Attracting the right employees
Alex Hattingh shares how SMEs can look beyond pay rises to attract the right candidates. Times are tough and employees are looking for greener pastures – and when I say greener, I mean in terms of money. They are working harder than ever and want to be compensated for it, particularly as the cost of […]
Alex Hattingh shares how SMEs can look beyond pay rises to attract the right candidates.
Times are tough and employees are looking for greener pastures – and when I say greener, I mean in terms of money. They are working harder than ever and want to be compensated for it, particularly as the cost of living is skyrocketing.
The pressure is on small businesses to avoid losing staff to their competitors and attract the best candidates for their vacancies. But at the end of the day, the cost of paying staff more is decreasingly likely to be offset by revenue coming in.
Working arrangements have now deviated from the traditional “9 to 5”. This means that employee remuneration can no longer include flexible working arrangements such as working from home because that is already a given in most workplaces.
Other perks such as free fruit or a day off on their birthday went out with the last decade. So how else can small businesses provide more value to attract candidates?
Offer a bonus
If your business cannot sustain a larger salary long-term but can afford a one-off payment, a bonus is one way to compensate staff.
Employment Hero’s Employee Movement and Retention Report reveals more than half (55 percent) of New Zealand employees want a salary increase this year. However, about one in five (21 percent) also value a bonus, or at the least the introduction of a bonus structure, so they know what to do to get a bonus.
A signing bonus may also be offered as an immediate perk to make an employer stand out against others. But having a formal bonus structure can be as attractive to new employees as existing ones and can be tied to their time in the new role – for example, a bonus after completing three or six months of service after they have come up to speed in their job.
Outline what is to come
Our research shows that Generation Z employees, in particular, value career trajectory above all when looking for a new employer, so be upfront during the interview about progression and the promotional opportunities that may be in store for the successful applicant.
Reveal the one-year, three-year, or five-year plan that the business expects from the employee hired into this role, and the training and development opportunities that may be provided to help them get there.
Employees may also be lured by policies that focus on their productivity and output to meet their job description rather than having to commit to their working hours specifically.
Asking appropriate questions to the candidate during an interview can reveal their priorities and identify what you as an employer need to highlight.
Be kind to staff
Workers are more burnt out than ever, especially after the past few years, and may want to be pampered as much as financially compensated by their next employer. But this does not mean foosball tables or an in-house masseuse that in the past have been used to lure staff.
Our Wellness at Work Report this year reveals that 53 percent of workers suffer from burnout, so look at introducing new policies and spruik them in your job advertisement or interviews.
For example, restrict employee working hours to an eight-hour or 10-hour window, or enforce a hard close at the end of the day during busy times to ensure overtime can be worked, only if necessary. Businesses can even prevent emails from being received out-of-hours – computer servers can be configured to help regulate this.
Help employees save money
In our Wellness Report 2022, a whopping 62 percent of employees say they are stressed about money, so helping them to deal with their financial pressures and save money in their lives can help employers stand out against their competitors that are not as forthcoming.
Employment Hero’s Employee Engagement Software, for example, can provide access to an online marketplace with hundreds of products available at reduced prices, financial tools, and expert advice that employees can draw on.
Through the software, employees can do such things as meet unexpected expenses through InstaPay, which enables employees to access a portion of their earned wages without having to wait for the next pay run.
Promote these initiatives in the job advertisement to ensure employees are informed right from the start.
Alex Hattingh (pictured above) is ‘Chief People Officer’ at people-management platform, Employment Hero.