staff turnover rate is a big red flag for any job seeker. Now, we’re going to take a look at this essential aspect in more detail.  

How do I retain my employees?

It’s one thing to attract the talent best suited to your business, but ensuring that they stay is an entirely different ball game, and this is where an employer needs to have sufficient knowledge about employee management. Here are six ways to oust competitors and retain your staff.

  • Ensure your employees are happy and care about their job

This should be a no-brainer, but it’s an unfortunate reality that if you don’t look after your employees, they are likely to leave. According to an article published by Business Insider, ‘workers say lack of engagement is a top reason they’d quit their jobs.’

It further states, ‘Employees want managers to help grow their careers — and if bosses don’t step up, they leave. A new survey found a third of employees who quit their jobs did so because they didn’t learn new skills or better performance. A lack of career growth is one of the biggest reason workers leave, second only to low pay.’

  • Know the value of your employees

Employees should be regarded as your most prized asset and should be treated with the respect they deserve. There is so much untapped potential value available for you, but it can only be realised if staff are mentored and feel appreciated. 

  • Offer workplace flexibility

Take a few minutes to browse a few third-party job-listing sites. You’ll find that many companies are now offering flexible working hours or the opportunity to work remotely as their main draw cards. The truth is that the advancement in cloud computing, customisable content management systems and digital streaming services has ushered in an era where employees don’t necessarily need to work on-site. A Wi-Fi connection to the internet may be all that’s needed. So, if your specific industry doesn’t require staff on-site permanently, offering them the flexibility to work remotely (even for a couple of days during the week) is advantageous for your business because it’s a sought after benefit by job seekers.

  • Have well-defined policies and procedures

As a start-up, policies and procedures should be seen as part of the permanent foundation of the room that you’re developing. Yes, they will change as your business grows, but the fundamentals of well-written policies and procedures will always remain the same. They are necessary because they set the expectations for employees in a document so that there can’t be any confusion about how they should go about their tasks and work as a cohesive team. Furthermore, it decreases the need for micromanagement, allowing the business to function more efficiently and effectively.

  • Employee benefits

It can be argued that professional and personal growth is a prerequisite for any candidate searching for a job vacancy. It’s critical that as an employer, you have their best interests at heart and want to see them grow in parallel with the business. Do you offer your employees any benefits? If not, it makes business sense; from an employee’s perspective, a benefits package increases the value they receive by working for you. As an employer, it’s a reciprocal relationship because employees are committed and happy. This will be reflected in the quality of service output. Benefits that you could offer your employees may include but are not limited to

  • Further education opportunities. Allow staff to take training courses so that they can learn and develop new skills as well as refine current competencies. Through this, employees can add more value to your business. 
  • Care for their financial wellbeing. A retirement fund and/or medical aid will assist your employees’ future financial health. A possible way to help employees in this regard is for you to opt for an umbrella fund. It’s best to speak to expert independent financial advisors (IFAs) who will help you find the best financial product to suit your business’s needs. 
  • Annual bonuses. The festive season can be costly, and a financial incentive will go a long way to helping employees get through this period. It also reiterates that you value all of the hard work they’ve done throughout the year.
  • Be a leader who inspires your staff

When employees respect and trust you, they feel valued secure with themselves as well as their job. Leaders who are accessible; transparent; give honest, constructive feedback and listen to employees are vital to ensuring staff job satisfaction.

  • Appreciate all of your employees’ efforts.
  • Treat everyone with the value and respect that they deserve.
  • Encourage a proactive, fun work culture of collaboration, communication, and engagement. This will aid in helping the teamwork together cohesively.
  • Build positive workplace relationships
  • Welcome new ideas and innovative strategies. Never dismiss any contribution made by employees.

Important traits to look for in prospective employees

With that being said, candidates do need to fit the job role so that the work can be done correctly. So, this traditional part of the hiring process is still relevant. Essential traits of an ideal employee in today’s working world include

  • Proactivity: The ability to take the initiative to create and/or control a situation instead of only responding to it once it’s happened. 
  • Honesty: You may find a candidate who ticks all the boxes, but without honesty and integrity, it’s impossible to form trust.
    • Autonomous: A candidate that will add value to your business is one that does his/her job successfully without needing constant hands-on management. Autonomy is crucial if you offer flexible hours for employees or allow them to work remotely. 
  • Leadership qualities: Leadership begins with self-confidence. Employers can help mould and refine this trait in their employees by positive reinforcement and giving them the opportunities to take on leadership roles such as heading up a project.
  • Detail orientated: We live in a fast-paced world, often having to juggle multiple projects at the same time with tight deadlines. A candidate needs to be able to produce excellent-quality work under pressure.
  • Upbeat and positive attitude: A positive attitude towards work, colleagues is essential. A negative mindset can quickly create a toxic work environment, decreasing morale, overall quality of service output as well as put the reputation of the business in jeopardy.

It’s also beneficial for you to have all of this insight can be consolidated into an actionable HR strategy.

The benefits of a successful HR strategy.

  • Defines the requirements for staff qualification development as well as training opportunities.
  • Establishes an overall system of HR development (policies, processes, rules, responsibilities and accountability) 
  • Facilitates the management of employees’ work performance which includes motivation, social/educational programmes and employee benefits
  • Defines the working conditions, labour relations and influences the organisational structure of the business.
  • Facilitates the achievement of short-, medium and long-term business goals.

Contact us today to book a consultation with our specialised HR division. Your first consultation is free. We can help you start filling your room with employees who will add immense value to your business.