The engagement revolution: Is HR ready?


A quiet revolution is taking place within businesses, and HR must react.

Over the last few years there has been a revolution in the workplace, one that has seen employees rise up and take power from business leadership. Yet it has been a subtle revolution, and one that most businesses are yet to come to terms with.

Today, employees enjoy an unprecedented level of power over their employers, gained not through strikes or unionisation, but by virtue of the fact that talent and skills have become rare in modern job markets, globally. High value employees are calling the shots and can exercise their advantage whenever they choose; leaving one employer that falls short of their expectations safe in the knowledge they’ll be snapped up by another.

As businesses grow in today’s globalised and highly competitive markets, it has never been more critical to hold on to valued employees. Accordingly, most businesses now talk about the efforts made to keep staff happy, productive and engaged. Employers understand the benefits of having engaged workforces, with advocates citing improved collaboration, operational efficiency, better business performance, and improved customer service as direct benefits of strong employee engagement. However, as most business leaders will attest to, if employee engagement can not be measured effectively, it’s difficult to know how happy and productive your workforce actually is, and therefore whether engagement initiatives are paying off.

Many businesses simply don’t have the ability to measure engagement with anything close to science or sophistication. The overwhelming majority of businesses still rely on simplistic annual staff surveys to determine whether employees are engaged or not. Although, it’s great to see these businesses care enough about their employees to explore their workplace satisfaction, self-reporting is at best a blunt instrument when it comes to measuring engagement in an effective way.

Few Employers use advanced data analytics or augment the traditional staff survey with data from other sources, such as anecdotal feedback, to measure engagement. So, it’s no wonder that HR leaders hit challenges when it comes to demonstrating the value of employee engagement to the wider business. It is precisely because of this commonly experienced difficulty to measure and quantify the return on investment (ROI) of installed engagement strategies, that C-suites understandably struggle to understand their value.

In an age of instant feedback and empowered employees, companies need more accurate ways to monitor the state of their workforce and a more proactive approach to communicating with their employees. This begins with Senior Leadership in the boardroom, where HR must not only drive employee engagement as a priority, but also create clear links as to how it affects the organisation’s performance for other business leaders.

Being able to demonstrate the ROI of employee engagement initiatives to the C-suite is the most effective way to drive employee engagement up the company agenda. By using available technologies, from data analytics to dynamic employee feedback tools, and linking this information with sales figures, productivity rates and customer feedback, HR leaders will be able to present credible business impact statistics and provide pathways for the company to retain its most valuable assets – its people.

If you would like some help to set-up great data analytics systems, WNC consultants shine in the employment arena. We pride ourselves on being our clients’ most valuable partner in the attraction, retention and engagement of their current and future employees. We offer quality end-to-end strategies and solutions including creative, digital, research, planning and communications within the workforce effectiveness space. Find out more about what we’re up to on the WINC website – and keep up-to-date with our latest insights on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.

About Karl Wood
Karl is a global HR and employment professional who has an impeccable record in delivering HR solutions for industry leading firms. Karl champions ideas that promote growth, profit and a positive organisational identity and sits on the Executive Board of WINC. Read more blogs by Karl.

Insights into leading an international workforce

Group of young people holding a world globe. Mixture of teenage boy and girl students looking at a map of the world and talking outdoors at sunset with lens flare

Whatever industry you’re in, it’s likely that you have globalisation initiatives on your radar. Many business leaders get overwhelmed by the amount of hours they have to put in because budget restrictions limit hiring ability, can’t find the right people, or are just unable to delegate. However, loosening the reigns and assigning tasks to the people who are most suited to carrying them out is vital – especially if your business is in a growth phase and your employees are spread out over multiple geographic locations.

While it’s true that the digitisation has revolutionized the way we work by giving us access to global talent, international markets, and considerate cost savings and maximum productivity; it’s also made it easier for cross-cultural misunderstandings, sliding deadlines and missed warning signs when an employee’s performance is waning. Becoming better at leading a global team effectively will not only ensure that business success, but will also help you keep hold of your sanity.

