What You Can Do To Retain Your Employees

Without a way to retain, everything falls down

Yes, we always talk about recruitment because that is what we do, we are a recruitment partner. Even so, we still understand that the best way for a firm to operate is to make the working environment, both literal and metaphorical, as welcoming and open as possible in order to retain staff.

Retaining employees just makes sense. If you have invested time and money in a new candidate and they are out of the door soon after, you have spent precious resources and you have nothing to show for it.

Losing employees means losing part of your knowledge base and it also means you are losing productivity. If your business has a revolving door of staff, that does not make for a cohesive team. The atmosphere will be a tense one, as, with each team member who leaves, their responsibilities fall on the other members of the team. Resentment can set in. This is not a prime situation for new hires to enter. It can become a vicious circle.

So what can be done about it? Well while markets can take some of the blame and the generally accepted amount of turnover is under ten percent, the main cause of turnover is job dissatisfaction.

To counter this, it takes effort but at the end of the day, that effort is really worth it. It takes making steps to understand your workforce. What are the pressure points? What are the annoyances in their roles? Do they feel appreciated? Have you fostered an atmosphere where they can air their grievances or problems without judgment?

Respect in the workplace is key. Nobody wants to be disrespected. Pretty much everyone wants to come to work, do a good job and be rewarded in terms of money and also in terms of gratitude. The gratitude thing is a two-way street, as, when you give it, you get it back. A happy workplace is also a healthy workplace. There are less sick days. And it all comes down to respect. Respecting your workforce’s points of view and experience pays off many times over.

As a continuation of that, allowing your staff to be creative, share their ideas on how things can be done better and to vent frustrations. What would you do if a team member had a business idea that utilised things they learned at the company, or perhaps, the company’s technology. Bad companies would either deny them further access to the tech or bring in lawyers to maintain that the idea is the company’s because it was originated on company time. A good company would enter into a partnership with the employee, as long as the idea is good of course.

Companies can also incentivise the work in accordance with industry standards, offer rewards and perks. These kinds of steps take little effort but can demonstrate that the company is empathising with their staff in order to make their company as enticing as possible.

The work-life balance must be respected. If your employees do not have time for leisure in their lives, some way to let off steam, there is a greater chance of burn-out. If a team member burns out, they are no good for your business, and they are no good for themselves either. This is where the responsibility of the company comes in. Just because you can work your employees to death, does not mean you should. The action that makes most business-sense is to allow your workers to have enough time to engage in activities outside of work, so that they do not feel like they have nothing else to live for. If you are made aware of staff who are overworked, they should be allowed some time off or at least a re-examination of their workload.

Curious about how Zenshin Talent can help your organisation? Contact us today for a no-strings conversation about your needs and our experience.

Responsive Employers = Respected Employees

It really adds up to treat your team like human beings

A business which conducts itself with purpose and professionalism naturally elevates itself above the competition. A relentless drive to increase in size in order to satisfy shareholders can serve to reduce the people who work there to figures, robots even.

Whether a company chooses to take this route or not, will define its future. Thankfully, more companies are adopting the path towards a mission that is not just based on money, but on treating employees with respect, acknowledging that they hold the keys to the future of the business.

Seeking meaning through actions is what humans do, and work is no different. Yes, we all want to be sufficiently recompensed for our time, and perks are nice to have too, but the realising of potential and a sense of contributing meaningfully are major factors in the long-term mental well-being of employees. Allowing workers to learn and grow means the good of the company goes beyond fulfilling the goals of the business but can emerge out into the society around it, benefitting those who may be outside of the immediate area of influence.

When it comes to recruitment, it is easy to spot employers who are engaged. It can be as simple as hiring managers replying to emails or responding to candidate resumes in a timely fashion. For all the sound and fury surrounding the search for new prospects to fill job roles, if what follows the flurry of activity is the metaphorical sound of crickets, a specialist recruitment partner starts to begin to understand why the hiring has been a long drawn out process so far.

But just because an employer isn’t engaged with these issues doesn’t mean they don’t want to be. It can be difficult asking for help when you don’t really know what kind of help you need or how to go about starting the process.

Finding support throughout this can be hard, if you are starting from scratch, as an organisation has either made steps towards being responsive and responsible, or it hasn’t. If it hasn’t, then it can feel like an uphill struggle. All companies make noises about listening to their employees but the difference between intending to do something and actually going through with it, is huge.

