Finding the one can be challenging, but less so if you fine-tune your mindset. When clients ask our help in finding them a new member of staff, the brief goes something like this: “We need someone fabulous who is already trained in all the treatments our clinic provides. Someone who is very experienced and will instil confidence in our clients. Ideally, previous experience working in upmarket, luxury environments and therefore someone who is engaging, knowledgeable and knows the importance of the client journey. A therapist who will be a great brand ambassador for the company and contribute to the business’s profitability.
Someone who can start straight away and would be flexible on working hours.”
So why is it so hard to find this person?
Could it be that we are expecting to find all the qualities we desire wrapped up in one person? Once we find this person, there needs to be alignment between their salary expectations and the salary on offer. Working hours need to be sustainable over a long period, especially if it includes weekends and evenings. It really needs to be a match from both sides. Both parties need to feel lucky.
Relationships are about compromise, and finding the right staff member will involve compromise too. Decide what the non-negotiables are and what you could compromise on. Perhaps the therapist is not trained in all the treatments the clinic provides, or they can only commit to working three or four days a week. Could you compromise on these for someone who is a great fit for your business?
A positive side effect of Covid-19 was that we had to adapt. We had to do things a bit different. We realised the importance of relationships and what really mattered.
Bear these in mind when you recruit your next staff member. Focus on the important stuff like attitude, work ethic, integrity and personality.
First and foremost, ask yourself if the prospective staff member would be a good cultural fit for the business and then go from there. I was recently recruiting for my own company, and it was down to a few candidates. One was very sales orientated combined with a relentless streak. You might think great attributes for a recruitment consultancy, but when I broke it down, we are not a very salesy bunch. We are more about building long term relationships and solving problems where we value trust, integrity and mutual respect. Think about your company’s values and find an employee who will be a natural fit and match.
Relationships are about compromise, and finding the right staff member will involve compromising too
HOW DO YOU GO ABOUT FINDING THE ONE?
When advertising the role, focus on why your company would be a great place to work. Job ads tend to be very one-sided, and often it’s all about the candidate and what skills they should have. Rather highlight how future employees can benefit from being part of your team.
Bear the “WIFM” acronym in mind.
“What’s in it for me” is what candidates ask themselves when they are reading a job ad.
Put yourself in the employee’s shoes and what benefits could be of value to someone apart from their paycheque. Perhaps ongoing learning opportunities to develop their skill set or flexible working hours to accommodate children, looking after parents or support other responsibilities.
We have clients who attract the best talent as they have created a culture where people want to work. Company perks include trading in holiday days and taking sabbaticals to fulfil bucket list dreams.
Another client provides free childcare for her staff on Saturdays. Think about what perks you could offer your employees and how you can use them as a tool to attract and retain staff.
Being able to make good decisions and choose the right team members when recruiting will greatly impact the growth and success of the business. Getting it right can be challenging as we want the best possible outcome based on the information we have.
Learn to trust your gut. It can help you make difficult decisions or when you must choose between two candidates.
When doing interviews, be yourself. We all have our own unique styles. Some prefer a more formal and structured interview. I have found that when I put people at ease and make them feel welcome, I get to know them better during the interview. Try different ways and see what works best. Ultimately, the interview is about getting to know the person and establishing if they will be a good fit for the business. Be mindful of how you feel straight after the interview. Did the candidate leave you feeling energised and positive? If not, they might not be the right fit for your organisation.
I always ask candidates why they want to leave their current role when I do interviews.
Based on their answers, here are seven ways to retain staff for longer.
SEVEN WAYS TO RETAIN STAFF LONGER
Make staff feel valued and that their efforts are appreciated. Empower them and let them take ownership. Ask their option and involve them in the decision making. On a daily basis, your staff are on the front line dealing with your clients. They have an excellent sense of what your clients want or how things can be improved to provide an even better service. When employees don’t feel valued, they will look for work elsewhere where their talents are appreciated.
Don’t micromanage and let people do the roles you pay them for. The lack of freedom breeds frustration and leads to a lack of trust. Steve Jobs sums it up when he said: “It doesn’t make sense to hire smart people and tell them what to do; we hire smart people so they can tell us what to do.”
Be transparent during the hiring process. If the role is misrepresented, there will be unrealistic expectations, and staff won’t stay. Don’t make promises during the interview that you cannot commit to. Provide clarity around the package on offer so the prospective staff member can make an informed decision before accepting the job.
Share the mission and vision of the company to ensure goals and values are aligned. When values are aligned, there tends to be mutual respect, and staff stay longer.
Remember to say thank you and acknowledge when someone has gone the extra mile. People want to feel you care even though you are paying them a salary.
Staff appreciation is an integral part of motivating and retaining staff. Saying thank you increases loyalty, improves productivity and creates a positive working environment that leads to longevity in the workplace.
Great employees will eventually leave if they feel they are being taken for granted. William James said, “The deepest craving of human nature is the need to be appreciated.”
Ensure that people don’t stagnate in their roles but continue to grow and develop.
Instil in your staff a mindset of continuous learning. Nelson Mandela said, “Education is the most powerful weapon you can use to change the world.” Constant improvement is key, and you want your staff to progress and evolve. This will contribute to the business’s success and fulfilment of its people.
The lack of support can lead to overwhelm, underachievement and resignations. Focus on people’s strengths and provide support and encouragement. Assign a mentor to new starters. This will nurture them and help them thrive in their new position. The right mentor will provide accountability and assist the new staff member in integrating seamlessly within the organisation. Don’t underestimate the effect the mentee will have on the mentor. The relationship will have an impact on both parties, and the mentor will benefit from personal growth, which in turn has a positive impact on the business and their longevity within the organisation.
Think of all the jobs you’ve had since you started your working career. Which one did you enjoy the most? Chances are that the job you have fond memories of is the one where you worked with great people.
People stay longer in roles where there is teamwork, camaraderie and an element of fun. Create an environment that supports this, as team spirit is an essential ingredient for performance and success. As Andrew Carnegie said, “There is little success where there is little laughter.”
We all have different leadership styles and how we communicate with people, but when you are looking to recruit, remember this:
• Don’t miss out on great people because you are too focussed on having every box ticked
• Be that leader who looks beyond the box and recognises when someone is smart, willing to do whatever it takes to succeed in their role and has the right attitude and mindset to serve your customers
• Be that person who takes a chance on someone, especially when they remind you of your younger self -someone who was once at the start of their career and just needed one person to believe in them. One person to give them a break. One person to pay it forward.
Linda Hill is the founder of aesthetic and beauty recruitment agency, Linda Hill Recruitment. Since 2004 she has been mentoring candidates on how to progress their careers and help clinics not only find talent but retain them through bespoke courses and workshops. She has been a lecturer, international speaker and author of the Amazon bestselling book “Beauty Therapist to Entrepreneur” and Co-Author of “Fit for Purpose Leadership #5”. Connect with her at firstname.lastname@example.org, www.lindahillrecruitment.co.uk or www.linkedin.com/in/lindahillrecruitment