Be passionate: Above all, believe in what you are doing and foster positive energy. If you’re not passionate about what you do and remain enthusiastic about it, it’s hard to convey that feeling to your employees, especially when you can’t interact with them face-to-face. Frustration can come easily when working with people from different cultures, often with limited infrastructure, conflicting priorities and viewpoints, and attributes that seem completely foreign to your own. Accept that there is always more than one way to get things done, there will always be technology gremlins, and that despite best intentions communication will probably break down at some point. That’s just par for the course. Passionate enthusiasm and positive energy at all times will help you jump the inevitable hurdles encountered.

Build trust: Creating and building trust can be challenging at any time, but is that much harder when managing a team of people you can’t personally interact with, and may have significant chucks of their workday at times when you’re not online. It’s impossible to be on top of everyone at all of the times and it’s counter-productive to make your employees feel like they’re being constantly monitored, or that you don’t trust them. In a multi-national workforce, the results will speak for themselves. In markets that allow such flexibility, consider hiring new staff for a short trial period before offering a long-term contract. Create a sense of belonging by showing that you care about their career goals; that you can offer room for growth. Get feedback from existing team members to formulate the right hiring method and role structure that works best in that market. Do you prefer contractors, who work for short periods, complete the job and then leave, or do you want full time employees with a higher level of involvement and commitment on both sides? The unique labour market conditions of the operation will steer the most effective organisation structures, role types and hiring methods.

Communication is key: To keep messaging consistent use the available communication tools such as Skype, and try to get face-to-face on camera from time to time. Remember that it’s all too easy for the tone of voice to be misread when you’re reading – instead of listening to – someone else’s opinion on email, messenger or chat. Consider using animated gifs occasionally to convey emotion, but avoid using sarcasm, teasing, or jokes and idioms, as these are easily misunderstood.

If you communicate with employees in various languages, make sure that everyone involved understands and isn’t guessing as to what is being said. Before launching into the to-do list, ask your employees how they are and be as available for them as possible. Working remotely can be an isolating experience and it can make all the difference to your employees knowing that they’re not alone. Flexibility regarding meeting times when you’re dealing with workers in different time zones will be appreciated. If the last meeting was held late at night for employees in Australia, then adjust timing of the next one accordingly and avoid the onset of any resentment.

Define goals and the rules of play: Successful leaders often have A-type personalities, making it hard to accept that all people achieve in different ways, at different paces. Be cautious not to create environments that set an unrealistic sense of urgency because, when everything is urgent, nothing is exceptional and therefore effectively nothing is urgent. When managing a multi-national workforce, it is far more effective to set realistic goals and make people accountable. Leading progress can be aided by using project management software, holding regular progress meetings, providing transparent incentives, and ensuring everyone is on the same page. Applying project management methods like these ensures that your team have a clearer sense of what everyone else does, and each employee will know when his or her contribution has to be completed in order to keep everyone moving forward.

Hire the *write* people: Most of your business communications (in some cases all) will be via email, chat, or project management software, so it’s essential to hire people who know how to write well. They don’t have to be Jane Austen or Ernest Hemingway, but they do need to be capable of demonstrating professionalism and courtesy through their words. The ability to express enthusiasm and support for other team members in writing will be a valuable attribute. When selecting new employees, don’t allow the selection procedures to slip just because your communications are by email. Ask for a resume and cover letter. Check for spelling. Detect eagerness. Remember that the styles they use when writing to you provide the best indication of how they will write to clients and fellow team members. It’s important to keep your corporate representation and employer brand in mind at all times while developing your business in new markets.

It won’t happen overnight, but it will happen: While growing an existing business into new international markets is undeniably faster than a starting a new business from scratch, do yourself a favour and keep in mind that it will take time.

A favourable company reputation needs to be established locally and effective alliances need to be built while growing a client base and service offering. Just as Rome was not built in a day, building up an effective, business-integrated international team that you trust isn’t going to happen by just flicking a switch, so be patient and remain committed; remember globalisation is here to stay and to sustain the long run you will need engaged employees who feel the same way about the opportunities as you do.

3 ways to show your employees they matter


When the economy is down, nurturing employees goes to the back burner in many companies. As a result employee morale and engagement begin to slide. When the pendulum swings and the economy strengthens, as it always will eventually, responsive leadership shift energies towards driving competitive edge innovations and operational volume initiatives, thus dimming the spotlight on mentoring. In either economic scenario, employees wanting stretch opportunities and promotions are often brushed off in favour of more pressing business priorities, further toppling employee satisfaction and engagement levels. However, there are simple behaviours that can be applied in all economic climates and will actually strengthen a positive corporate culture. Keep these leadership hacks front of mind during and see the positive impact for yourself.

