The year’s end is fast approaching, but there are still several HR-related things you need to do before everyone clocks off for the summer break. To help, we’ve created this checklist of the six things you should do to get your HR function right before 2023 arrives.

1. Take stock

With limited time left between now and the end of the year, you should map out exactly what needs to be done. That means, of course, factoring in routine HR tasks such as payroll. But it shouldn’t just be about doing the bare minimum. There’s still probably enough time to get other, more strategic things done too. That could include things like developing recruitment and training plans, working on employee engagement strategies (it’s going to continue to be one of the biggest issues next year) and other important HR tasks.  

2. Prioritise

That said, you’re unlikely to get absolutely everything you want to complete before the break, so work out what your main priorities are and what you need to do to make them happen. Use the tried and trusted technique of ranking each task as ‘Urgent/Non-urgent’, ‘Important/Not important’, and focus on those that are urgent or important. 

If some of your big picture stuff is important but can wait until the New Year, work out what you can realistically do this year to progress it, so that you don’t have a mountain of work to come back to once the holidays end.

3. Communicate

This can be an unproductive time in some workplaces as people get that ‘end of term’ feeling. But, as a business owner or manager, you can’t afford to let things slide. So let people know your expectations between now and the end of the year. Don’t be oppressive about it – you want people to be happy AND productive But you need to make sure they also get through the work that has to be done. You should also let people know your expectations around the holiday period. Are you closing down for a while? Do you expect people to take leave? If so, let them know. 

Over-communicating is always better than under-communicating. 

4. Throw a party

You’ve probably organised your workplace party by now. But if you haven’t, there’s still time to do something. No matter how small your workplace, or busy you are, celebrating the end of year is an important point in the calendar and something your people deserve. 

Even if it’s just a lunch or some informal drinks, make sure you get people together before the holidays start to reflect on, and celebrate, the year that was.

5. Say thank you

Speaking of which, this is the time of year you need to say thanks (and your office party/lunch is an important part of that). For many of us, 2022 has been another trying year, and it’s important you let people know they’re appreciated. 

Saying thank you is important for your workplace culture, as well as for employee productivity and wellbeing. 

It’s also important for you as a manager or owner, because it boosts your productivity and wellbeing too. As the Harvard Business Review notes, “Gratitude is good for you.” 

So compile a list of the highlights of the past year, who’s been involved in them. And celebrate them either at the end-of-year function or in a company-wide communication. (Or both.) Just be sure to thank everyone for their efforts this year.

6. Get your HR ready for 2023

Finally, it’s worth remembering that while the year may change, the work goes on. There’s nothing worse than arriving back from holidays with a pile of work on the proverbial desk. So, going back to step one above, gear up for what lies ahead by drawing up a list of what needs to be done in 2023. 

Make headway into it now if you can, before you go on leave. And plan out what you can’t get through so that you don’t place yourself under unnecessary stress when you arrive back in the new year.

Want more?

Have a great holidays. If you’d like to know more about HR strategies for the rundown to the end of 2022, get in touch. 

With unemployment at its lowest rate since the 1960s, many employers face a recruitment market they’ve never before experienced, referred to as an “employee’s market”. Gone are the days of multiple quality applicants and prolonged interview processes. Instead, for some, it has become a matter of getting someone – anyone – just to do the job and keep the business going. But even though it may not feel like it, there are still opportunities to recruit long-term staff and build a quality, high-performing team, even in times like these. We explore how you can do it.  

1. Take a step back

In an employee’s market like this, the reality is that recruiting often involves negotiating with a party that’s coming from a stronger position than yours. So, as with any negotiation, take a step back and think about why it is you need to recruit in the first place. What tasks will you need them to perform? How can they perform them? And what contribution do you ideally want them to make to your workplace? Now, when you’re recruiting, you have an idea of your bottom line.

2. Be flexible

When the employee holds the aces, you may have to look at what delivers on your needs rather than what’s ideal. If they want to work remotely a bit more often than you’d ideally like, it could be the price you have to pay to secure a decent employee.

Think outside the box when it comes to working arrangements too. For instance, could you be better off hiring two part-time employees rather than one full-time? Could you offer perks that make you a preferred employer? Again, when it’s about your bottom line rather than just going through the motions and doing what has always been done, you open yourself up to all kinds of new ideas.

3. Look in new places

In an employee’s market like this, you often need to get on the front foot and look for new employees rather than waiting for them to come to you.

So how are you trying to attract new hires? And where do you put the message out? There was a day when job ads went in the Saturday paper. Now, they can come from anywhere. Think about where your potential recruits are likely to be What do they read? What sites do they visit? And what social media do they consume?

These days it’s much easier to target the right people than it has ever been, so there’s no excuse for not connecting. 

4. Look forward

People are often more willing to move to a company when they have a clear path for them. So before you go to the market, think about where your new employee’s career could take them, and sell this to them. If you really want to recruit good talent, let them into your strategy. Show them where they fit in now and where you see them within the organisation going forward.

