Retention and recruitment planning through Covid-19

Right now across Australia I am seeing huge numbers of unemployment and business doing a 180 on how they operate. I am having a lot of conversations with business owners who are unsure of what to do when it comes to retention and hiring. Covid-19 aside, recruitment is a high priority for so many business owners. Most larger companies even have a KPI in place that staff work towards to build the team and the business through recruitment. It’s important to not let recruitment and business growth through staff become one of the first things to sit idle. Think about the long game and what steps you could put into place now to keep your recruitment plans still in motion.

Review your options
There are options for employers and employees right now, as the government is offering various financial packages to retain staff. This includes the Job Keeper payment, wage subsidies for apprentices, the waiver of payroll tax, access to superannuation etc. Speak to your accountant and review your options. Acting swiftly is critical as these financial lifelines are there to help you. Having them in place sooner could mean a better outcome for your business as it weathers this storm. 

There are also options Recruit & Consult offer around delayed payment of recruitment fees, this allows you to hire great talent with no compromise whilst also managing cash flow.

Retain where you can
Retain staff where you can. If that retention means you need to review the hours people work, the tasks they do, wage cuts, working from home etc then review those options with the likes of Fair Work, REEF or your Lawyer. The cost to re-hire, train and put the band back together post Covid-19 will be financial and time consuming. It’s important to make short term changes for long term business.

Who is in the job market right now
There are 3 different talent surges I am seeing right now. I expect these to only gain more momentum as time goes on. These include; Employees that are been stood down or made redundant from roles within the real estate industry. Secondly those who have recently completed their Certificate of Registration or Licensing course and want to get started in real estate. Thirdly those that are applying for anything and everything in the aim to find a job now, that likely have minimal aspiration of a long-term career in real estate. 

When it comes to hiring keep these talent surges in mind. There could be some excellent cross over of skills from other industries, or fresh eyes from newly certified employees that will embrace the changes you have made to your business throughout Covid-19 as they wont know any other way.

When to hire
With some quality talent coming into the market, opening up dialogue and conversations is an option now. Be mindful of wasting time or giving false hope, speak with job seekers that meet the criteria of what you are looking for in relation to skill and experience. Reassess conversations in 2 – 3 week blocks. Keep the lines of communication open so that when the market turns you have already started the process and can move swiftly. 

This will allow you to focus on dollar producing activities and not re-building a team once we turn the corner. Again focus on your long term business goals, recruitment is on the agenda for all business owners so don’t let it sit idle.

Digital interviews
The exact same way many agents are communicating with buyers and vendors is the way you can communicate with potential employees. An initial phone interview, then video interview is acceptable and widely practiced. Show potential employees how you are leading through Covid-19 and how you embrace technology. Leadership, forward thinking and planning ahead are favorable traits of a business owner in this market.

Digital onboarding and training
If you do need to hire now, implement a digital onboarding and training plan. The software and technology you use will have online webinars and user training. Set a structured training timeline with links to the software and have your new employee participate in these webinars. There are also various online training sessions that aren’t software related. Consider adding the Real Estate Academy’s online courses to your plan. 

I would also suggest the new employee calls every person in the team to have a 30-minute conversation with them. This call provides an opportunity to fit the pieces of the business puzzle together and in turn make sense of the who, what, where and why of your business. 
At the end of each day have your new employee summarise in brief point form what they learnt that day and what they want further training on. This will become an excellent agenda for future catch ups and a guide for additional training and resources needed.

Retention and recruitment planning through Covid-19--