During peak season, it’s easy to get wrapped up in the (potential) chaos. Do we have enough Engineers to complete the maintenance requests? Have we planned enough holiday cover? In this blog, we’ll share our top 3 tips to ensure you’re ahead of the curve and hiring the best staff for your site during peak.
COVID-19 certainly brought new challenges to the jobs market, it’s changed what workers are looking for in a job and that change seems to be here to stay. The days of posting a job and having applicants galore are long gone. The pandemic gave people time to look at what they really want from their employer, in our previous blog, Skills Shortage: What Are Candidates Really Looking For? we shared the results from our candidate survey that went to over 40,000 people and the results are interesting, if you haven’t already read the blog take a look today.
And the latest Labour Force Survey (LFS) estimates that over the previous quarter, there was an increase in the employment rate, while unemployment and economic inactivity rates decreased.
The UK employment rate increased to 75.9%
The number of full-time employees increased during the latest three-month period to a record high.
The most timely estimate of payrolled employees for June 2022 shows a monthly increase, up 31,000 on the revised May 2022 figures, to a record 29.6 million.
The unemployment rate for March to May 2022 decreased by 0.1 percentage points in the quarter to 3.8%.
The number of job vacancies from April to June 2022 rose to 1,294,000
The data is showing what businesses are feeling right now – everyone is busier without enough staff to get everything done. We all know that getting a head start in terms of hiring for peak season is a good business move, but with labour shortage still being a real issue what can you do to stay ahead of the curve?
Have a Plan in Place
Do you have a hiring strategy in place? Being prepared for the peak hiring spike can ensure that your candidates get the right first impression of your business. Establishing best hiring practices for your business is a great place to start and will make the process far less stressful.
Remember, it’s a candidate market. If you want to hire the best, you’re going to have to treat them with respect, flexibility and sensible job offers.
Focus on why working for your company is great. The support, flexibility, improved technology, training budget etc. Whatever it is you are doing well, shout about it! Can you offer different shift times? A selection of our clients has already done this, and they’ve seen great results. By changing their previous hours to suit school hours as well as part-time they’ve attracted more staff and retained them. Building an online community is a great way to attract staff. Pay rates will always be an attraction, but it doesn’t always compensate for being happy in your job.
Spend some money on your recruitment. Whether that is with agencies like us, advertising, specialist job boards, sponsored Facebook adverts or an internal refer a friend scheme etc. A free advert on Indeed is not going to get you the staff you need.
Do You Have a Solid On-Boarding Process?
Take a look at your current process. This is more than just when someone walks through the door, what experience do they have leading up to that? From application to signing a contract each step of your process is an opportunity to show what kind of business you are. Delays in response, information, interview dates etc. don’t give a good impression of what it’s like to work for your business.
A big part of well-being from a jobseeker’s perspective is a feeling of being wanted, unfortunately, some companies are failing to address it.
During the pandemic, some employers needed support and hired quickly, as a result, poor habits started to creep in. For example, delays getting back to candidates with interview feedback and with offer letters or contracts. These might seem like small things, but they feed into the sentiment of feeling wanted.
If you’re not making a good impression in the recruitment and onboarding process, the reality is that people will leave and go to your competitors who are doing it better.
Many candidates are getting two or three offers at the same time, so emotion comes into not only the recruitment process but the pre-start phase and first days in the job.
Make the Most of a Recruitment Specialist
Work with an agency. Make sure they are promoting your business (not just the job). At Thorn Baker Construction we focus more on what staff are looking for now. Working with your recruiter will ensure you get the best outcome, it’s what we do all day, make the most of our knowledge and connections.
Enlisting the help of a staffing firm can aid in sourcing top candidates and developing a strong talent pipeline. Staffing firms can source candidates from a vast talent pool. Leave the candidate sourcing to the experts so you can focus on onboarding.
Competing with other businesses. This is something that’s not always thought about, but if you’re already working with an agency communicate with them what your own plans are. You will undoubtedly end up in competition with each other on jobs – and in the end, you’ll end up spending more money than you need to.
Update: Survey Results
Firstly, we'd like to say thank you to everyone that took part in our survey, it was sent to over 45,000 people we're delighted to share the results with you.
We've added some key findings to our video below, overview includes:
70% of businesses surveyed said that they do plan ahead for their hiring peaks
And they rated the effectiveness of their plan to deal with potential issues as 7.5/10
100% have an onboarding process in place. And give it a rating of 4.5/5
Over 70% said that they're finding it more difficult to hire this year
And that's why over 90% said that their plan includes working with a recruitment agency.
When asked If you could add one thing to your current onboarding process what would it be? The top 3 answers were:
More time to plan the training
Bigger team to deliver the training
Minimise the paperwork involved.
From a worker's perspective, we got some really interesting feedback, including:
They're Looking for Feedback
A large portion of responses stated that they don't always get a response at all when they apply for a new job.
They'd like feedback as to why they weren't suitable for a role.
For responses to be personal, where possible to be a call not just an automated response
Solution: Take the time to call applicants and discuss the role as much as possible, if you're dealing with a high volume (lucky you) then ensure that the people who won't be successful receive an email. They may not be right for you today, but that doesn't mean they won't in future, a strong and professional process can ensure that applicants would come back to you.
A Speedier Process
A shorter time between application and feedback (when they receive it)
Maybe it's time to review your application paperwork. It's easy to have duplicated questions if you have extensive paperwork. Take some time to look through and see where you could trim down the process.
Solution: Research from Indeed states that 66% of candidates could be applying from their mobile phones - does your application work on mobile? Make it clear on your job advert what your current recruitment process is, how long does it usually take for someone to hear back from you? How long does it normally take for them to start their new job?
At Thorn Baker EFM we’re absolutely committed to improving the recruitment process and helping businesses during this peak season and labour shortage.
We work with businesses that struggle to hire Air-Conditioning Engineers, Cleaners and Gas Engineers every day. Contact the team today to find out how they’re already helping your competitors and how they could support your hiring needs. Or complete our enquiry form here and we'll contact you.