Processes and systems need to be in place, and putting them there takes time. Companies can and do change but change is often slow-paced. Relationships can be complex and there may be a lot to unpack.

Having an experienced specialist recruitment expert onside can help greatly. They will have experience of sorting the strategy for onboarding new candidates within your sector, will possess knowledge of the values shared by all of the different generations you may be recruiting and they can promote your new way of doing things to the candidates as if they are an external observer.

Within Data, AI and Cloud, it is important to view new technology as a way to enhance the potential of your workforce rather than a way of enslaving them to an omnipresent company presence. There will always be doubters who misunderstand the aims, or those who are old-school who attempt to mould what is happening to fit their standard worldview. Specialist recruitment partners are outside and have a better overview of how things are going and where things may be going wrong.

Responsive businesses will treat all the people in and around the business with dignity, pays fairly, challenges and reassesses its values in the face of criticism, develops an environment of accountability and nurturing where people can thrive and will help the company thrive, in return.

Companies must adapt during these times. Showing appreciation, encouragement and consideration is not a weakness. Getting fully involved in the recruitment should not draw you away from your current responsibilities. If you have the right help on your side, these problems will not even be a concern anymore.

Curious about how Zenshin Talent can help your organisation? Contact us today for a no-strings conversation about your needs and our experience.

What Will Happen In Recruitment In 2022?

Will all the pieces fit together for you in 2022?

With recruiting budgets increasing and priorities shifting, 2022 looks set to be another wild ride.

Will the talent shortage continue? Will the demand continue unabated? We thought we would look into the predicted trends for the year ahead.

The drive to hire the very best during a time when all of the obvious quality candidates have been snapped up, means that there is a reassessment of what makes a prospect suitable. Qualifications that are relevant but not necessarily degree level are now causing recruiters to reprioritise what is really important. This may include years of experience and the requisite soft skills, the latter being regarded as unimportant by most recruiters in exchange for hard skills.

Diversity is also coming into focus as it has been found that those who are underrepresented usually have great soft skills and the diversity happens naturally when this is taken into account, so it is a win-win for everyone to view recruiting like this. Add to that, the fact that those without a degree are likely to remain with a company for a third longer than those who do.

Diversity should always be an integral business strategy component. DEI is important to job seekers and they expect to read about it on job specs or hear about it during preliminary chats. Businesses should expect to answer tough questions from candidates who are no longer accepting a little bit of ill-thought out corporate text regarding this issue. They want to know where the investment is going.

Of course, remote work or hybrid work are still going to be a reality for a lot of workers in 2022. Amongst those seeking jobs, flexibility is the emerging priority. More and more job ads are including the amount of flexibility. With hybridity came fatigue, with workers struggling to adapt and adaptation is now becoming a major focus. It has been a steep learning curve and it will level off in the near future.

Data, AI, Cloud and IT demand will continue to be very much in demand. Job vacancies are still rising and going unfilled. UK tech investment was at £18bn during the middle of 2021 and that will remain. Companies will, however, be ready for the uncertainty as opposed to the way things were in 2020 and 2021. Long term planning is the name of the game now and, as ever, it will be interesting to see where we are at the end of the year.

Reskilling was something that was on few organisations’ radar before the pandemic but it is now important due to factors such as power swinging to the employees rather than the employers when it comes to the job market, the need for more skills especially within IT, Data and digital realms and the ethos of the new generations who want to stay with companies and make a difference, seeing a focus on professional development as a step in the right direction.

Companies benefit from lower turnover of staff, with those who are committed and mobile within a company staying twice as long as those who are not. This is a job for recruiters, whether internal or external recruitment partners, and also HR, who need to find ways that make sense for internal mobility.

Companies being genuine is something a lot of candidates are looking for. In response to the pandemic, candidates have reprioritised and are now no longer tolerating being seen as robots. In the past, businesses have been able to push this to the limit of acceptability and now there is pushback. Looking after an employees mental well-being was a hot button issue during the lockdowns and now we are out of lockdown, those employees are asking why they have tolerated this. Genuine care, attention and support show them that they are not just a number in a company.

Curious about how Zenshin Talent can help your organisation? Contact us today for a no-strings conversation about your needs and our experience.

