How to recruit and retain high quality, motivated employees

How do you recruit quality employees when it feels like all the good ones are taken? There are several steps that business owners can take to help increase their chances of recruiting and retaining high quality, motivated employees.

1.      Start with a plan.

We all know that planning is important but surprisingly it is an under utilised skill in many businesses. A lack of time and skill are two of the biggest contributing factors to a lack of planning. At the most basic level, Employers should ask themselves a few questions prior to recruiting new employees.

  • Why do I need to recruit a new employee(s)? Are there opportunities to cross-train or re-train current employees?
  • Have I properly budgeted for the costs of employing and training the new employee?
  • What do I need them to do now in the business?
  • What do I need them to do in the next 6 months in the business?
  • What are the skills and attributes the new employee needs to be well suited for the role and our business?
  • What processes/resources do I need to effectively manage the recruitment process?

Unfortunately, many of these questions are answered after the recruitment process has been initiated. This can lead to confusion, delays and ineffective management of the recruitment process. In a tight labour market, Employers cannot afford to miss out on quality employees due to poor planning or process delays.

2.      Be a great place to work.

Developing a strong workplace culture that supports and encourages high quality, self- motivated employees to be actively engaged in building the business and providing excellent customer service isn’t something that happens overnight. But with the right focus and consistent review, even the smallest of businesses can become STAR workplaces that attract and retain great employees.

3.      Create Employee Advocates.

Great employees will often know other motivated and skilled people in their network. By developing your business as a great place to work, your employees will naturally become Advocates for your business. They will share their positive workplace experiences with their larger network which may attract more quality employees to your business. You may find through this channel that you have potential recruits seeking out your business for vacancies and proactively contacting you for opportunities.

4.      Get specialist help.

Sometimes the DIY approach can save you time and money. Other times you may find yourself with a compromised result that can prove to be expensive to fix. You may not need to outsource your recruitment entirely. A good HR practitioner will help you to assess your overall recruitment strategy and ensure that you have the right internal and external support. They should work closely with your business to truly understand your recruitment needs for the long term. Additional areas of specialist support can include Job Profiling, Salary Benchmarking, Psychometric and Personality assessments and Interview/Selection panels.

5. Don’t compromise on quality.

Be mindful of the “best of a bad bunch” mentality. It is far better in the long term (and less expensive) to re-start the recruitment process again rather than make a poor selection decision. It’s not fair to the candidate, current employees or the overall business to plug a gap with a warm body that is not suited to the role or the business. This is not an easy decision to make and often requires a lot of courage and commitment to excellence from the business owner/manager. But the old adage of “hire for fit and train for skill” is true.

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