There are thousands more job vacancies than candidates to fill them, so if you’re recruiting, you have your work cut out for you. How do you create an environment that’s attractive to candidates, and that makes them stay? 

    Sorry to be frank, but your team and the operating structure you have in place will most likely have been designed by accident, put together to serve the needs of the business at the time (without any foresight to support its growth and development) rather than the business (and, of course, the regulator) of the future.

    While many firms retain a firm focus on the regulatory needs of their business, many fail to see that the sustainability and scalability of their business should be a firm focus, too! 

    So, what can you do to reset your business and get cracking on a journey that supports your best people to achieve their absolute best personal and professional growth?

    1) Make sure they understand the job before they accept it

    We all know what it’s like when faced with new opportunities. We tend to gather the high-level facts but often miss the small details – and it’s the details that make all the difference.

    Make sure you provide answers to questions like the ones below – and be sure to give the answers even if the questions aren’t asked!

    •     Who will I be working with and what are their skills and abilities?
    •     How long have team members been here and what are their positions?
    •     What have been the biggest achievements of the team?
    •     In what areas do you feel the team as a whole could add more value?
    •     How are the team recognised and rewarded for their group – and individual – contributions?

    2) Be clear on the organisational structure of your business.

    Do you have a structure where there’s one individual ‘at the top’, or is there opportunity for growth in team members’ roles which could take them all the way to achieving their full potential?

    No one really wants to leave a company they love, but we know people do if they feel stuck or like they are going nowhere.

    Again, make sure they are clear on these questions:

    •     How has the team has been designed and built?
    •     What would be the next step in team members’ growth, beyond professional learning and further qualifications?
    •     How long have other team members been in their roles? What are their next growth steps?
    •     Do you foresee any changes being needed to the organisational and operating structure of the team?
    •     How future-proof is the team and the business as a whole?
    •     Who is responsible for team development and growth? What skills and experience does this individual have to fulfil their role, and do they have a clear view of what to do next?

    3) Make sure they, and everyone else in the team, understand what’s behind the job title.

    Many businesses are way too trigger-happy when it comes to dishing out job titles. Often titles are confusing, and often there is very little substance behind them.

    Make sure you’re clear on the following questions:

    •     What do you mean by job titles that include ‘Manager’, ‘Senior’, ‘Support’, ‘Coordinator’, etc.?
    •     How did the particular role profile you are looking to fill become what it is today? Who designed it?
    •     Was this role profile created in isolation or as part of a wider project?
    •     Who performed the role before it became vacant? Why did they not work out?
    •     What is the biggest contribution that you are looking for from this role?
    •     What is the biggest risk area for this role?

    4) Train the techniques

    I love this quote from Maya Angelou:  

    “When you know better, you do better.”

    Equipped with the job offer, your new hire will be raring to go, ready to take on the challenge. But what’s the plan? Ensuring you have a tailored training and development plan for them is the only way you can transform their journey from one of just surviving, to one of thriving. 

    Make sure that whatever plan you put together for them includes the following: 

    •     A firm foundation of academic and technical knowledge/learning.
    •     Input from third parties so there is a place for them safely to apply their knowledge and demonstrate their understanding.
    •     In-house and on-the-job training to showcase their skills, abilities and experience.
    •     Time allocated to enhance their understanding of the essential attributes of the role(s) they fill and to align all areas of their development.
    •     Bespoke and focused support to create a framework for their personal principles and behaviours.  

    5) Make sure they understand ‘themselves’ as much as they understand anyone else.

    Now this is where the magic really starts to happen – I don’t want them to get too carried away with the prospects of a shiny new role or promotion. We all need to grab a mirror at times and take a good look into it. Our own, individual success is all down to us. It’s decided by the perspectives we hold, the choices we make and the passion we have for our roles and the work we do.

    So, everyone, in every role in every business, should be asking:

    •     Do I get a good feeling here?
    •     Do I think this is a role that could fuel my passion and hold my attention for a long time?
    •     Do the company and the other team members fit with my own values and ethics?
    •     Do the people I work with inspire me and give me encouragement and support when I need it?
    •     Am I being asked to do too much, too soon?
    •     Is this placement/promotion really just about a quick fix for the business – or do they really value my contribution to it?
    •     Does this role fit with my lifelong career and work goals? Does it effectively support my work/life balance?  

    In closing, we spend most of our lives at work – yet generally we give what could be a life-changing decision very little airtime. So, as an employer, slow down the process for the benefit of all parties, don’t hire when your back is against the wall, decide slowly, involve others and – most importantly – make sure that your business is in tip-top shape, not only to talk a good game, but to put your money where your mouth is and follow through on all promises you make.

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