How can owner managers unlock an effective recruitment and retention strategy?

12 February 2023

How can owner managers unlock an effective recruitment and retention strategy?

Our Regional People Manager, John Yeoman, discusses the key steps business owners need consider for recruitment and retention.

It’s no secret that people buy from people. So, harnessing the best talent within your industry is a natural ambition for many owner managers.

However, it’s no easy balancing act to juggle recruitment and retention. Especially amidst the current skills gaps, great resignation and economic climate.

With literature on recruitment and retention being endless, it can be hard to cut out the noise. With this in mind, we’ve outlined some of the key steps to consider when recruiting and retaining team members, ahead of the new financial year.


Looking after your own: Retention

Ensuring you retain the great people and rising stars within your business is a fundamental priority. Your current team could well be the future leaders of your business after all.

But in today’s dynamic business landscape, opportunities are endless, placing even more onus on you as a leader.


Understand why your people stay

It’s easy to focus on exit interviews - they are crucial for obtaining honest feedback on why your team member/members decided to move on. But, it’s also vital to get to know why your people stay, rather than why they are leaving.

Spot pick a number of staff who have been with you for 3-5 years and open a conversation with them. What motivates them? Why is your business the right fit for them rather than your competitors?

Not only will this give you meaningful insights, but it will also enable a two-way conversation between your people and your leadership team. This can go a long way when it comes to boosting employee engagement.

Don’t just presume you know the answer – ask the questions!


Development and progression

Development and progression doesn’t always come in the form of huge promotions or substantial salary increases. It can be a matter of feeling like you are moving forward and not stagnating.

For the most part, this comes down to your team members’ relationships with their line managers, and ensuring that these relationships are open and honest.  

Being able to identify skills gaps (not just technical, but behavioural too) for your managers and wider team will help to build strong foundations for these relationships.

Overall, if you’re able to establish a culture of mentorship, knowledge sharing and continuous learning, it will go a long way in being able to retain members of your team.



Finding the best talent: Recruitment

Reflect upon your interviewing process

Interviewing is obviously a pivotal aspect of the recruitment process. And whilst you want to get to know if the candidate is the right fit for you, they will want to know if your business is right for them too. With that in mind, you need to ensure that your interviewing process is a mutually beneficial conversation.

Ahead a recruitment drive, it’s worth reflecting upon your style of interviewing and whether it mirrors your business. Two big questions to consider here are whether you’re putting the right people in front of potential new recruits, and whether you’re putting your values at the heart of the process.


Balancing both spheres: Retention and recruitment

Job opportunities are rife, with 365,000 more vacancies across the UK in comparison to the pre-coronavirus levels.

This is means that leaders are under more pressure when it comes to keeping their team onboard when there’s plenty of options to go elsewhere, whilst also adding extra pressure to remain competitive to new recruits.


Get to know your competition

Understanding your place in the market is key – constantly benchmark yourself against others. What are others offering that you are not. And what can you introduce to make you unique?

Whether it’s an enhanced maternity and paternity policy, limiting email hours, or offering volunteering hours, offering benefits and rewards which suit your business values can help to really set you apart from your competition.


The best recruiters for your business

The best recruiters for your organisation are your own team.

If your team are a good fit for your business, it’s likely that this will mix with people of the same values; ambitions and priorities outside of work –being the perfect pool of potential candidates.

Establishing incentives such as employee referral bonuses can motivate your team to get involved with the recruitment process. This can also go a long way in saving on huge bills from recruiters, who might not understand your business or what you’re looking for.


John Yeoman

Regional People Manager