Hiring and retaining staff

Hiring the right people, and keeping them, will help your business grow and prosper. But getting it wrong can cost you time, money and even your reputation. The more motivated your staff are, the better team morale and productivity will be. So it pays to invest in getting your recruitment and retention strategy right.

In developing economies like the Pacific Islands, the more women participating in the workforce the greater the impact on local, regional and national economies. That’s because when women earn, they spend their money on things like education, health, their children and their families. As a business owner, you can have a positive impact by tapping into and growing female talent in your workplace.

Hiring tips

  1. Know what your selection criteria is – When you are advertising a position or recruiting through a word-of-mouth referral, make sure that you know what you are looking for from the start. You’ll need to consider the skills and experience required to, what kind of person you are looking for, and how well they will fit with you and the rest of your team.
  2. Create a job description – A good job description should outline the key tasks, duties, performance indicators and expectations of the role. Make sure that you share the job description with potential candidates and ask them how they feel they will suit the role.
  3. Select the best candidate – In finding the most suitable candidate it’s important that you follow a process of interviewing, assessing each person against the selection criteria and job description and screen them (through reference checks, skills test and work trials).
  4. Sign a contract – Once your selected candidate has accepted your offer, make sure you provide a written contract outlining the terms and conditions of their employment with you. This should include details such as pay, work hours, leave entitlements, probationary periods and termination clauses.
  5. Welcome and induction – Make sure that your new employee is made to feel welcome by spending time with them on their first day, showing them where things are and how things work, introduce them to other staff, provide an employee manual with details they’ll need to know, set up their bank and tax records in your financial and accounting system.

Staff retention tips

  1. Share your business mission and values – Feeling connected to your goals and values is one way to keep employees mentally and emotionally tied to your business.
  2. Offer the most competitive employee package you can – Make sure you pay your staff fair wages and benefits including mandatory superannuation. Other benefits, such as flexible work hours, staff discounts and bonuses also go a long way to show employees you care, even if you can’t pay them higher wages.
  3. Make sure your staff know what is expected of them – Often in small companies, employees have a wide breadth of responsibilities but if they don’t know exactly what their jobs entail and what you need from them, they can’t perform up to standard, and morale can begin to dip.
  4. Ensure there are open lines of communication – Hold regular meetings with your staff and provide opportunities for them to offer ideas and ask questions.
  5. Provide training and professional development – Training and skills development is an important part of making sure that your staff have the technical skills they need to do the job, but are also motivated by feeling educated in new areas.
  6. Provide some small perks – The little things, like staff morning teas, acknowledging birthdays, saying ‘thank you’ and making an effort to have some fun, make staff feel appreciated and also help create a great work culture where people want to be.
  7. Recognise and reward – Acknowledging staff for their hard work and achievements is important to individual and team morale. Acknowledgement can include thank you notes, public recognition at staff meetings, financial bonuses are just some of the ways you can thank you staff.
  8. Conduct regular performance reviews – Annual or six-monthly performance reviews are the ideal opportunity to have a two-way conversation about not only how your staff are doing, but how you are performing as a manager too.

Dealing with family violence

A growing issue for employers – both in the Pacific and around the world – is the impact of family and sexual violence on the workplace. Any kind of violence inside or outside the workplace creates unsafe working conditions and can cost your business through reduced productivity, absenteeism and increased costs associated with staff turnover and security.

Addressing family and sexual violence is the right thing to do. It is also good business. For more information about dealing with family violence at home and in the workplace, click here.