2019 is the year of the employee, with the Irish unemployment rate at its lowest since 2008.
While the prospect of full employment is a very positive position for Irish workers, and for the economy, it can present its challenges for companies when it comes to attracting and retaining top talent.
Full employment means a much more difficult recruitment journey.
As Ireland moves into full employment once again, recruiting for roles will become harder.
Most of the workforce is currently in employment, there are less available or unemployed candidates to choose from, and candidates can be more ‘picky’ about the jobs they want to take on.
This shifts the balance of power from the hands of the employer (where it has been for the best part of the last 10 years), to the hands of the employee. Demonstrating how significant this is, we’ve started to see top recruiters offering to fly potential candidates back from Australia in a bid to entice those who emigrated throughout the recession back to Ireland.
Think outside the box when it comes to determining your benefits package – health insurance and minimum annual leave entitlement will not cut it in 2019.
To overcome the recruitment hurdle, companies will need to focus on creating an attractive compensation and benefits package, as well as an attractive work environment and culture to win over and retain top talent.
It won’t be good enough to match an employee’s current salary and benefits to get them to move to your company, you will need to exceed it… significantly.
Review what benefits you offer your staff and think outside the box when it comes to determining your benefits package – health insurance and minimum annual leave entitlement will not cut it in 2019.
Skills and technical expertise can be taught but initiative, drive, enthusiasm and work ethic are usually innate
Focus on key competencies and values rather than skills and experience.
When a company recruits for new staff, they often focus on skills and experience alone, but by expanding your criteria to include competencies and behaviours you find out what values the candidates hold and what their preferences are for working.
Take the time to carefully prepare questions which really assess the type of person you are looking for and one which will match your company values and culture. This will go a long way to ensuring that you’re attracting a candidate that will ‘fit’ with your company culture and will improve the likelihood of that individual staying with you into the future.
Always remember that skills and technical expertise can be taught but initiative, drive, enthusiasm and work ethic are usually innate and can be the difference between an average employee and one who always puts in an exceptional effort with a smile on their face.
Make sure the culture you claim to have in your company matches the reality once your new hire gets started in the job
Retain talent by delivering what you’ve sold.
Once you have found the right person for the job you will need to ensure you follow through on those promises you made during the attraction and recruitment phase. That means making sure the culture you claim to have in your company matches the reality once your new hire gets started in the job.
Those who claim to have a culture that exudes ‘work/life balance’ and then expect phone calls and emails to be answered regularly outside of office hours, has managers complaining every time an employee requests annual leave, and makes it difficult for staff to take statutory leave, can expect a high turnover and a bad reputation in the recruitment industry.
Ensure your on-boarding process isn’t a couple of formal presentations but a journey that takes weeks if not months to fully integrate your candidate
On-boarding is not just an induction presentation.
The hard work doesn’t stop once you have your new hire in the door. Ensure your on-boarding process isn’t a couple of formal presentations about the company handbook, but a journey that takes weeks if not months to fully integrate your candidate into the way your company works and how you like to get things done.
The values and culture that attracted your new hire must be evident throughout their induction period and beyond. Take the time to get to know your new employee and ensure they have the relevant supports, training and attention that they will both expect and deserve. If they don’t see what was promised to them, expect them to look elsewhere… very quickly.
This not only means that all your hard work up until that point will have been wasted, but you’ll probably have a bitter and vocal individual going back out to the world to tell anyone who will listen about their awful experience at your company.
About the Author
Jennifer Davies is a HR Consultant, Career Coach & Owner of Captured HR Consultancy based in Cork, Ireland. For more information on her services visit www.CapturedHR.ie