Continuity Is A Gift In Recruitment

You must live in the present, not the past

One of the most important factors within a company’s recruitment strategy is the idea of continuity. Continuity contributes greatly to candidate trust and also makes the administrative side easier too. There is no real reason for a business not to value continuity other than ignorance of its importance.

Let’s assume that you have a PSL (preferred supplier list) and you are farming out the task of tracking down the perfect candidate to multiple recruiters. That would be a very good guess as the majority of companies use this method, though not all have a PSL, electing to just contact recruiters at random whenever the need arises. Specialist recruitment partners are a pretty new concept so most have not even considered that as a possibility.

Now, nothing stops those multiple recruitment companies from contacting the same prospects at the same, or similar times, in order to attract them to the role. Having multiple recruiters working the same candidates is a failure of your recruitment processes. Firstly, those recruiters have wasted their time chasing the same person. Recruiters working on a no win, no fee basis only have so many hours they will spend on a job role before binning it off in favour of something that may offer a better chance of payment, and if they are contacting individuals who have already expressed interest or chosen not to go ahead with the opportunity, it can lead to a lack of both recruiters and candidates. Secondly, to that candidate, your organisation appear disorganised. There is no joined-up thinking going on, and if that is the case, why would they desire to work with you?

As the market for quality candidates heats up, one of the major factors in securing said candidate is speed. How fast can you find them, how fast can you screen them and how fast can you secure them? Having more recruiters on the case should by rights make the task quicker but that is rarely the case.

Responsive employers are worth their weight in gold and a few are working out that the way to overcome the stalling within their hiring is not solely to throw larger money offers at the candidates, but to rethink how they recruit.

If you were building a house, you would not use more than one architect at the same time or a few sets of builders, hoping that some how the plan would coalesce all by itself? In no other industry would this be classed as normality, yet within recruitment, it is. Perhaps, until now, no one has offered any alternative.

The frustration a candidate will feel being put forward for a role, only to find out they are not a good fit, and then to have it happen all over again, will sour them on your company. Multiple points of contact are where miscommunication happens and where alienation can occur. There is no excuse, in this day and age, for this to happen.

Exclusivity is a scary word for organisations looking for recruiters. This topic comes up again and again. A hiring manager may know they need to switch up the way they are doing something, for better results, but are not sure how. Wary of making it so that they have no back-up, they ignore the parts of their current strategy that are not working or that are causing headaches.

The added continuity that specialist recruitment partners bring to the table usually never crosses the mind of someone who is obsessed with recruiting fast. The false economy of destroying continuity is not an issue they wish to face. Yet face it they must.

The big question is: how far does it have to go, and how long does it have to go on, before the continuity issue is taken seriously? Next time you make soup in your kitchen, think about that old saying and decide whether you want to invite around a lot more cooks to try and get it done quicker, or if you are better off with just the one.

Curious about how Zenshin Talent can help your organisation? Contact us today for a no-strings conversation about your needs and our experience.

Recruitment: Opportunity & Upskilling

Encourage upskilling to make sure your employees can climb the ladder

Whilst the role of the recruiter has always been viewed as one of seeking out and selecting candidates with the requisite hard skills needed for the role they are tasked with filling, it should now also be seen as the job of ascertaining which candidates have the requisite soft skills that aid in their interpersonal communications and problem-solving.

This is essential now that working from home has become normalised, in the wake of Covid-19. Teams need to communicate better and managers need to be able to get to the bottom of problems at a distance from their workforce. Productivity suffers otherwise.

The skills shortage is not just within the hard skills, it is within soft skills too and upper echelon management are rightly concerned about it. If you are desperately seeking the right candidate to unlock your data project and, try as you might, you cannot find one, or find one who will commit to your company, you don’t have many options open to you. The C-Suite knows this and that is why around 80% of CEOs are stressing about it.

Offering opportunities and guarantees of upskilling to prospective candidates is one way to win them over from a competitor’s offer. Soft skills have now come to the fore more than they have in the recent past and the impetus is on the honing of them, in order to prepare the workforce for the next steps in their careers.

Invention, intuition, innovation and ingenuity are major factors in the rising need for upskilling. Whereas the C-suite used to view these attributes with indifference, with a pandemic that has not yet ended, the benefits to a company’s health of collaboration and communication are now seen as important. With that comes the desire to upskill the workforce.

Jobs that revolve around the understanding of technology and a need for highly technical skills, are no longer immune to the need for personal skills too. As projects grow larger and more complex, so do the teams, which means that they must operate like well-oiled machines.