Say “yes” to your employees:  There are managers that have an automatic reluctance to take on employee suggestions during times of high workload and think that every yes to an employee would mean a no to the company or cause further burden an already laboured workload. They think that saying yes to an employee wanting to explore new business development opportunities would mean they will lose focused on their day job. However this simply isn’t true. Effective leaders realise that saying yes to an employee who wants to do more creates a culture of growth and accountability, increasing value all round.

Understand what drives your employees:  Sure, some employees have unrealistic ambitions, but a leader’s job is to help them succeed, even if this means steering them toward a more realistic career path. An employee’s expressed ambition provides valuable insight into their internal drivers. So take the time to listen and provide counsel so that employees feel heard. The investment of your time is the surest way for your employees to feel valued.

Give them chances to think strategically:  Engage employees in strategic planning processes by having them craft a plan showing how their ideas will benefit all stakeholders. Providing opportunities to think strategically allows employees the scope to actualise inter-departmental collaboration initiatives and further underlines your confidence in them. Whether leading a lean start-up or a industry-dominant global enterprise, inviting employees to think strategically gets the creative sparks flying.

As well as championing the professional development and career aspirations of your employees, reminding yourself of these tried and true tips will go a long way to letting your employees know that they matter.

Say thank you.  Whether your employees are submitting a weekly report or have just returned from a customer delivery, don’t forget to say thank you. This basic courtesy regularly tops most effective employee recognition lists.

Encourage risk taking.  Micromanaging your employee after having granted permission to trial a new process improvement strategy or hovering as they test a new software application is not only annoying, but also will quickly erode trust.

Be flexible.  Office hours may be 8:30 to 6, but allowing employees to manage their schedules to optimal working patterns will get better results. An extra hour in the mornings may enable top performers to spend time with their family, or to work out at the gym, thus powering them up for the day. Allowing tailored scheduling enhances a culture of accountability and empowers unbridled work performance, which ultimately can only help employee engagement levels and the bottom line.

Remember their birthday.  Even though it’s likely employee’s friends and family will coordinate festivities, genuine “Happy Birthday” wishes means a lot to many people. It shows they matter – and cost nothing but can be worth volumes.

Don’t badmouth other employees…ever.  If you slag off one co-worker to another, employees will soon suspect their reputation are also up to be kicked around. Maintain a positive vocabulary when speaking about members of the employee community and growing a positive organisational culture is that much easier.

Follow through.  When you ask someone to invest time in a project or task, only to ignore the results – or worse – scrap the requirements altogether without letting them know, then expect morale to take a massive blow. Commit to closing the loop on your goals, and particularly those in which you have involved others.

Give the gift of time.  Whether you’ve asked employees to work extra hours on a special project – or they simply stayed on to get the job done – working extra hours, especially over weekends and into the late evenings is no small deed. Offering time-in-lieu is always appreciated recognition for those folk who go above and beyond what’s asked or expected.

Be open.  While disclosing P&L statements in their entirety may be counter-productive to effective communication, involving your team in key initiatives strengthens trust and drives a culture of transparency within the organisation.

Champion employee growth.  In addition to listening and responding to your employee’s goals, be proactive on their behalf. In other words, invite them into stretch projects, promotion opportunities and networking events before being asked to do so.

When employees get stuck in a rut and turn-off to active learning, or feel they are under-valued, their engagement inevitably wanes. Typically, this leads to productivity and retention declines, which in turn impacts a company’s bottom line. Showing genuine care through small daily actions in addition to championing professional development will foster an accountability-driven environment and positively impact your organisational culture and Employer Brand.

If you could do with another set of hands to energise your employee recognition initiatives, WINC consultants really shine in employment arenas. We pride ourselves on being our clients’ most valuable partner in the attraction, retention and engagement of their current and future employees. We offer quality end-to-end strategies and solutions including creative, digital, research, planning and communications within the employment branding space.

Find out more about what we do on the WINC website – and keep up-to-date with our latest insights on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.

