Recruiters share with ISES members the best ways to find and keep the best talent.
Report and photos by Nate Cochran
Even in a tight job market where talented staff are hard to find, a simple “thank you” may be enough on a daily basis to keep employees motivated and productive, delegates to ISES’ second event for the year heard earlier this week.
Speaking at the freshly minted Sculpture Garden atop Sydney’s revitalized Museum of Contemporary Art, Arielle Nakache-Moulay said the personal touch went a long way to keeping staff engaged and recommending your business as a place of work to their social networks.
“A lot of the work that I do in terms of business’ recruitment is in creating what we call ‘values-aligned employees’,” said Nakache-Moulay, account director for rewards website Red Balloon.
“If your business has such a great employee brand it compels your people to say that ‘you should come to work [here]; they’re so fantastic to me’. When I was inducted I got a thank you from the CEO because they recognized that passing probation was a real big deal for me.”
Workers who were “actively disengaged” relished tarnishing their employers’ brand and cruelled productivity, she said.
“In terms of what keeps someone engaged giving them acknowledgement for the things they do on a day-to-day level is really important and enabling them to go home feeling like a winner, that they’ve really achieved something and contributed something to your common purpose,” she said.
“A lot of the work I do is around what makes a disengaged employee or why employees will leave your business or dis[respect] your business.
“There’s about 17 per cent of the Australian workforce actively disengaged. They’re not just sleepwalking through their day, you’re actually paying them to dis you on Facebook and it’s very hard to get rid of these people.”
For employers who sought to recruit from outside the business, their options usually fell to placing an ad or hiring a recruitment consultant.
Those who went it alone typically used sites such as Seek, but Jobla is a vertical industry ad site backed by trade press that hoped to capture some of that business, said its general manager of recruitment Paul Humberstone.
“The larger job boards have a high volume of lower-quality candidates,” Humberstone said. “So, with Jobla, we’re aimed at the passive market and with Intermedia Group you will reach not as many jobseekers but a higher-quality market.”
Jobla presented its ads to search engines in such a way that the role, salary and pithy points were rapidly conveyed to the candidate who didn’t yet know they were in the market for a new job, he said.
And if you find yourself wading through job applications, it’s best to triage candidates into piles for those you will decline, follow up, or call straight away, said Jonathan Lamm, director of search and selection at Benchmarque, a new hospitality and event recruitment service.
He advised setting up an inbox rule to shunt job applications into a folder to tackle at a sitting and not interrupt the flow of the work day.
“How you engage with [candidates] is important because they may be useful for future or alternative opportunities within the company,” Lamm said.
He advised screening candidates on the phone with questions such as: Are they available on the start date? Can they make it to the place of work? And what interests them about the company and role?
Treating candidates who come for an interview like gold was key, he said. Make sure they are refreshed with water, comfortable and that the interviewer – even if it is the company director – is on time.
“At the interview stage a lot of companies can fall down,” he said. “Don’t fall into thinking candidates are only interviewing with your company; first impressions are vitally important for both parties.”
Speakers suggested candidates be asked questions in the interview such as how he or she handled stress in a previous role in addition to the standard strengths and weaknesses line of enquiry.
“I’ve heard our HR managers ask applicants to tell a joke, which can be really hard when you’re in an interview group [which] we have so we can pick out diamonds in the rough,” Nakache-Moulay said.
Breakfast for the event was provided by MCA’s caterer, Fresh Catering, on top of the gallery that has had a $56 million facelift with its sweeping views from the Harbour Bridge to the ferry terminal in Circular Quay.
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