In the Ireland if 2018, futureproofing your talent base has become a huge challenge as the economy nears full employment and the war for talent in many sectors reaches fever pitch. The Abrivia Salary Survey found that 86% of companies in Irelands Pharmaceutical sector plan to increase their headcount in 2018, 90% in Irelands Banking and Finance sector plan to do the same along with 85% of ICT firms based in Ireland plan to take on new hires in 2018. In the Insurance Compliance and Risk and Sales sector, the story is very similar.
With competition for talent reaching fever how can SME’s futureproof their talent base in this highly competitive market?
The first part of this jigsaw is ascertaining how an SME can attract key talent in a market where opportunities abound and you find it hard to compete with many of the benefits on offers from larger organisations. Below are 3 good tips to get the ball rolling.
Tip 1: Increase Remuneration
It seems self-evident but get ahead of the curve and offer measured salary increases to people who are performing on your team. It is better to invest in your current team, rather than risk the cost of having to replace key people in your business who leave to join competitors for higher salaries. To make pay increases make sure you have benchmarked your people against competitor firms of a similar size and scale.
Tip 2: Differentiate your employee value proposition
The key here is to target what employees really value and not to differentiate for the sake of differentiation. For example, according to the results of the Abrivia Salary Survey 2018, the number one reason for leaving their last position across all sectors was the lack of career advancement opportunities. So why not have a clear career path sketched out for potential employees. This was followed by unhappiness with an organisation culture. If you have a good organisational culture with a clear vision statement, a clear set of values and which invest in people. This ensures you only hire employees which are culturally compatible and have a compelling story to why you are in business, why not put this to the fore when talking to potential employees, rather than focussing on salary alone.
Tip 3: Differentiate your job ads
If you target audience is mainly concerned with career advancement and organisational culture, then this should be to the fore in job specifications. For example, only 14% of IT candidates cited low pay as a reason for leaving their last job. Hence, you can surmise that pay will not be the ultimate deciding factor when making their next career move. So, why focus on pay alone in your job specifications.
Tip 4: Use the services of a good recruitment company
Speed wins in todays competitive marketplace, especially in regards identifying key talent. A good recruitment company will save up to 50% in regards time to hire and send 4 quality CV’s for each role within 48 hours. A SME who partners with a good recruitment company can progressively even out the playing pitch against large multinationals.
Once you have successfully recruited key staff, the second challenge is how to retain key staff to futureproof your talent pool, especially if you are in an industry where competitors are continually trying to poach your key talent.
So how can a SME retain key talent?
Below are 3 key tips that could greatly help prevent employee churn.
1: Have a clear career progression plan which is reviewed regularly.
2: Conduct Exit Interviews to discover why employees are really leaving. Knowledge is power. Weaknesses in organisation will be quickly identified and the “real culture” of the organisation will be quickly ascertained. If that real culture is somewhat toxic you will have to act immediately.
3: Offer equity to key employees. Why hold on to 100% of equity when you are losing key employees and this is having a hugely negative effect on your bottom line?
You should set aside 15-20% of the company’s equity for the key members of the team. This will give employees a vested interest in the company’s growth. You can stagger the equity offerings over many years based on specific KPI’s being achieved. This will greatly help minimise key employee churn in a SME as the employee becomes an important shareholder in the organisation.
“The war for talent is set to reach fever pitch in 2018. SME’s will have to box clever and differentiate their employee offering if they are to successfully attract and retain key talent in their organisation.”
Donal O’Brien MD Abrivia Recruitment