As we start to adapt to our new normal and practices try to reopen or adjust, having the right staff will be key to success moving forward. Some may be concerned about adding additional costs to the practice whilst there is still so much uncertainty but let’s not forget that natural attrition will still occur. People will still retire, have babies, decide to move on for this, that or other reasons and if you cut too deep you will find yourself unable to deliver on your promises to customers and putting your practice in reverse.
There is a common conception that the candidate market will suddenly become plentiful and the challenges that faced us pre-Covid around finding excellent talent have suddenly disappeared. It is true that there are some excellent people suddenly available but within certain sectors, good people are definitely still hard to find and if anything, even more so, as their current employer fights hard to keep them.
So now is a perfect time to get recruitment ready so that you can spring into action when needed and give yourself the best possible chance of getting your perfect hire. I have put together a few suggestions on what you could be doing to ensure you attract the best new talent when you need them most.
- Review your employer brand as it stands currently and build it. Get a good understanding on your current situation regarding retention and staff satisfaction so you can uncover any elements that may need fixing in the practice before you try to engage with new staff. Be sure that you are clear on your values and culture and have means of communicating them both internally and externally. Knowing who you are is absolutely essential in knowing who you want to bring in. Ensure you are reinforcing your messages through your marketing channels and the more effective you are in creating positive stories about your business the more candidates you will attract who are desperate to work for you.
- Review your Job Descriptions, Specifications and other material.
This is a perfect time to take a fresh look at all of the supporting documentation around the roles you will look to recruit for. It isn’t uncommon for descriptions to remain the same for years and to also contain language and phrases that are only known internally making it hard for people outside of your company to understand. When you are endeavouring to recruit new people with transferrable skills, it is essential that duties and departments are written in plain English so that they can recognise how their existing skills and experiences fit with what the job typically involves. Also, write them in the spirit of the culture you want your practice to have whether that be more corporate or a little more creative and quirky. These styles will naturally appeal to the individuals who want to work in that nature of environment. I would also highly recommend including real case studies of people who have succeeded and enjoy working for you, preferably with names and photographs to bring them to life. We are in an era of seeking reassurance on our decisions to try or buy and finding a new employer is no different.
- Review your offering.
When was the last time you sat and fully reviewed the package on offer to staff and how attractive this is against your hiring competitors. Do you begrudgingly give a set percentage pay rise each year and still find yourself hiring on the same basic salary as 3 years ago? Well perhaps take this moment to carry out some research on how your offering compares and if you don’t have time, use someone independent to do this for you. Don’t just think about salary either, many companies are now fully embracing a suite of extras from cashplans to PMI, discount codes, gyms, flexible benefits – the options are endless. It doesn’t have to cost the earth and can be looked at creatively. See point 1 and maybe ask the team you have already what matters to them to help you decide what could also matter to your recruits of the future.
- Construct your vetting and interview process.
We have already acknowledged that if you are taking the step to recruit, it is absolutely essential to get the hire right. Rather than having unstructured conversations and hiring on gut feel, it is important to construct a process that effectively draws out the necessary values but also seeks to ensure that the skillset is as they have been detailed on the CV and during interview. Following a clear, well thought through process will mitigate the risks of making costly hiring mistakes.
It may seem like there is a lot to do but these elements are absolutely critical in saving you time and money in the future. We are well equipped to help you with anything listed above so if you need any help or advice, please do get in touch.