How to find really good HR staff and hold on to them!

How to find really good HR staff and hold on to them!

What do we want? Great HR staff! When do we want them? Well, in about 1-3 months’ time when they’ve worked out their notice! 

OK, it’s not the most rallying cry, but it’s realistic. Excellent HR staff can be like gold dust for your organisation; they’re valuable but can be hard to find. Then, when they’re in your team it’s all about retention since you know that other organisations will likely be after them too. Often recruitment and retention are intertwined, since recruiting the right ‘fit’ for your organisation increases the chance for a long employment. 

Finding Staff

Out of all of the qualified HR professionals out there, how do you find the really good talent? More importantly, how do you find the talent that is right for your organisation? There’s more to a good appointment than on-paper experience. Whether you’re recruiting an individual or a whole HR team, think about the various aspects of a candidate that are important to your business.

Industry specific

How vital is industry specific experience for potential candidates? This will depend on what level of role you are seeking to fill, and whether there are complex employment regulations within your industry. For example, the entertainment industry has a huge range of different employment types represented which requires detailed knowledge. Consider whether there are industries which could transfer well to yours, and cast your net accordingly. 

Skills and knowledge

Do you want an employee who will rapidly grow with the organisation, or are you seeking an HR Director who can set strategy from day one? Clearly you’ll have specific requirements laid out in a job description and person specification. By working with a specialist you can explore where the grey areas are and potentially employ talent that will grow with your organisation. 

Cultural fit

This is a huge factor in workplace satisfaction. How likely is a candidate to blend in with existing workplace dynamics and cultures? Or are you deliberately employing them to disrupt? Cultural fit is often something that you can only judge at interview stage and is in part an instinctive decision. Some organisations use personality testing to help here. However, a key benefit to appointing a recruitment specialist is that they are experts at screening, filtering, and profiling candidates. This gives you a headstart when it comes to assessing whether a candidate fits with your organisation. 

The Recruitment Process

So how can you tailor your HR recruitment process to ensure that all of the bases are covered? It’s worth approaching recruitment from multiple directions. This gives you the best chance of building prominent visibility for your vacancy. Of course, your recruitment budget has a bearing here. It’s important to appreciate, though, the cost savings of appointing a good candidate for the long term.

Access to passive candidates

By appointing a recruitment specialist, you will have access to passive candidates who are on the books of a recruiter. These individuals are open to new opportunities but are not actively looking for openings. This means that they may not see a vacancy advertised elsewhere.

Job description and person specification

Take time and care over the documents supporting your vacancy. Be wary not to simply recycle old job description and person specification documents. It’s crucial that these are accurate to your vacancy and organisation as it currently stands. Transparency in your job description and person specification allow potential candidates to self screen if they don’t feel that your vacancy is right for them at this time. This avoids the dissatisfaction that leads to quick turnover. 

Streamlined process

A well streamlined recruitment process involves prompt lead times, good solid communication streams, and focussed decision making. For these reasons, many organisations prefer to work with recruitment specialists. Not only do these services ensure smooth communication between clients and candidates, you will benefit from strategic planning advice. 

Employer Brand

Visibility is only one aspect of filling a vacancy. To attract the attention of the top talent, your organisation needs to be an attractive prospect. This comes down to your Employer brand. Understand the aspects of your employer brand to help you to identify how to positively maintain it.

Candidate experience

People talk. The experience that past candidates have had during an employment journey with your organisation matters. As we’ve said, communication is a key part of positive recruitment processes and therefore your employer brand.

Benefits and flexibility

Transparent, consistent, and supportive benefits packages are really important in making your organisation known as a good employer. A key part of this in the current climate is flexible working. One of the most highly sought after aspects of an employer brand is a pragmatic and forward thinking flexible working. 

Employee lifecycle 

Understand and appreciate how long it’s realistic for new employees to stay with your organisation. This is impacted by the level of vacancy that you’re looking to fill and the scope for growth within the organisation. If the realistic lifecycle for a role is 2-3 years, accept this and ensure that when the time does come for that person to move on, it’s done so on good terms. 

Staff Retention Techniques

The recruitment process doesn’t end when contracts are signed. If your organisation isn’t in practice what your new appointment signed up for, you’ll quickly find yourself back to square one. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that staff retention is all about perks, cash, and giving people everything they want. It’s simply about remaining consistent with the structure and environment that your recruitment process conveys. 


A strong onboarding process is a chance to convey and share the core values that drive your organisation. Implementation of this may well be why you want to employ great HR professionals! 

Career progression

Some organisations can feel limited by their size when it comes to career progression. However, even if your business is too small to offer a career ladder, think about the value of training and development to offer depth and interest to your workforce.

Celebrations and rewards

This is tied into communication. When things go well, shout about it! Make your whole organisation aware of the great work being done across departments. This is especially true of HR teams who can often fly under the radar in sales focussed environments. 

When it comes to finding and retaining really good HR staff, the key takeaway is to start as you mean to go on. At HR talent we’re experts in the field, and we thrive on making matches between individuals and organisations which will stand the test of time. Brief us to fill your vacancy with the best talent.

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