How to attract and retain great employees during a pandemic

The force behind every successful business is your employees. Even when the economy has slowed down, there is still a competitive market for good candidates and you still want your company profile to be envied. It is your employees who make a business successful. They are the ones who believe in what they do and put their heart into their work.

Even if unemployment is high, finding good workers is still tricky for employers, keeping them is even harder. Business owners and managers need to work at not only finding the best new recruits but keeping them motivated enough to stay.

Here at Benjamin Edwards we are experienced in recruiting Office Professionals, Accountancy staff, and Managers in Lincolnshire and surrounding areas. We have placed many people into new positions during these difficult times. Despite what you read in the news, there is not a paucity of jobs in our region. Sure, it has been difficult, but Lincolnshire is a region of survivors, with built-in adaptability and entrepreneurship.

That said, there are some positions that are always going to be difficult to fill. Job hunters have more time than ever to research and look at what the new company is like to work for. So why are some companies finding it so hard to attract the right person for their new job openings?

Business owners and managers need to work at not only finding the best new recruits but keeping them motivated enough to stay.

Here are my thoughts on how businesses can help themselves to attract and retain a loyal workforce.

1. How are you communicating with your workforce?
If you have furloughed staff or have people largely working from home are they being treated like mushrooms and being kept in the dark, or are you communicating with them regularly? It makes all the difference to a remote worker to know that even though they are not physically present in the office, the firm still values their contributions. Vital for when we’re beginning to emerge into new trading patterns post-pandemic. Flexibility with working patterns to accommodate life, regular zoom socials, help with tech all go a long way to nurture loyalty.

At the end of the day, it’s important to remember that your workers are human beings, with needs, emotions, and both personal and professional ups and downs.

2. Showcase your employer brand to your potential applicants
Social media is the biggest brand awareness tool out there, and it can be a great way to showcase your company’s brand image to a potential applicant. Use your social channels to not only advertise your business (80/20 rule; 80% content, 20% promotion) but showcase a positive working environment. Share images or videos of your workplace and you can even share out-of-hours staff events when we begin to emerge from lockdown.

3. Use videos, images, or infographics to bring your content alive
It’s a well-known fact that visual content performs better on social media than any other content form with video being the most popular. This provides the perfect opportunity to show the world what it’s like to work for your business and attract potential candidates for your new vacancy. I love to see short, filmed interviews with staff talking about their job and what it is like to work within the firm. You can also use your blog to provide insights into what it’s like to work at your company and showcase the people that work there.

4. Celebrate employee’s success or news and thank them on your LinkedIn and social pages
Although pay is a big part of working life, employers need to do so much more to make their staff feel happy; it’s not all about the money. People need to feel valued, even if it’s just telling them how good a job they do from time to time. It’s good for your business reputation if you are a company that allows its staff to learn and grow – making the business of recruitment even easier.

Promote these stories on your website, your company’s social pages but also share them on your personal LinkedIn professional network. People trust and value personally endorsed content more than the “company line”.

5. The Landscape for jobs requirements from candidates is forever changing.
You need to adapt your employment offerings accordingly, whether that be flex working (either in hours or home working, even when the pandemic finally comes to an end). Mental health awareness and support in work are now a fundamental part of being a great employer. To actively show and support your employers that you care about their Mental Health. One of my clients holds a regular coffee zoom chat with their employees once a week to discuss how they are feeling about the lockdown.

Inclusion is the key. Most of the candidates I interview who are looking for a new role just don’t feel valued by their current employer. Involve your employees in your strategic vision and plans. For new candidates on interview, get them to meet some of their potential peers and people in different departments to give them an overview of the company, to show them what a great company you are to work for.

Training and Development. The best way to tie in your employees is to hold regular career reviews and pay and support them through their qualifications and career progression within the company.

6. Choose a Recruitment Business partner to help promote your Company
Finally, it can be a worthy investment to bring in an experienced external recruiter to support and critique your employer brand and work with you to get your positioning right in the job marketplace. Working proactively as a recruitment business partner rather than just sending out your vacancy to job sites and dozens of recruiters, will save you time and improve your effectiveness in your talent acquisition campaigns.

Here at Benjamin Edwards, we are brand ambassadors for many businesses. We have grown to understand the culture and needs of the businesses we recruit for and are able to shout from the rooftops about how good our chosen clients are to work for!

We have recently written a helpful blog on  7 ways to attract, keep and motivate your employees during a pandemic that you might find useful.

For an informal chat contact me at claire@benjaminedwardsltd.co.uk or on 01522 412066.

For further insights and inspiration into the recruitment world visit our website which is packed full of useful information for job hunters and businesses alike.

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