The Basics of Recruitment: Attract, Develop, Retain

The success of any hospitality or retail business is based on how good they are at attracting great people. In the first article of our '52 ways to improve your bottom line' series, we focus on recruitment.
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Small changes that make a big difference

Many a mickle makes a muckle: very wise words from our friends in Scotland. It means simply that if you do a lot of the little things right, you will see big results. That’s true in any business but nowhere more so than in the hospitality and retail sectors, where the volume of transactions is high, whereas competition means that margins tend to be low.

Bizimply was created by professionals in the retail & hospitality industries. We built the Bizimply platform because it addressed a major efficiency issue in our line of business: working hours.

We now have oodles of experience working with hundreds of companies in hospitality, catering and retail.

So, we thought we’d pass on some of the things we have learned over the years in a series of articles. Some of these points will already be familiar. We are not telling you how to run your business… But one thing we have learned above all else is that it never hurts to go back to basics and look for ways to become (even) more efficient.

We will start with talent management issues.

Part 1: Recruitment

And we are starting here because it pays to remember that your business success – anyone’s business success – is based on how good you are at attracting a group of great people with different skills and experiences to produce a quality product.

And then once you have attracted them you need to develop them. Finally, you need (and this can be most difficult of all) to retain them.

ADR: Attract, Develop, Retain.

Recruitment alone can be very demanding on your time, especially as today it is a “seller’s market” for skilled and experienced labour.

So your first challenge is to attract suitable candidates who are prepared to work for the wages that you are able to pay (and always bear in mind, the cost of employing someone is a lot higher to you than their basic wage or salary).

Your ability to attract new talent depends to a large extent on how you treat your existing staff. In the social media age, you can build your reputation as an employer of choice over time, but your hard-earned reputation can be severely dented or even destroyed overnight by one or two disgruntled current or ex-employees.

Think of Attract, Develop, Retain not as a linear progress, but rather as a virtuous circle. Most of your recruits will be young. If you develop them (i.e. train them and reward them with responsibility when they are ready for it) and create a feel-good factor that enables you to retain them (because they feel appreciated) your business will become a magnet for new talent, even in a difficult market.

Choosing the ‘Right Fit’

So, once you have a shortlist of candidates, how do you choose which one to hire?

Obviously, you must think about the tasks that the new employee must accomplish. But it is not simply a matter of finding someone with the right skills and experience or even (assuming they are young and inexperienced) a “can-do” attitude. The person also has to be the “right fit” for your business. That means, they have to be a great representative when facing customers and a great team member.

This is one of the reasons why it pays to spend some time up front thinking about your company’s mission, vision and values. Your company has a personality, and your workforce need to project that personality. Nisha from Mowgli is particularly passionate when she speaks about Mowgli as “she”.

Resist the temptation to panic-hire. Yes, it takes time to find the right person. But if you get the wrong person you could end up spending a lot more time undoing the damage, and you will still need to spend time finding the right person to replace them!

Promote from within

For more senior positions, such as store managers: Whenever possible, promote from within. One of the biggest causes of low staff morale is when people feel they have been “passed over”.

If you decide that this is not an option, have a frank discussion with the employees that are affected. And plan their further development.

For example, you could send an enthusiastic and effective staff member on a suitable managerial course with the promise that they will be first in line when a similar opportunity comes up in the future. (If you don’t, you could be making recruitment a lot easier for a competitor!)

At Bizimply we care about you having the right people, in the right place at the right time with the right attitude.

We’ll take a deeper dive into interviewing the right candidates in the next article.

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