Make the most of the new year talent explosion
Now is a great time to start thinking about recruitment. Why? For many people, the new year ushers in an opportunity to start afresh, and that includes looking for new work opportunities. This makes it an excellent time to bring in new talent.
But finding the right talent for your business can be tough, especially for smaller businesses who lack the resources of their larger counterparts. In recent research by a specialist recruitment agency, a whopping 78% of Australian business leaders believed finding qualified professionals will become harder over the next five years.
The survey found recruitment hurdles change based on business size. There isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution. Instead, know what your recruitment barriers are and identify how to mitigate them.
What can we learn from recruitment trends?
According to insights from the LinkedIn 2019 Global Talent Trends Report, work flexibility, anti-harassment, and pay transparency were the top trends that impacted recruitment this year.
● 84% of Australian talent professionals believe that employees want greater flexibility
● 57% believe pay transparency during recruitment streamlines the process
● 91% of Australian talent professionals see soft skills as the most critical skills to assess during recruitment.
How does a small business find the right candidates?
A good starting point is to review your online presence and revisit your “work for us” content. But there are additional ways to effectively stand out from the crowd, such as:
1. Set goals. Have clear requirements, define success and set clear deliverables and expectations. In the interview phase, focus on tangible results.
2. Job descriptions. Both a good job description and person specification are essential when it comes to being clear about the role and the person you want to fill it. Consider the title and keywords that you are using to advertise your role. Check out the competition too. Is your offering as attractive as theirs?
3. Company culture. Company culture can be a big pull for candidates. Be open and honest about yours. Communicate your company culture and core values by including them in your job description and interviews. And remember to make sure the reality matches the sales pitch – nothing will send new starters back out of the door faster than a mismatch here.
Are you ready to get your recruitment right? Talk to The HR Dept team to get the best advice and support for your recruitment process.
Managing staff leave over Christmas and New Year
Christmas can herald a slow-down for some businesses and a peak period for others. This makes annual leave hard to manage. When deciding what to do, remember to consider the knock-on-effects and the implications of your decision.
The Fair Work Act 2009 states that forced leave (paid or unpaid) may be reasonable if a business is shutting down over the Christmas/New Year period. However, if it’s all hands-on deck to keep the business running, the Act states you cannot unreasonably refuse an employee’s annual leave request.
When it comes to leave, the Awards and enterprise agreements that apply to your employees will clearly indicate what you can and can’t do, and how much notice should be given.
Don’t forget the personal impact of leave. Forced leave could disrupt any travel plans staff have for later in the year and forced unpaid leave will impact their finances.
Ideally, annual leave requirements for the Christmas/New Year period should be included in the employee’s contract of employment. If you haven’t put a policy in place for this year, be sure to do so for next year. The HR Dept is here to help you prepare for the Christmas period.
Attract and retain great employees with manageable employee benefits
Attracting and retaining great talent is difficult these days and not every business can offer a Google-style benefits package. Surprisingly, cost and extravagance aren’t the keys to a successful benefits strategy. You can attract and retain employees simply by demonstrating your investment in them, and importantly, it doesn’t have to break the bank.
How do you put together a cost-effective, meaningful benefits strategy? There are six simple steps to help:
1. Communicate with existing employees. Find out what would benefit them. Listen to what staff say and identify what really matters to them.
2. Get the basics right. Start by meeting the statutory requirements for benefits and build upon them.
3. Align your benefits to your business. Your benefits strategy should always complement your business strategy and values.
4. Review the competition but don’t copy them. Instead understand what they offer and what your specific industry standards are. This may highlight some obvious options you hadn’t thought of.
5. Take a long-term, holistic approach. Build a benefits strategy that supports different areas of your employees’ lives and their changing needs over time, while working within the constraints of your business finances and workload.
6. Be flexible. Provide options to appeal to the needs of a broader employee base so staff can choose what works for them. Examples of benefits that work well include flexible working, team outings and health benefits.
Need help with creating a meaningful benefits strategy to recruit and attract great staff? The HR Dept is here to help.
“Can I refuse a job applicant with a criminal record?”
Checking a job applicant’s criminal record as part of the application process has become a widespread practice. Until recently, although it was unlawful for an employer to discriminate against a job applicant because they have a criminal record, employers could argue an exception if they felt that simply having a criminal record rendered the applicant unable to fulfil the ‘inherent requirements’ of the position (such as trustworthiness or integrity).
A new amendment to the Australian Human Rights Commission Regulations 2019 (2019 Regulations), which commenced on October 1 this year, means it is now unlawful to discriminate against a job applicant because of their criminal record if the applicant has an ‘irrelevant criminal record’. In other words, you cannot refuse employment if the conviction is irrelevant to the role.
If you are unsure how to apply the changes within your recruitment process, contact The HR Dept to help you identify what you can and can’t do.
Paid breaks and the law – what gives?
A simple enquiry from an employee about meal breaks recently led to a courier company facing legal action for underpaying employees. The business, Couriers Please, discovered they hadn’t paid current and former employees for their 20-minute lunch break since 2010. The lunch break is part of their entitlement under the Road Transport and Distribution Industry Award 2010.
This was a significant breach of workplace law which resulted in a Court-Enforceable Undertaking with the Fair Work Ombudsman.
The lesson? Be aware of employee entitlements and ensure you’re compliant to avoid massive fines, legal action and having to make back payments. If you’re unsure of your obligations, give The HR Dept a call.