With Christmas around the corner, Lindsey Howsam, Operations Director at Staysure, reveals how to overcome the inevitable challenges of an extensive recruitment operation.
What are the people challenges that arise during an expansion or mass, extensive recruitment operation? How can these be overcome?
One of the key challenges we face is attracting good quality candidates. We’re in an extremely competitive marketplace with an ever-reducing talent pool as unemployment rates remain low.
We employ several strategies to try and attract the best candidates - we’ve been awarded ‘One to Watch’ in The Sunday Times 100 Best Companies, which helps us to demonstrate our commitment to ensuring development opportunities and building solid career paths. We’ve also been listed as one of the ‘1,000 Companies to Inspire Britain’ by the London Stock Exchange, as well as winning numerous insurance industry awards, which helps to showcase our company as being experts in what we do. We also constantly review the benefits we offer, which helps us to maintain a positive company culture and working environment for our staff.
We’re also committed to building relationships and networks with local organisations, schools, and universities, which includes offering apprenticeship positions to help school leavers gain real experience.
Importantly, we also work hard to build and maintain a positive social media presence – this is often the first thing that potential candidates will engage with, so this is a crucial ‘shop window’ for attracting talent.
How do you keep on top of the benefits needs of your staff?
Benefits are a hugely important part of both attracting the right candidate – but also keeping them happy once they’re here. As we live in changing times, there is a strong need to continuously review our benefits so they are fit for purpose.
We have an ongoing review process to ensure our benefits are meeting the individual needs of our workforce. We regularly carry out benefits surveys and review the local marketplace to ensure we’re a step ahead of our competitors, and build relationships with benefits providers.
We offer private healthcare with use of Virgin gyms, which is extremely popular with our staff, as well as free European travel insurance as part of our package – which as an insurance provider allows us to ‘give back’ to our staff. Many people choose to work for us as they love to travel – so this is an important benefit for us to maintain.
What do you think is the future of HR and benefits?
The future of HR will need to focus on talent and skills, improving staff engagement and offering appropriate and fair opportunities for all. This means understanding what is important to the workforce as staff priorities shift with our changing demographics. This will create a greater need to be creative in employer/employee relations.
HR professionals will need to address many changes in our population demographics, from childcare to eldercare needs, and, importantly, the rapid pace of change in technology, which will continue to change the way we work. We will increasingly need to adapt to offer flexible ways of working and recognise the importance of work-life balance to attract and retain the best talent.