In a competitive labour market, it is more important than ever to develop a sound recruitment strategy, says Teresa Campbell.
Across the island of Ireland, many employers are struggling to recruit and retain the skills they need.
In RoI, the CSO’s latest Labour Force Survey (published 19 February 2019) reported an annual increase in employment of 2.3% in the year to the fourth quarter of 2018, bringing total employment to 2,281,300 while the long-term unemployment rate decreased from 2.5% to 2.1% over the year to Q4 2018.
In Northern Ireland, NISRA’s latest Labour Force Survey (19 March 2019) reports that the NI unemployment rate (3.5%) is below that of the UK (3.9%). However, in Northern Ireland nearly half of those unemployed have been out of work for a year or more, almost double the long term unemployed in the UK (46.9% vs 26.7%).
While there are signs that economic growth may be slowing, employers are likely to continue to face difficulty for some time with rising housing and rental costs, particularly in Dublin, a further challenge when seeking to fill key roles.
Factors that can help attract employees include:
• Your business’s reputation as a good employer
• Clearly defined roles and offering good career progression opportunities
• Developing a Health and Well Being strategy, demonstrating how the company values their people
• Remuneration and benefits including non-pay benefits
• Providing mentoring and feedback for your employees
• Authentic leadership and vision
• Ability to give employees a sense of belonging
• Your business’s social and community engagement.
Remember to play to your strengths. Leverage your brand and, where appropriate, consider using social media to extend your reach when recruiting. LinkedIn, in particular, can be useful when seeking to fill certain roles. If your business is located outside the main urban areas, emphasise the benefits of working and living outside the capital such as lower rents, shorter commute times, better quality of life, etc.
Finally, remember that outsourcing can be a cost-effective alternative to recruiting for back office roles in areas like accounts, payroll, IT support and HR. Smaller businesses in particular often find the specialist expertise that outsourcing provides attractive.
If you would like more information on any of the matters discussed in this short article, or would like details of how PKF-FPM can help, please get in touch.
Teresa Campbell l Director