Lift your Onboarding Game

Group of college students in the university amphitheatre, they are sitting and listening to a lecture. 


As a HR Consultant, the number of talented employees that tell me they are actively looking for an exit strategy from their current companies continually surprises me. Any great Talent Acquisition strategy can be rendered useless without equal concentration being paid to talent retention. So, what can a company do to minimise risks of losing internal talent? Well, there are many options, but I always find the beginning is a good place to start any journey.

Most HR professionals can easily argue that effective onboarding improves retention rates significantly. Just as with people, companies don’t get a second chance to make a good first impression. Here are four ways to ensure a new recruit’s first encounters with their new company are memorable for all the right reasons:

#1. Begin before day one. Everyone remembers his or her first day of school. You’re nervous, you hope you’re wearing the right outfit, and you have fingers crossed there is someone to eat lunch with. A new-starter’s first day on the job can be just as daunting. Sending a pre-boarding welcome email, including relevant reading materials and answers to frequently asked questions can create some familiarity that will ease first day jitters. This simply process will give new-starters the chance to acclimate themselves with the company and come into the business with more comfort and confidence.

#2. Turn Senior Leadership from ghosts to real people. Executive presence is a potent way to demonstrate that people matter to an organisation. Kick off your induction presentation with an Executive welcome. This gives leaders a chance to meet the newest talent coming into the business, and a chance for new hires to see how their respective roles and departments fit to a bigger picture.

#3. Make the learning interaction. Onboarding should be an interactive experience that engages new-starters to learn the about the company, organisational culture, and future goals in a lively enthused way. The more engaged anyone is in a topic, the more likely they will retain the more of the information being presented, so here are a few simple ways to build an engaging Induction presentation:

  • Build a good rapport quickly using ice-breakers
  • Check understanding with an energetic verbal quizzes
  • Get everyone up and moving doing role plays
  • Have participants mark self-work assignments
  • Discuss their successes and struggles during the Onboarding process

#4. Pay attention to production quality. Being meticulous about the logical progression of the induction presentation agenda, session transitions, breaks, activities, and speaker coordination, ensures new hires focus less on logistical details and more on the content being delivered. The production quality of the induction presentation and overall onboarding experience is the difference between just another corporate training session and cultural immersion.

These four tips will set the course to infuse organisational culture throughout the onboarding experience. Keep the momentum flowing by identifying opportunities to incorporate cultural elements throughout the new-starters probationary period. A few suggestions to consider are:

  • Company “all-hands” events to introduce new-starters
  • Video testimonials from clients and partners
  • Have various internal stakeholders introduce company vision and values
  • Bring in subject matter experts to give real-life examples of what it’s like to work in particular roles
  • Hand out marketing material (notebooks, water bottles, hats, etc.) that new hires can use to proudly represent their new company to family and friends that will be waiting to hear of their experience on the “new job”.

There are countless ways to welcome a new-starter into an organisation. The key is to remember that a new-starter’s curiosity and engagement in their new company is probably the highest it will be during their tenure during the first days and week on the job. I’ve seen time and time again how a strong onboarding experience makes for higher job satisfaction, better job performance, greater organisational engagement, and reduction in occupational stress and intent to quit during the initial 90 days of employment. Putting effort in on the front end will positively impact retention on the back end.

If you would like some help in building a world-class onboarding programme, WINC consultants really shine in employment arenas. We pride ourselves on being our clients’ most valuable partner in the attraction, retention and engagement of their current and future employees. We offer quality end-to-end strategies and solutions including creative, digital, research, planning and communications within the Employer Brand and Employee Engagement specialities.

Find out more about what we do on the WINC website – and keep up-to-date with our latest insights on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.

6 tips to brighten a dreary Employer Brand


An effective Employer Brand exhibits your company is a first-rate place to work for best-suited employees and candidates. But what if your company isn’t projecting an image of a first-rate employer? Perhaps a recent redundancies, critical press, or industry perceptions of unreasonable workloads is limiting your success of retaining and attracting the top talent needed to sustain your company’s goals and growth objectives. By implementing some pragmatic remedy initiatives, even the gloomiest of reputations can be given another chance to shine.