5. Sell yourself

Some organisations take the approach that marketing is limited to selling to clients, but the best companies know it also involves selling themselves to prospective employees. Why else would some of the biggest companies devote serious time and effort to recruitment advertising? 

If your website isn’t telling your business’s story with potential new employees in mind, change that now. Why not tell the story of some of your best employees and why they’ve come to you, and showcase the kind of career potential recruits could have?

6. Be prepared to offer more 

While pay isn’t everything, it does matter. When you go into any recruitment process, you need to know the most you’re willing to pay. If you’re hoping to attract and retain people, that may be a little more than you’d initially hoped.

But even if it’s expensive in the short term, attracting the best employees should be worth it – especially in the long run.

7. Think retention

While it’s important to go on the attack and recruit new staff, it’s often just as vital to play defence and keep the staff you already have. After all, like you, your competitors are probably trying to attract key personnel. Where better place to find them than from your workplace? Focusing on keeping current employees content reaps dividends when it comes to attracting new staff too. Outsiders notice when a workplace is a happy one, and they can tell when employees are discontent.

Read this if you need help on retention strategies that don’t involve paying more.

8. Enlist outside help

A lot of businesses shun recruiters and headhunters, thinking that their cost doesn’t justify the expense. But, it’s times like these – when labour is short, that it often does. If you can’t recruit internally, now could be the time to enlist outside help to find a decent candidate.

9. Reorganise

Finally, if you can’t fill a job, you’ll have to work with what you’ve got. But rather than just sticking someone else on it and doubling their work, maybe it’s time to reshuffle responsibilities.

Don’t just pick apart the job you need to be filled and section off parts of it, look at a range of jobs, who does what and see how the load can be shared around and better managed. That may involve automating or using technology in some other capacity, but it may also mean changing roles and titles and asking others to step up. The sweetener, of course, will be that you’ll have saved money on recruitment – which could even go as a pay rise to those with new responsibilities.

Want more?

If you’d like to know more about recruiting in today’s marketplace, get in touch.

Research shows having people from different backgrounds and different points of view can be great for any workplace. As McKinsey noted in its groundbreaking 2014 Diversity Matters study: 

“The unequal performance of companies in the same industry and country suggests that gender, racial, and ethnic diversity are competitive differentiators: more diverse companies lure better talent and improve their decision making, customer orientation, and employee satisfaction.”

But recruiting a diverse team isn’t necessarily as easy as it seems. Even most organisations’ best efforts fall short of hiring for true workplace diversity. 

With that in mind here are our four tips for successfully recruiting for diversity. 

1. Look outside your networks

The traditional way businesses have worked was that people tended to recruit through personal networks, or if they didn’t, they tended to hire people just like themselves. If someone knew you or knew your friends, went to the same university as you or grew up in the same area, you could trust them, right?

One of the main problems with this is that unnecessarily limited the pool of talent available. This restricted the types of ideas and perspectives that came from employees. And that, in turn, restricted the number of people a business would appeal to. 

So, the first step in hiring for diversity is to look beyond your immediate networks. That means advertising publicly – or through an independent party – for any job vacancy.

2. Be objective

A vast body of research shows that the hiring process is biased and unfair,” says the Harvard Business Review. That’s not just because hirers tend to favour people who think and act like themselves without even realising it, it’s also because they tend to be drawn to charisma rather than skill. The sweet-talker who performs well in an interview usually gets hired ahead of the more reserved – and often more competent – candidate.  

One way to help get around this is to create a list of attributes and skills you’re looking for in your new hire and to focus on these rather than on factors that don’t actually relate to how well someone is going to perform a job. 

If you’re carrying out the recruiting process internally, you should also try to pull together a diverse team of people to carry out the hiring process.

Better still, why not create your list of skills and attributes and then give it to someone external so that your own biases play no part in the recruitment process at all?

3. Go blind and hold a test

It’s not just in the job interview that bias can take hold. One place that it can often kick in – and reduce diversity in the workplace – is during the initial CV check. 

A way to get around this could be to have someone remove names and other obvious identifiers from applicants’ CVs before you do a cull. 

Even when you’ve narrowed it down, you don’t necessarily have to go straight to a face-to-face job interview. Depending on the type of role you’re hiring for, you could ask people to perform a work test or to provide a sample of something they’ve done. 

That way your first port of call will be on someone’s quality of work rather than on their background.      

4. Work on your own culture

Sometimes workplaces end up lacking diversity because the culture simply doesn’t attract people from various backgrounds or with different points of view. If that’s your organisation, you need to find ways to make your workplace more inclusive. 

Educate your employees on diversity and its merits and introduce diversity training for your managers. Set diversity goals and hold people to account for meeting them. Introduce workplace activities that appeal to a cross-section of people, not simply one narrow group. 

To make your workplace truly diverse, you need to look within as well as without.

Want more? 

You can read about how we recruit here at Catalina Consultants in this article.

Alternatively, if you’d like to know more about creating a more diverse workplace through your recruitment strategies, get in touch.

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