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.

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.

Recruitment: Short Term Vs Long Term

Which way have you been going and which way do you need to go?

The skill shortage is creating a problem for businesses. With the Covid-19 pandemic, roles that may have lain dormant or perhaps, in the cases of tech roles, did not even exist prior to the pandemic, now need to be filled at speed. This has, in turn, exposed the knowledge gap and shone a light on the moribund practices going on within recruitment.

Whereas previously, companies could pretty much wing it when it came to hiring, taking on short term hires to fill gaps, perhaps hiring consultants or contract workers instead of putting employees on the payroll, now the seriousness of the situation is rapidly becoming apparent.

With contract workers having to adhere to the IR35 legislation, a loophole has been closed on businesses yet the main problem for businesses is not trying to get around these obstacles. The lack of talent on the market and the unfortunate reduction of the workforce due to death, long Covid illness, self-isolation or other complications that come with a pandemic, have left companies who are looking for candidates in an invidious situation, with fewer options.

The mindset of the workforce has seemed to have changed due to two factors. Firstly, everyone has faced their mortality recently, and there has been a reassessment of what people are looking for, with work/life balance being very high on the agenda. Secondly, the newer workforce, made up of millennials and Gen-Zers, having seen how the previous generations have coped with their work/life balance, opting to ask for what they want and not simply take what is given. Career progression, for example, is high on their agenda. Of course, that is not to say that they are immune to the draw of money though.

Salaries are going up. This is because there is a shortage of individuals. Yet throwing money at the situation has not solved it. It is merely a sticking plaster at the moment. The place where the in-demand candidates are, is in roles already. They have taken a journey and arrived at a place where they are happy. They must be poached from those roles but what do these desperate companies have to offer them?

Asking someone to leave their current role and join your company is a serious business. You are asking that individual for at least a 2-3 year commitment. Many firms fail to consider this especially in terms of the upheaval of the candidate’s life, not to mention the cost it would cost the company in terms of onboarding, training, etc. A big commitment is being asked of them.

The marketplace for quality candidates is going crazy right now and this is down to a lack of planning. We can only hope that the mindset of those organisations will change and that now they will appreciate the need for long-term plans.

A few years ago, a company would think nothing of getting rid of employees if they didn’t fit into the company’s short term plans, certain that they will be able to find a new hire in short order. This mentality arises from companies not planning in the long-term. As this pandemic, plus other problems that are running parallel to it, rumbles on, it is becoming clearer and clearer that the short-termism has led us to a place of unpreparedness, which impacts the workforce, which impacts a company’s ability to run as it should, which impacts profits and viability.

Why wouldn’t, or why shouldn’t, a candidate leave a job every 12 months if their salary can jump £10K-£15K-£20K every year? One could argue that the reason the salaries are skyrocketing is because that is the only card that businesses have left to play. Imagine a millennial rejecting offer after offer because they are looking for something more, looking to make a difference, but at some point the dam breaks and they give in to the money offer because they are not crazy. This type of scenario is happening everywhere, and it is driving up salary expectations. Perhaps this is levelling the playing field more. That can’t be a bad thing but businesses need to start planning for the long-term right now, offering candidates more than merely money whilst demonstrating a respect for them and their future, which will also help ensure the business’s future too.

But where to start? Well, there are specialist recruitment partners you can engage to help you with not just the recruitment side but the team building, planning and research element for your strategy.

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

Do You Have A Clear Data Strategy?

You should really check(mate) your data strategy

Data is now fundamental components of businesses and play a large role in not just how individual companies operate but also how industries now operate.

Needing to implement it solely because everyone else is doing it is not what a forward-thinking business does. Research and planning should go into the strategy or the results will be half-baked. The outcome could involve many work hours wasted, money down the drain and it could also mean that you are rejecting candidates at interview who are actually perfect for your company.

A data strategy should demonstrate a deep understanding of the company’s data needs and should include decisive choices made in order to secure the important goals including how to make best use of existing data in order to create an advantage for the business in the marketplace.

If you offer products or services, the data will be used to build on your customer service or develop new products, perhaps enhancing your marketing abilities by giving you advanced customer profiles.

It starts with a strong vision based on expert understanding. It can only go ahead with the correct reasoning. If you can’t make a valid business case, perhaps now is not the right time for your data plans. If you have come to the conclusion that this is the way forward, you should expect to change the mindset of the business, at least a little.

Alongside the strategy, if the company does not have one already, is a set of values that will govern how you deal with data. Data is important and should be treated with utmost care. If you disrespect it, it can come back to bite you, legally.

Goals and metrics come next. What are your short and long term aims? Who is doing what and how? Once the roles are defined and outcomes can be measured, you will be on your way

The key is to figure out how you will manage your existing data and gather new data, considering future trends too. As we have mentioned before, establishing a data culture within the business is very important, so that any developments do not seem extreme but part or an extension of a pre-existing plan.

What are your systems to disseminate information throughout the company? Without these, teams are effectively siloed, and the strategy can be disrupted or fail to be implemented correctly. Data strategies should be cyclical so that there is assessment and evaluation, and lessons can be learnt, and the strategy can be improved. This is important as this is where innovation stems from and it cannot be done if the information is reserved only for certain circles.

Gaining an edge over your competitors can only happen when the strategy is correctly implemented and the data you have is being treated with respect, cleaned correctly and access is given to those who need it. The Cloud is being used increasingly as a way to allow workers in different locations to access data. With this positive move forward comes headaches such as security concerns or ascertaining what parts of a company’s infrastructure should be placed where. Privacy is always an issue with data and, as we have mentioned previously, that should be baked into your data strategy.

