A little personal insight here, my toes are so sore from spending days kicking rocks over looking for little diamonds. That’s how it feels some days in the current recruitment environment with limited talent and lots of people saying, ‘I want one of these,’ or, ‘Get me that…The candidate must have this.’ I shudder and think to myself, if there were plenty of those types of candidates out there, either I would be a millionaire (which clearly I am not) or the client would not be talking to me at all. So, I just smile and say, ‘No problem. Leave it with me!’ I am sure that many of you also feel the same way when you start your own recruitment process – your toes aching at the end of a hard, rock kicking day. So, I thought together we could explore how we might improve your odds of finding that elusive little diamond; an engaged, self-motivated, and soon to be a loyal member of your staff. For those of you who have been around for a while, you might remember me writing an article in the September 2016 magazine titled, ‘Talented Staff … But From Where?’ Here we are, almost five years later, in a worse staffing environment than then. So, here are some tips and tricks we encourage our clients to use to get candidates motivated.

Let’s start by talking about employment prerequisites, more commonly known as ‘perks’, and defining the difference between benefits and perks. In an article by Robert Half, benefits are generally described as a form of non-cash compensation that covers basic needs. If not offered by the employer, employees would likely have to fund them on their own. Examples include life insurance, health insurance, or additional paid time off, which are pretty attractive to some employees and in particular, new hires. On the other hand, perks are nice-tohave additions to an employees salary and benefits package. In the article, Robert Half defines perks as aboveand-beyond offerings that may sway an employee to value one employer over another. Think of them as icing on the cake. They might include flexible working hours, working from remote locations, such as home, which has clearly been proven by COVID to be a success I might add, or it could be as simple as a special car park at the office or an employee discount on goods or services.

In an article by Seek, an independent researcher completed a study of 4,800 Australian employees with the following, quite interesting, results. The first thing they noted was, ‘…it is not just about salary anymore!’

  • 70 per cent of respondents said they would be happier at work with more perks.
  • 63 per cent said that more perks will make them feel prouder of where they work and more loyal.
  • The top two perks were:
    • Flexibility of working hours (59 per cent).
    • Working remotely, at home being first choice (56 per cent). The other factor that is worth mentioning, but did not rate as high as the two perks above, was simply a worklife balance. Some further statistics that came from the study include:
  • 1 in 4 (25 per cent) of Australians would consider a lower salary if it meant more perks.
  • 1 in 4 (25 per cent) of Australians would consider a lower salary if it meant more perks.
  • 1 in 4 (25 per cent) of Australians would consider a lower salary if it meant more perks.

Any wonder that we have a battle getting candidates into the right roles when the company perks are not forthcoming. We encourage our clients to add and promote perks at every stage of the recruitment process and I recommend that you do too.

Now, I can hear you saying, ‘This is all great stuff David, but we cannot even get candidates to talk to us, let alone promote the perks we might want to offer.’ And I agree. It is a very difficult time at the moment, particularly with candidates continuing to be nervous and somewhat overwhelmed by

the current environment. In fact, in another research report by Seek, 34 per cent of candidates claimed that they were planning to look for another employment opportunity but have decided not to because of COVID and the continuing uncertainty that this is having on us all.

Many candidates feel more secure in their current role and are very hesitant to change. Some key things to remember as you go through the recruitment process are:

  • Make the candidate feel as comfortable as possible and spend time explaining your company and why current employees work there. Encourage them to talk with other employees and also outline the career opportunities beyond just the role you are recruiting for.
  • Be as transparent as you possibly can. Talk the candidate through the business plans, goals and your business growth aspirations and how they can become part of that journey. Clearly there are no guarantees, but it is important to get them excited about your plans and how they can join in.
  • Ensure you have a recruitment plan and process and share this with the candidate. Tell them how the recruitment process will move forward and make them aware of any delays. The process must be as smooth as possible and do not let candidates wait for answers. They won’t wait for you, as there are so many other opportunities that they can choose from.
  • Treat them like you would a customer. They are just as important, or even more important, than your customers, so please treat them with honesty, respect and a genuine approach. Take note that when they do become that little diamond, an engaged, self-motivated employee, they will reward you in sparkles you never imagined.

And remember, diamonds don’t start out as diamonds. They need a little pressure, nurturing, cutting, and polishing, as do we all at times. Happy recruiting and as always, call if you need some support or just want a chat.