Try these six steps, and you’ll be amazed at just how quickly a weak Employer Brand can be turned around:

Step 1. Develop the message. Start by deciding the messages you want to communicate about the employer and work environments. You might find it useful to make a list of the strengths and weaknesses as an employer. Then develop messages to highlight the strengths and counter weaknesses. Establish common verbiage by completing a list of frequently asked questions with concise, culture-reinforcing responses to publish on your careers website and to share with employees, recruiters and candidates. Its important to test messages with employees, and use external focus groups and surveys to refine your story. Authenticity is key.

Step 2. Face the culture. If your dreary Employer Brand is a result of an problematic corporate culture, commit to taking steps to address the pain spots. To make sustainable change, you’re going to need buy-in from senior leadership as the organisational culture will need to be you one that employees will get behind, and one that you can promote confidently to candidate markets, without feeling even the faintest cringe.

Step 3. Energise a rewarding Employee Referral Programme. Getting referrals from current employees is a great way to build a compelling Employer Brand. Current employees referring their friends and others to your company are likely sharing positive information and setting clear expectations. Encourage and reinforce this activity by offering appealing incentives for each new recruit that was referred by a current employee.

Step 4. Establish admired internship programmes. Building strong internship programmes that provides valuable work experiences to interns helps establish your company as a development-focused employer and fosters positive word-of-mouth communications about among students, college faculty, intern alumni and their families.

Step 5. Collaborate with marketing. Join forces with the PR and marketing departments to get your workplace messaging out into the targeted audiences. Take the opportunity to explain how a strong Employer Brand positively impacts the entire organisation, and an engaging Employer Brand goes a long way in cementing a positive consumer brand. Public Relations and marketing professionals can help you craft employee-friendly copy for advertisements, and assist in getting good news stories into local and industry publications.

Step 6. Get social online. Complementary to your careers website, concentrate on building your online presence. Jobseekers are likely to be active on Glassdoor, Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and Google+, making these good platforms to communicate your Employer Brand. Company profile pages should illustrate what it’s like to work at your company. Bring profile pages to life by using videos to share real-life employee experiences and leadership insights into corporate values. Keep on top of social media pages and interact with potential candidates wherever possible via post comments.

If you could do with some help and backing, WINC consultants really shine in employment arenas. We pride ourselves on being our clients’ most valuable partner in the attraction, retention and engagement of their current and future employees. We offer quality end-to-end strategies and solutions including creative, digital, research, planning and communications within the Employment Branding space. Find out more about what we’re up to on the WINC website – and keep up-to-date with our latest insights on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.

Foresights for HR in 2016

Group of People and Human Resoures Concept

The rapid advancements in technology, digitisation initiatives and globalisation of industries have redefined the role of Human Resources around the world. To understand what the future holds for HR professionals around the world, we spent the last month talking with our global network of HR professionals discussing their ideas and predictions for the year ahead. Our Consensus – strap yourself in, 2016 is going to be one of the most complex years for HR to date.

1. Increased HR focus on relationships over programmes. HR success is about building trusted relationships by demonstrating a deep understanding of the business. More than ever, in 2016 HR people will need to effectively understand and manage the impact of mergers, decentralisation and globalisation, as these changes will continue to have profound impact on employee communities and the way work gets done.

2. Organisation Culture and Employee Engagement become at the top of the agenda. It should be no surprise that current international economic conditions demand smarter business operations. To stay ahead of the global demographical shift and an increasingly competitive field of play, one theme common to all industries is Employee Engagement interconnected to Organisation Culture. Once afterthoughts to business strategy, integrated Employee Engagement and Organisation Culture is now a necessity. Secondary to this theme is Leadership, having the right people that know how to lead and inspire teams on a journey to success, while creating an exceptional employer brand along the way. This priority also heralds Learning & Development, which forms the foundations of any employer brand, has an important “seat at the table” in this highly commercialised world. This three-pronged offensive will become the signature of “new HR” in 2016 and will yield significant competitor advantage to companies that champion the approach.