Hiring is an oft-overlooked aspect of data strategy. Once the responsibilities have been worked out then a data team needs to be found, selected, interviewed and hired. Any additional gaps in knowledge should be dealt with either by training existing employees or finding new candidates to fill the gaps.

With the right team and the right strategy, you are fortifying your business for the future and against future competition, it just takes a bit of time, a bit of planning and the right mindset.

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

What Is Shaping Business Data Analytics?

Let’s look at how Business Data Analytics can slot into your business

Using a set of specific skills like procedures and techniques to explore and investigate old and new data is what Business Data Analytics is. The aim is to discover insights through interrogating the data and arriving at improved business decisions.

Companies looking to transform themselves digitally need to expect to put in a lot of work and to change how they confront certain business practices. Making intelligence central to the process is important. The culture should be inherent within the organisation or else the changes being attempted will result in poor performance.

We have researched and compiled a few areas that those businesses should concentrate on in order to create a new forward-facing culture and in doing so, will help order and secure their business data future.

Businesses should focus on the use of machine learning for advanced automation of data. Utilising ML for data science and preparation, data insights and developing models is termed augmented analytics. The discipline is not yet as matured as other processes but as time goes on, it is becoming an important part of the future of business data. As bias is removed from the equation and more automation enters the field, it will lead to more ‘citizen data scientists’.

Relationship analytics is all about answering questions when you do not know the question yet. It is about finding the connections between things that are not normally connected using data models. If you have constantly changing, updating, morphing data, totally unstructured, relationships are determined and contexts clarified. Graph techniques are being used to identify the difference between legal and illegal behaviours, between actions that can help or hinder the organisation. These are especially important when used with supply chains.

Uncertain behaviours can lead to unpredictable outcomes. This is also true of incorrectly captured data. What is required is a framework merging standard and future techniques. Within business, the need to model, execute and track these decisions is paramount. Without this, the whole system descends into chaos.

A culture of digital literacy should be advocated for within the organisation. Something like this needs to be grown and cannot be a solely ‘top-down’ endeavour. Good ethics and an understanding of privacy and data laws need to be disseminated throughout the company. Too many businesses seek a ‘quick fix’ solutions when the real solution is to build the scheme into the fabric of the org. Digital literacy should be considered an employee life skill and will contribute to the extended life of a business too. Companies with a lot of data, ML or AI workers should be looking into an ethical code of conduct.

More and more people are accepting the need for data and are interacting with it in a much more positive way, which means that, on the positive side, there is much more abundant data, but on the negative side, there will be too much data to adequately clean and compartmentalise in a timely fashion. This means that there needs to be automation but also that there needs to be a much more scalable model available. The Cloud plays a part in this scalability, allowing companies to alter their IT infrastructure and also to work with data from a decentralised space.

Algorithms and services are emerging in places and industries they have not been seen in before, due to the sea change. A change in mindset is happening and the more it spreads the more advanced Business Data Analytics will become the norm. If you are interested in exploring data within your business, you need great talent, so don’t hesitate to contact recruitment experts.

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

What The Candidate-driven Market Means For You

With candidates in the driving seat, it may be a bumpy ride if you don’t adapt

Unlike other economic downturns, the Covid-19 crisis has not exploded and receded leaving chaos in its wake. It is a rolling, evolving disaster and one which, while it may have been anticipated by some, could not have been predicted by anyone.

Unemployment has yoyo-ed over the past year and a half. This has left confusion across all industries as the tables have turned between candidate-driven and employer-driven power and now it seems to be settling into a candidate-driven market, which seems like it will be the case for the foreseeable.

Companies are still expecting to gain great expertise while offering low-ball offers and the harsh reality is starting to hit. Those who understand the recruitment landscape are warning but those warnings are going unheeded.

Within a high-demand, niche market like Data, recruitment is complicated by the lack of qualified, active job seekers. Overqualified prospects, if they can be found, will be expecting a package that acknowledges the demand they are feeling within the market. Anything less makes them feel that your organisation is out of touch, and especially when it comes to future-facing industries like data, being out of touch is something you want to avoid.

Demand outstripping supply means that benefits are important and a company must be agile to what the market is offering and match or exceed it. Any perks should be considered and not just thrown in to bulk out a standard package.

Remuneration is the not the only concern either. Those looking to further their careers will be seeking guarantees that upskilling and promotions are a possibility within the business.

Confidence is another thing these candidates will be looking for. They will be looking to have interviews with managers who are confident and knowledgeable about the role data will be playing within the future of the company. They will be looking for signs that the business is confident to invest in that future, as, with economic downturns, jumping from a secure current role to a risky future one may not be the chance they want to take at this point in time. What is your company doing to show you will be around in a year’s time?

 It may seem strange to companies used to being in control, but if you want those prime candidates you must cater to, court and bend over backwards for, those prospects.

How and where the candidate will be working is bound to be at the forefront of their mind. In these tough times, safety is a huge concern and candidates will focus in on businesses that empathise with their predicament. On top of that, working from home and hybrid working have changed how we think about work. We are no longer bound to the office, so here is a chance for businesses to set out their stall early, and show that they have really considered how their employees’ feel.

Employees knowing that they are respected and appreciated is a major way that companies can build trust. Covid-19 has changed the way we socialise so drinks on the last Friday of the month are not happening, and maybe that can mean a rethink of how things are done.

This may be a hard pill for companies to swallow but burying their head in the sand will not make it change. This is a candidate-driven market and if you postpone taking it seriously, your competitors will overtake you and your ideal candidates will choose them over you. It really is that simple.

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