As an employer, you need to take care of the present whilst keeping an eye on the future — and that’s especially true when it comes to talent management. Your people are the most important tool you have in your professional arsenal, so it’s vital that you attract the best on the market; but in this new digital age, are your methods still up to date?
We’ve asked some of our own branch managers for their tops tips on planning for the future of your workforce.
Job interviews might give you the chance to decide whether a candidate is right for your company, but they also give candidates the chance to decide whether your company is right for them. Roughly translated: the interviewee isn’t the only one who needs to make a good first impression. Before the interview takes places, make sure you’ve read the candidate’s CV thoroughly and have some probing questions prepared.
Try to put them at their ease, and present the company as somewhere they should really want to be. If there’s any chance of career progression, let the candidate know: if they’re torn between two offers, knowing a little about their future prospects could make all the difference.
You might have secured your candidate of choice for now, but if you don’t make a good impression when they first start, they may have other ideas. One of the most annoying things for a new starter is when their phone, computer or email address hasn’t been set up yet, so once you’ve agreed a start date with your new hire, make their workstation a priority.
Of course, one of the most daunting parts of starting any new role is not knowing where anything is — from the toilets to the kitchen — so be sure to show them around their new place of work at the first opportunity. It’s also incredibly important to make them feel welcome, and going out for a team lunch can be a great way of breaking the ice.
Even if you don’t work in the IT industry, more and more employees are starting to expect decent equipment and internet access at standard. Whether that’s reliable, high speed PCs, or blackberries and laptops, you need to think about what your staff realistically need to do their jobs properly. It’s also becoming common for employees to request flexible hours or the capacity to work from home or remotely.
To facilitate that, you’ll need to be able to hold conference calls and maybe even video calls. Younger generations also expect to be able to access certain social media sites, such as facebook and twitter. If this is a big no-no at your company, perhaps think about relaxing the rules for an hour over lunchtime, and before and after official work hours. We’ve found that quite a few people would actually turn a job down if they weren’t given this level of access; so you need to think about what type of employer you want to be. If it’s one that moves with the times, some adjustments may necessary.
Of course, people don’t only use social media for uploading their holiday snaps these days. Many people actually look for jobs through social networks, and if your company isn’t advertising on them, you could be missing a trick. Having a cohesive social media strategy in place is crucial for attracting fresh blood into your organisation, so if you don’t already have one, it’s time to refocus.
Having a professional presence on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and the like can make you a real household name with the sort of people you’re trying to attract. You can even use your existing employees as brand ambassadors — offering them incentives for ‘liking’ your facebook page, retweeting you, and creating a general ‘buzz’ around working for your organisation.
When you’re planning for the future of your company’s workforce, you also need to take into account those times when you’re sure to be left understaffed: during the summer, people are bound to take time off for their annual jaunts, and over the winter, you could find a large proportion of your workforce struck down with sickness.
If you want to avoid being left without cover, you need to have a contingency plan in place. We can always provide experienced professionals to cover holiday absence, and for those days when you need last minute cover, we have a team of temps in branch just waiting for your call.
For more personalised advice on planning for the future success of your business, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.