3. Putting the human back into HR. Organisations with the ability to thrive in the current dynamic business environment are struggling because they don’t empower people or tap into their full potential. While success in the past was largely driven by process, structure and encouraging people to function more like machines, success in the future requires a heightened focus on the human side of business. Today’s employee communities have evolved to deal with uncertainty through collaboration, cooperation and using conflict in a constructive manner. So, businesses need to encourage their people to develop mindsets geared towards connection, conversation and experimentation. Curiosity is crucial: we need employees to continually question whether things are being done simply because they’ve always been done, and constantly seek new perspectives to identify better solutions. While specialist departments and defined reporting lines provide clarity of role and accountability, they also create barriers that block effectiveness. Organising people into silos of similar skills and functions reinforces the patterns required to solve simple and even complex problems, but also discourages collaboration with other departments or people outside of the business. It does nothing to encourage the kind of conversations required to navigate the increased complexities in work we are now faced with.

4. Improving Employee Experience. For the best part of the last decade, businesses have been transforming by implementing new technology to streamline processes and efficiencies. In 2016, the time has come to focus on improving the Employee Experience. In our experience, it is evident that every function has implemented new processes without looking at the big picture in terms of employee journey, resulting in today’s painful interdependencies between financial, HR, IT, Procurement and Benefits functions. With all functions using different technology, workflow designs and requisite documentation to perform tasks transferred during the last decade on automation initiatives, business operations are left under serviced and employees striving to recalibrate process in dynamic workplaces. Acknowledging this difficult stage of Organisational Development and improving the Employee Experience in challenging environments will drive engagement and retention.

5. Energise well-being and resilience programmes. As Europe becomes even more volatile and uncertain in terms of socio economic indicators, the pressure on individuals becomes even more challenging. Individuals are pushed to deliver ambitious growth targets at work and at home there can be struggles with unemployment (partner or child), financial pressures like the mortgage, loans etc. In anticipation of ongoing uncertain times ahead, wellbeing and resilience will continue to be a big area of focus for HR. More companies we support are providing free counselling with an external expert provider for employees and their dependents.

6. Keeping workforce skills updated and current. Keeping the skills of your employees up to date in this fast-evolving world has never been more important. Many companies immediately turn to external training providers, but before doing this it’s worth considering the expertise and experience right under your nose and how you can tap into this for the benefit of all staff. For example, younger employees, probably have knowledge of social media, which more seasoned staff may be struggling with, hence reversing the traditional hierarchy of skills. Harnessing peer-to-peer learning is a more efficient and cost effective way of increasing workforce skills, with the added benefits gained due to the knowledge transferred being significantly more relevant because people who understand your Organisation Culture deliver it.

7. Reimagine performance reviews. Internationally, the hottest topic at the moment is inevitably performance reviews, including dropping performance ratings or doing away with them altogether in favour of agile management practices. Several companies like Accenture, Deloitte and others have already dropped performance ratings. GE is piloting significantly redesigned programmes. Another company we support one is abolishing individual bonus. If you are not already enthralled in a lively debate, be prepared for many a discussion on this hot topic during 2016.

8. Big data analysis. Undeniably, the biggest HR trend in 2016 will be a healthy shift towards predictive data analysis. Talk about big data has been ongoing for some time and now it’s time to start to act on all that discussion and put all available data to good use.

9. Data driven Talent Acquisition. New technology and advanced professional network platforms mean that access to data is getting easier and more affordable. Recruitment leaders can arm themselves with data and become very strategic in their decisions. Talent pools built using data helps recruiters better understand wide spread employment markets, making efforts more efficient. Expect data-driven recruiting to be a trend that will gain some real traction in 2016.

10. Ongoing consolidation of businesses. Globalisation initiatives will continue to drive consolidation of businesses, ensuring that the HR environment will stay challenging for most industries. HR effectiveness will depend on effectively pairing with data analytics and I think it’s safe to say we can expect more challenges with integrating new generational employees and how to become an attractive employer for the future workforce.

How to set a Recruitment budget

German payroll with euro banknotes

Having navigated several companies through today’s inescapable swings and roundabouts of global economies, I know all too well the challenges of creating and sticking to a Recruitment budget that generates the most qualified candidates at the lowest cost to the business. Developing a Recruitment Budget is largely determined by the following:

  • Overall hiring goals
  • How difficult a challenge meeting those goals is likely to be
  • How expensive each recruitment stream is

Below are my steps to executing a Recruitment budget for companies looking to grow quickly with reasonable spend expectations.

