Staff Recruitment and Retention | Kerry Consulting

    What actions can an employer take to make itself more competitive in the recruitment marketplace?

    The first point to remember is that every single organisation can improve its effectiveness in this area and often without spending a single dollar.

    Questions to ask oneself prior to commencing a recruitment exercise includes:

    Can the role be filled internally?

    Do you have a grasp of market salaries and how they compare to prevailing internal rates?

    Do you know what you are really looking for both in terms of

    • Must haves?
    • Nice to haves?

    Have you established a clear written position description?

    Have you decided on how you will find candidates? eg.

    • Word of mouth/referral
    • Own advertisement
    • Use of search/selection firms

    Do you understand your organisation’s “Unique Selling Points” as an employer? These could be virtually anything from:

    • High profile global bank
    • Leading MNC
    • Warm friendly family business
    • High growth cutting edge industry
    • Stable recession proof industry
    • Location

    Actually every organisation has USPs as an employer. It is essential that they be established from the outset and clearly communicated to everyone involved in the interview process.

    Other points to bear in mind:

    • Try to think long term when hiring
    • Try to hire the “best” (the highest caliber person who will still fit into your team and be retainable). Whether you are hiring a CFO or a graduate, there is often an enormous gap in output between “average” and “excellent”. Better to pay a 10% higher salary for 50% higher productivity.

    Thoughtful staffing can make an enormous difference to the organisation’s competitiveness, and it is in your hands as the hiring manager.


    These topics are very closely related. The basic point here is that you should seek to develop your staff in order to enhance both their productivity and your capacity to retain their services.

    There is little point in trying to convince staff not to accept a better offer from another organisation if you have not sought to meet their needs (developmental and otherwise) during the course of their employment. Loyalty is built over time by actions and words.

    One possible action plan:

    • Implement a meaningful performance appraisal system
    • Set and clearly communicate individual goals
    • Link rewards to performance
    • Use your performance appraisal system to separate your staff into
    • High performers > Must retain
    • Good performers > Prefer to retain
    • Average performers > Neutral
    • Below average performers > Develop or failing that manage out

    It is also worth remembering that team building exercises can be both inexpensive and powerful. As long as an exercise is challenging, it can probably be utilized to good effect. Listen to your team!

    In summary, if you:

    • Seek to understand your team members as individuals
    • Seek to meet their development goals
    • Promote honest meaningful communication
    • Work to maintain and enhance the organisations esprit de corps

    …while ensuring that everybody’s “eye is on the ball” (individual effort is in line with the organisation’s goals) you will probably continue to develop more productive people, improve team performance and have solid retention rates.