On top of all of this, the teams may be working at locations in different cities, or even different continents, which means that communication breakdowns will hugely inhibit a productive working environment. Empathy must be present in those who are working in that environment.

Upskilling is already having an impact on recruitment. Businesses are already starting to focus on whether a candidate has advanced organisational skills, is friendly, thrives in difficult situations. Yes, these are always on job specs, but now there seems to be a move towards profiles that display this information as equal to the hard skills that are required.

Leadership qualities, emotional intelligence and resilience are two other major soft skills needed to take these businesses into the future and that also applies to current managers. Covid-19 has exposed a soft skills gap within management, which needs to be filled quickly before it becomes a real detriment to firms. The more diverse a company becomes, the more management need to upskill to understand where employees are coming from.

A programme of upskilling within a company not only strengthens the workers but it strengthens the company. Employees who have been encouraged and helped to upskill are much more likely to respect that company and to stay with that company. While upskilling costs money, it saves money in the long run. Lower turnover, in turn, saves time and money on constantly on-boarding staff. Upskilling builds confidence and leads to heightened productivity too.

The paranoia that the C-suite execs have that they are just spending money to train the next company’s workforce must end. There is no evidence that that ever happens. Workers want to feel valued and respected and upskilling is a way both parties can win.

Curious about how Zenshin Talent can help your organisation? Contact us today for a no-strings conversation about your needs and our experience.

The Candidate Gold Rush

All that glitters may not be gold

The biggest recent change within recruitment is the change within the job market, switching from being employer-driven to candidate-driven. Such a shift creates an imbalance, where in-demand hires can demand more and get it, constantly moving around and leaving gaps that need to be filled from an increasingly reduced pool of possible employees.

This creates a Gold Rush for candidates, especially ones who are in niche sectors, such as data science, AI, etc. We have a situation now where even junior candidates are changing jobs, roles and companies every 6 months, matched with large upgrades in their salaries as they do it.

This is having a strong impact which, in turn, is leading to short term thinking. Short term planning in and of itself is not necessarily a bad thing, but it must exist in relation to long term planning and should never be driven by desperation.

What we do not want is collective insanity where businesses are just throwing money around with wild abandon as that is really unsustainable. Reaching the limit has to happen sooner or later and when that happens there will be one hell of a hangover. In our previous post, we pointed to a need to restrategise in terms of company image and interview policy.

All of this upheaval puts recruitment under the microscope and that may not be a bad thing. For one thing, recruitment is changing as the world is changing, but many companies have been too busy to understand or recognise.

Firstly, recruiters should at this point be examining how they have been running things. The standardised way of recruitment is, once an assignment is won from a company, to spam candidates found on job boards with emails and once they respond, send multiple resumes to the company and hope and pray. If one particular mission is too time-consuming, the recruiter will naturally focus in on others that are less time-consuming, or if it is too niche, they switch to those that are less difficult to find candidates for. Recruitment where no money is made until the recruiter finds that ‘magic ticket’ is a rather unsustainable business model if we are being perfectly honest. It is somewhat of a miracle that it has lasted this long.

Secondly, organisations should be reassessing their relationships with, and understanding of, recruitment. There is a saying that repeating the same actions and expecting different results is the very definition of insanity, and that old saying just might be true.

The perception of recruiters is that they are only out to make a fast buck. There are bad apples in every industry and recruitment is no different. The reality is closer to those working within it and working hard. Those who are working hard and have left behind the ‘spray and pray’ model are creating  proper consultancies where they can leverage their experience and expertise to help companies they have a real relationship with.

As the candidate market heats up, offers are going to be lost. That is a fact of life. But because of exclusivity between organisation and recruitment partner, they can keep up the momentum, which is important during this gold rush. They can learn from that specific situation to improve refine the search. Development is usually either arrested by clients having multiple agencies working on a role, so short term failure caused them to switch focus in hopes of getting the result, or by the agency running away from the challenge because there is nothing keeping them there other than a verbal agreement. If a dedicated recruitment partner has the mandate is to build a team, the lessons they learned from the challenge leads to better results over and over again.

Those who are ready to face the future with a realistic and calm outlook, will be the ones who have a bright future ahead of them.

Curious about how Zenshin Talent can help your organisation? Contact us today for a no-strings conversation about your needs and our experience.