Step 1. Determine how many people the organisation will hire

To accurately determine how many people need to be hired, you must also estimate your attrition (leavers). For example, if your attrition rate is 15-20%, multiply that by the number of employees and include them in your hiring goals. This is the total number of employees needed just for backfills in order for the organisation to maintain its current size.

NB Foresight: Despite every caution, with high growth comes the possibility that some new-hires simply won’t cut it, forcing you to re-hire for their positions. Make an allowance for this possibility to incur additional costs in your hiring numbers.

Step 2. Estimate the commercial impact of incremental hiring

Here’s how to go about this:

  • Calculate last year’s total cost of recruiting (all people hired and the costs of the systems and programs used). Divide this number by the number of hires you determined in Step 1. This will provide a high-level cost-per-hire. It’s a good idea to also estimate unaccounted costs, such as what rogue Hiring Managers may have spent on their own, and cleverly parked under more discreet line items.
  • Diagnose how competitive and costly it will be to hire. To do this, categorise your hires into high, medium and easy-to-hire buckets to understand what percentage of hires are likely to fall into each bucket. For example, software engineers may be hard-to-hire, where interns are expected to to be easy-to-hire. After you categorise the anticipated hiring conditions at your corporate HQ and the various other hiring locations, identify whether you expect the respective location will impact the complexity of hiring, and if so by how much. Lastly, compare your hiring forecast to the hiring totals of last year. If you’re hiring twice as many positions this year, its reasonable to expect you’ll face additional challenges associated with the shift in volume.

Step 3. Work out your candidate sourcing strategy

Now that you have a view into the hiring numbers and goals, determine which sourcing strategies provide the best opportunity achieve your targets. First and foremost, it’s good practice to determine the percentage of hires you can make internally through your career site and employee referral program. Estimate the cost of these two sources, and then establish the gap and how you’ll fill it. Mapping out the sourcing strategy in this way will give you more accurate forecast figures. As a guide, follow the below reminders.

  • Identify the number of internal, full-time recruiters needed. A good rule of thumb is an internal recruiter can typically be expected to fill five to seven positions per month. Estimate the number of positions third party recruiters will need to fill, factoring in recruiting fees at 15-20% of the new-hire’s first-year salary. This is likely to be your most expensive sourcing stream on a cost-per-hire basis so you’ll want to budget appropriately to avoid being bushwhacked later.
  • Calculate job posting and advertising costs plus, time-to-fill metrics to approximate your sourcing budget. For example, if your organisation needs to hire 50 people and it typically takes three months per hire, you may want to have budget for 150 (50×3) job postings, assuming the 30-day-per-post standard on most job boards.
  • Don’t forget to include career fairs expenses. Not only registration and space hire fees, but also the travel for accommodation costs of your mobile Recruiters.

Step 4. Agree the level of service provided to Hiring Managers

From the outset, its prudent to maintaining good relationships to determine if you are providing full-service recruiting (job posting, candidate sourcing, applicant screening, interview scheduling, and contract negotiating) or opting for minimal service (posting, scheduling). Depending on the level of service offering, you may need to budget for Resourcers, Recruiting Coordinators/Schedulers and HRIS operations specialists. Including all of these costs and setting expectations early will help you refine an effective strategy and avoid any mid-play stakeholder anxiety-fuelled interruptions to your strategy execution.

Step 5. Know the “lights on” expenditures, systems, and tools your team needs to operate effectively

The cost to maintain your career site with systems tools and update it with compelling Employer Brand content (e.g. a ‘Why work for us’ video and explainer info-graphics) needs be factored into an overall recruitment budget and strategy. Associated expenditure may include costs for mobile optimisation, running or upgrading an Applicant Tracking System (ATS), and leveraging increasingly available passive recruiting tools.

Bringing on the right people to strengthen your organisational culture and set businesses up for success requires developing a Recruitment Budget that addresses not only the realities you face today, but also considers the high-growth talent management tools and systems you will need over the coming year to compete in fast-changing employment markets internationally, weathering any resource knocks and punches along the way.

If you think you would benefit from getting some support to really set your Talent Acquisition efforts up for resounding success, WNC consultants shine in employment arenas. We pride ourselves on being our clients’ most valuable partner in the attraction, retention and engagement of their current and future employees. We offer quality end-to-end strategies and solutions including creative, digital, research, planning and communications within the Talent Management space.

