Solving training and recruitment challenges for small business

Wednesday 4 May, 2016

Recruitment and training is a significant cost imposition for small business.

Michael Murphy, (pictured) from Industry Graduates, says the sheer cost alone often derails many training plans before they start and leads small business owners and line managers to handle their own recruitment rather than pay high agency fees or employ a dedicated resource.

Michael Murphy

Unfortunately, unless you are in a large company or government, the notion of a recruitment and training budget is fanciful and unrealistic.

As a previous HR Director of a large global business in the retail sector, I have seen first-hand the impact on results that come from poor recruitment outcomes, high staff turnover and lack of effective training and development.

However, in a large organisation we were able to spend millions of dollars and employ hundreds of staff to directly service the recruitment and training needs of the business.

No matter what industry you operate in or how many employees you have, there are ways even the smallest employer can still get effective recruitment and training services, without punishing the bottom line.

Here are my Top 5 strategies:

1. Vocational Training

In industries such as hospitality, tourism and retail the most common educational pathway for new entrants to the workforce is vocational training. Having a central strategy around vocational training will allow business owners to access government and industry funded training and subsidies for current and future employees. The cost benefits can be in the form of:

•             Payroll tax exemptions (4.75 per cent) for employers with a payroll over $1.1M per year.

•             Apprenticeship and traineeship funding under the user choice program for new employees into the industry.

•             Subsidised training and incentives for existing employees – Cert III Guarantee and higher skills that can fund professional development and training for current staff.

•             Recruit direct out of a trainee program or run your own trainee school to eradicate recruitment costs.

2. Job Services Agencies (JSAs)

•             JSAs can provide recruits to your business at no cost and in many cases pay some or all of their wages for a period.

•             Subsidies of up to $10,000 are available depending on the recruit.

•             There are many reasonable quality candidates in JSA databases, even though the perception is the quality is low.

3. Self-managed online recruitment and user driven apps

•             Don’t spend thousands of dollars on SEEK ads or agencies.

•             Apps like Skilld and candidate management tools such as SCOUT are good value for small business and have reasonable candidate databases.

•             Get your business brand out on social media. It does not cost a lot to have FB, LinkedIn and Twitter profiles set up to attract potential candidates.

4. Association Memberships – CCIQ

Leveraging services from memberships such as CCIQ can save thousands of dollars in the form of:

•             HR/ER support line.

•             Networking with other businesses and industries to seek new employees.

•             Shared training, mentorship and networking opportunities for professional development.

5. Retain your existing employees

It is an obvious statement that retention of employees is the #1 strategy to cut recruitment and training costs. The reality is people will leave your business, however a few simple things can minimise this risk.

In my experience the top reasons people leave any business are:

•             There is a disconnection between the employee’s personal values and those of your business. Equally, they are not communicated to about the businesses values, goals and aspirations for the future.

•             They continually get home after their children have eaten dinner and work 12-hours a day, 5 days a week irrespective of what they are paid.

•             Their immediate leader doesn’t understand them as a person and makes it obvious they don't care.

•             They have no coach or mentors at the workplace.

•             They see no future for their career, personal growth and/or development.

It doesn’t cost a lot to ensure these issues are not part of your business culture and often the most common sense and inexpensive strategies are the ones that make the biggest difference to employee engagement and retention.


Webinary, May 16: Hospitality Futures Report – current state of play, with Industry Graduates

The hospitality industry is made up of a unique blend of businesses, including restaurants, pubs, clubs, bars, cafes, and accommodation providers.

As Queensland is home to the world’s most enviable tourist attractions, our hospitality businesses have both contributed to and enhanced our natural attractions.

And apart from the tourism sector, hospitality businesses play an equally important role by adding culture and attractiveness to communities right across Queensland.

Join CCIQ’s Kate Whittle and Industry Graduates' Michael Murphy as they discuss the current state of play for Queensland’s hospitality industry.

This webinar will discuss:

• The importance of the hospitality industry to Queensland

• Current industry outlook

• Strengths and weaknesses of the industry and our business operating environment

• Issues Queensland hospitality businesses identified as crucial to their future

Register here


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