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Are You Creating Brand Advocates?

By April 9, 2019Articles, Leadership

Recruitment can be an area of frustration, particularly for small & medium business. To recruit the right people into your business takes a significant amount of time and money. Regardless of what process you use to source candidates, whether that be advertising yourself, encouraging word of mouth or using a recruiter, ultimately the leaders time is involved to assess if the candidate has the appropriate skills and experience required to do the role and then being part of the interview process, which in my opinion, as the leader, you must be part of. It is imperative at an interview that not only skill fit is assessed, but attitude, culture and values alignment is also assessed to ensure the person is the right person for your business.

Set and Forget

All too often I have seen a new team member recruited into the business and just left to do their job. They are taught the systems, shown the basics and just left alone. For any self-starter this might sound like a perfect situation, however, for the business this is incredibly dangerous. As the leader, how do you know how the new team member is performing, if they are integrating into the business, how they are feeling and if the picture you painted for their future employment at interview is meeting their expectations? If the communication isn’t there, and the relationship isn’t formed from the very start, things can turn sour relatively quickly with the new recruit leaving the business within a short time frame. This is a particular issue if you are scaling and recruiting multiple people into your business – you need to be on top of this.

The Real Costs of Not Doing This Well

It is has been reported that the real cost of recruitment is upwards of 50% of a person’s salary, regardless of the method of recruitment.

Staff turnover is a substantial cost to every business. The actual cost is estimated to be at least a person’s annual salary and with the average being 2.5 times annual salary. This is a huge impact to business and something that often isn’t quantified or considered by business leaders today.

Recent research by PWC found Australia was the worst performer of 11 developed countries when it came to staff turnover within 1 year of appointment.  A staggering 23% or to put it another way, nearly 1 in 4 new employee’s leave their job before their first 12 months is up! The cost of this turnover in Australia was estimated at $3.8 billion in lost productivity and $385 million in avoidable recruitment costs. Ouch!

You don’t want to have spent all that time and money up front when recruiting only to be stung again when they leave. This is not only damaging to your bottom line but also damaging to your brand; people talk and turnover rates are now quite public as they are published through social platforms like LinkedIn as an example.

You Need a Process

The keys to successfully integrating a new recruit into your business is to ensure you have a process established for this and that particular experts in your business have responsibility for training. This could be you being the expert in all areas if you are a startup. In a larger business, you might have someone assigned to take responsibility for induction in the areas of People and Culture or HR, IT, OH&S, the Quality Management System or any area that is relevant in your business. Then, of course, you will need someone to train them in the basics of their role, ensuring they have clarity on expectations and how they will be successful.

You might also assign a ‘buddy’ to ensure the new recruit is taking their lunch and appropriate breaks, finding their way around the building and being introduced to the team. It’s about making them feel like people want them in the business, rather than feeling like a pain in the butt when they have to ask questions.This all assists in the employee feeling that they are a valued part of the team and enabling them to be successful quicker than just leaving them to figure it out for themselves.

Connect Immediately

Starting a new role can feel like a lonely time for the new employee and first impressions count. People are coming into your business to do their very best, to feel like they belong and to contribute their expertise. Make them feel like part of the team from the get-go, build relationships immediately, enabling them to contribute and you will reap the benefits. The induction process done well can add so much value that is tangible and reflected positively on the P&L but also important are the intangible benefits. Each employee you have in your business can be a brand advocate or not – it’s your choice. Start as you mean to go on.