Find out more about what we do on the WINC website – and keep up-to-date with our latest insights on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.

Employer Brand potboilers


In 2016, I’ve decided to make it my mission to prove that crafting an effective employment brand is really not that hard to do. Recently, there’s been so much talk about the need to have an attractive and engaging Employer Brand that every Recruiter, Hiring Manager and HR professional feel the weight of business responsibility to define and reinforce this business critical subject, which was once relegated to the piles of ‘nice to haves’.

When broaching the subject of Employer Brand, the common cries from HR leaders and Operational Leaders alike go something along the lines of: “Branding is a Sales & Marketing function”, “HR people aren’t marketeers”, and “We already have a brand (referring to the company’s consumer brand).” However, these excuses just don’t fly. At least, not any more and let me explain why.

If you are at the beginning of the Employer Brand journey, forget everything you’ve been told. Let me give you the inside scoop, so you can start afresh. We’ll begin by debunking the four most common employment-branding potboilers.

Potboiler #1 – You need a defined strategy to launch your employment brand

Truth: Employer Brands aren’t created, they are revealed. Your company already have an Employer Brand – but it may not be one that serves you well. Just decide to start monitoring and crafting your Employer Brand so you can learn what is working in your favour and what is working against you. Once you’ve got a handle on that, you will be able to determine effective communication strategies to get the word out into your employee communities and candidate pools. This is one of those cases where all the planning in the world won’t benefit you as much as just making a start. Until you start sharing your story with employees and candidates, you won’t really know what resonates most authentically, and therefore most effectively.

Potboiler #2 – You need to be on every one of the countless social media tools

Truth: New and existing social media tools are in and out of fashion quicker than Kardashian sisters. As with a great many undertakings, you will get better results by doing a couple of platforms well, than you will by spreading your time and resources too thinly. i’d recommend starting with the most relevant channels, such as Glassdoor. Once you get savvier and build your content bank, branch out to LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. Fuelled by your newfound creative confidence, in time, you’ll be ready to experiment with some of the newer employment-branding social media platforms, such as Instagram or Snapchat.

Potboiler #3 – You are going to have to create loads of daily content

Truth: Even with the best intentions, the reality is nobody in HR has, or is ever likely to have time to create volumes of engaging content? However, it’s not about quantity; it’s about quality and consistency. Determine how much time you can realistically commit to your Employment Brand efforts, create a to-do list and start chipping away at it. It’s far better to post on the same day each week, than to post every day for a week, and then go to radio silence for the next month. The key is to set up a routine and stick with it.

Potboiler #4 – You need an employment branding “expert” to get it right

Truth: Although there are great employment-branding specialists available to do it for you, the reality is that nobody knows what it’s like to work at your company better than you and your fellow employees. Increasingly dubious about the hype adorning job ads, Candidates want to hear about a company’s culture from its staff. Employees want to gage true commitment to the company’s trumpeted value structure by assessing first hand that the talk is being walked. HR is perfectly positioned to uncover, define, craft and communicate a great Employer Brand – and besides that, the efforts are rewarding and you will be making a real difference to the organisational culture. Why let an “expert” have all the fun.

Once you make a start, if you think you could benefit from getting some support to really kick things up a notch, WNC consultants shine in employment arenas. We pride ourselves on being our clients’ most valuable partner in the attraction, retention and engagement of their current and future employees. We offer quality end-to-end strategies and solutions including creative, digital, research, planning and communications within the Employment Branding space – and are happy to jump in just where you need us most.

Find out more about what we do on the WINC website – and keep up-to-date with our latest insights on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.

Wood & Sons

LogoWSOver 250 years of expertise gives this brand a distinct quality of product and a worldwide reputation hard to equal. Our brand developers are looking to revitalise international production, and invent new sleek and simple designs that will meet contemporary tastes at exclusive venues worldwide. WINC expertise will support and champion the highly anticipated 2017 international relaunch of Wood & Sons. 

DkP Foundation

logo1(1)WINC is committed to support selected charities, not-for-profit organisations and community events. An independently administered charity, the DkP Foundation, will be launched this year to enliven this commitment. Additionally, for major events and high-volume contracts, we will work with our clients to identify suitable local charities to support.