Building your business with Randstad

Q&A with Brien Keegan, CEO of Randstad Recruitment NZ.

It's no secret, the perfect blend of staff is the key to any successful business. So, in this three-part series, we'll chat with Randstad CEO Brien Keegan about how you can attract and retain talent that will make a significant impact on your business.

Topic 1: Attracting talent

Q: Thank you for meeting with us today Brien. First up, could you share your thoughts on generally how happy Kiwis are in their jobs?

A: New Zealanders are enjoying some positive economic times at the moment and 74% of us are satisfied in our current roles. Having said that, 33% are ‘passive job seekers’, which means if they were approached with an opportunity, they’d move. Just 8% of the workforce is actively applying for a new job, so talent acquisition strategies for SMEs is key – for every eight people that apply for your advertised role, there’s another 92 that may be a better fit.

Q: What are the biggest challenges for SMEs in acquiring, managing and retaining staff?

A: Small businesses can lack the resources to attract high calibre staff to fill positions. Bigger businesses often get the best talent as they have deeper pockets, but SME owners can secure great staff by employing smart strategies. My advice is follow the ABCs of talent acquisition: Always Be Connecting. If you’re constantly in touch with potential hires, trusted recruitment agencies and ex-employees, when it comes time to scale up, you’ll be in a good place.

Q: Why should SMEs look to use a recruitment agency?

A: In a word: efficiency. Just because you’re an expert in fashion, education or agribusiness doesn’t necessarily mean you’re going to be an expert in finding talent. We have large networks of experienced specialists, ready to go. That means you get the right person for the role, fast, keeping downtime to an absolute minimum.

Q: Is big always better? Or do SMEs have their own pulling power?

A: Through our recent Workmonitor report, 66% of Kiwis revealed they’d rather work for a SME than a large corporate. Why?

  • The perception that flexibility is greater in smaller companies
  • Exposure, not just with your team and your department, but to new and interesting parts of the wider organisation
  • You’re an integral part of a business that’s helping our country prosper and grow

Q: What are some of the trends you'd like to see New Zealand based SMEs adopt?

A: NZ has an aging workforce, many of whom will leave the workplace soon. We need to think about ways to keep them engaged – flexible working hours need to become part of every SMEs toolkit.

The concept of e-lancing (outsourcing and bidding for jobs online) is a strong trend coming out of Europe. No doubt this is an innovative and efficient idea, but you need to be careful when putting any business-related information online.

One last thought: if you advertise for part-time staff, you’ll be amazed at the size of the talent pool you’ll open. These applicants are looking for ‘flexicurity’ (flexibility and security) and if you can offer that, you’ll engage outstanding candidates who are excited to work for you.

Coming up next month: retaining your top employees.

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