Companies invest a lot of time, money and effort in retaining the best people, as indeed they should. It is however equally important, and perhaps even more so, to start off on the right foot and devote similar levels of attention and resources to recruiting and settling in new team members. Such individuals may be less well known to the company, and therefore it might not be clear how valuable an investment they may be in the long term, but giving a new employee the best possible chance for success from day one is crucially important in any case. Earlier this year Acas (the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service) issued two new practical guides to recruiting and settling in staff. The organisation was prompted to do this following analysis of its own data which showed that the most common recruitment related issues they dealt with were:
- Disclosure of information (about a disability or criminal record, for example).
- Probation periods.
- Creating and communicating job adverts.
Guide 1 – Recruiting new staff This guide covers everything you need to know about recruitment, from posting an impactful job advert through to making the correct decision about which candidates to select. It contains notes on the various recruitment options available, essential documentation and advice about best practice in this area. Key information includes identifying the business needs to be met by the recruitment, offering a competitive salary within the current labour market, having the right employment terms and conditions in place, getting all the right paperwork in order, and identifying the best media to attract the strongest and most suitable candidates. Guide 2 – Starting staff (induction) The second guide is concerned with the steps to take both before and during an employee’s first year with a company. It also contains guidance specific to the recruitment of young people and recent graduates. Key information includes designing and delivering both the formal and informal elements of a genuinely engaging induction, treating all new employees consistently, check lists to make sure you communicate all the necessary information, and introducing measures like a ‘buddy’ system to make new employees feel welcome and settled as quickly as possible. The guides are free and designed to help both employers and employees by providing practical, relevant and applicable advice, including a range of tools such as templates and check lists. They are also a useful refresher for HR professionals who are keen to understand the latest legislation changes and employment practices. Regular research by the CIPD (Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development) consistently highlights the challenges businesses face when it comes to retaining high performing staff, demonstrating a clear and urgent need for such guidance. As Anne Sharp, Acas CEO, said: “If the process isn’t managed properly employers could face a costly employment tribunal. And with average costs to employers around £5000 every time they recruit a new member of staff, it can be particularly hard hitting for smaller businesses. So it’s worth investing the time and resources to help businesses grow.”