Recruitment and retention in 2021

Recruitment and retention

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Many businesses are currently experiencing huge challenges in resourcing, thanks to a toxic combination of economic uncertainty, furloughed workers, the ‘pingdemic’ shortage of self-isolating staff, a lack of certain skills and migrants leaving due to Brexit. How can employers attract and keep valued employees?

  1. Recruitment attraction: Think creatively about how you can reach a broader audience. Don’t just rely on the usual job board – put feelers out on social media, draw on your network of contacts for recommendations, if you partner with any other businesses perhaps they could share your vacancy for you? Consider how flexible you can be on the role you’re recruiting for – could you consider part-time as well as full-time hours, or working remotely?
  2. The government’s Kickstart scheme offers financial support to businesses hiring 16 to 24 year olds on Universal Credit who are at risk of long-term unemployment. Find out more about the Kickstart scheme here. The employer receives:
  • 100% of the National Minimum Wage (or the National Living Wage depending on age) for 25 hours per week for a total of 6 months for the Kickstart participant
  • associated employer National Insurance contributions
  • associated employer minimum pension contributions
  • £1,500 funding per job placement to cover set-up costs and to support the young person develop their employability skills. 

3. Consider Apprenticeships: the apprentice works reduced hours for you during the week and studies the rest. Apprentices have a lower minimum hourly rate and are learning skills which will benefit your business. It’s a cost-effective way to bring in newly skilled workers. Find out more here.

4. Flexible working: working from home can be very beneficial for many, but ensure managers are checking in regularly with workers on how they are doing on a personal level. Do they need more support? Beware warning signs that they are always on as work life can easily bleed into home life, which can cause stress and fatigue. Encourage employees to switch off on time. Some employees may prefer a different working pattern than 9 to 5. Currently all employees have a right to request flexible working after 26 weeks’ continuous service. However, the CIPD is campaigning for this to be a day 1 right. Don’t automatically shut down requests, but instead have open conversations about how this may or may not work, and discuss alternatives before making any decisions. Remember to put any contractual changes in writing and have the employee sign to agree these.

5. Hybrid working: many employers are shifting to a split between office and home working. Before implementing any formal changes, do consult with your staff and remember, an individualised approach is important so they feel supported and heard.

6. Evaluate your benefits package: is it right for how your workforce are operating now? If they are working from home, a travel discount scheme is likely to be of less interest than funding a home office set up.

Business Garage provides first-class support to SME’s in HR Consulting and HR Advice. We also offer Financial Management, Bookkeeping, Payroll or Operational Support. Contact us on [email protected] or 01235 433099 to find out how we can help your business.

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