As the backbone of any organisation, human resources (HR) plays a crucial role in shaping the culture, attracting and retaining talent, and driving business success. In a recruitment company, where there’s high pressure and high turnover, this is even more important.
But HR is constantly evolving - it can be challenging to keep up with the latest trends and best practices.
In this blog post, we will explore some of the skills and best practices needed for you to become the MVP of your company.
Why HR Best Practices are Important
While lots of people might think that HR is all talking over tea, the truth is there are a myriad of guidelines and principles that HR need to manage in order to keep their company healthy and happy. These cover a variety of areas - including recruitment, onboarding, training and development, performance management, employee engagement, and more.
Adopting HR best practices is likely to result in lower turnover, higher profits, and a more positive work environment.
And on top of that, HR best practices are essential for compliance with legal regulations and industry standards. You don’t want to run the risk of fines or reputational damage by getting this wrong. That’s why it's important to stay informed and up-to-date on the latest HR trends and best practices.
Human Resource Management Practices
Before we get started, it might be useful to outline some of the things involved in the day-to-day work of Human Resource Management (HRM).
They’re often responsible for the recruitment of internal talent, from analysing a job to understand its requirements, to writing the job description, searching for candidates to attracting and hiring the right person for the role.
And being able to attract the right person depends heavily on the company culture – another area that HR is often intrinsically responsible for. They’re often a critical part of setting and organising sales incentives. They communicate bonus schemes, ensuring consultants understand what they’re working for. They handle the difficult conversations, performance management, employee relations. They introduce and onboard new recruits, helping them to settle in, feel comfortable.
Very often, HR’s work is invisible. But don’t underestimate them - it’s their contribution that makes a workplace a great place to be.
Now we’re going to explore three of the main responsibilities of a Human Resources professional, and the skills they require for success.
1. Recruitment and Retention
Recruiting and retaining top talent is one of the biggest challenges facing organisations today – and this is especially true for recruitment companies, where turnover is high and competition is fierce. For those wanting to attract fee earners and keep them engaged and motivated, it’s essential to have well positioned EVP and a well thought out retention strategy.
Unsurprisingly, all of this stems from your HR strategies. Creating a strong employer brand begins by understanding your people and what drives them. A great HR function will be keeping on top of this information, collecting data through employee surveys, one to ones and ad hoc catch ups. This information should then drive benefits and compensation packages that reflect the needs and desires of employees.
HR should also be the driving force behind positive culture, stemming from lived out values that give employees a sense of belonging and purpose. The only asset a recruitment company really has is its people. Keeping those people happy and motivated will help to equip them to do a great job for their clients and candidates and rewarding them for good work will keep them with you.
2. Effective Onboarding Practices
One of the first opportunities you have to wow your people is via their onboarding. Putting the effort in to help them feel settled from day 1 (or even before) can make all the difference to their longevity.
It usually falls to HR to communicate with and welcome new starters. So what can they do to make the process memorable (in the best possible way)?
First, set up a pre-boarding journey. Contact new employees soon after an offer has been made to say congratulations and welcome to the team.
Second, make sure they have all the paperwork and instructions they need. No one wants to spend their first day at work filling in pension and pay information, so send them the forms in advance. Also make sure they know where they’re going on their first day, what time to arrive, and who will be meeting them. You can eliminate a lot of first day anxiety just by giving them the information they need for their start date in advance. You could even go one step further and create an info sheet about office facilities, local lunch spots, and what their first day itinerary will be.
Third, double check if they have any additional requirements or adjustments. Accessibility and inclusion are key to creating a productive and diverse team, so making sure you’re creating a working environment that is open to all should be an essential part of the HR process.
Coupled with that, make sure that they have all the equipment they need on their start date – if they need a laptop, have it ready for them when they arrive (not sat with IT, waiting for it to be set up). Try to ensure their email account is ready along with access to any shared documents and drives – if you want your recruiters earning fees asap, make sure they have the right tools to do it!
Finally, when they arrive, ensure there are clear expectations and goals set early on, so they know what they’re working towards. Consider a buddy or mentor system, so they have someone they can ask any questions to in their first few weeks, and someone to provide them with feedback as they learn the ropes. This will also help them to integrate and socialise with the team more quickly, and build the sort of lasting relationships that will keep them around for longer.
3. Developing a Positive Company Culture
We’ve already mentioned how important company culture is for recruitment and retention. So how can HR go about developing a positive culture that helps everyone to thrive and grow?
We think there are 3 main areas that contribute to that positive working environment.
1. Wellbeing – whether it’s in the office, remote, or a hybrid of the two, it’s absolutely crucial that employee wellbeing is taken seriously. There’s already so much pressure in recruitment, so helping the team to manage stress, and making sure they have a good work-life balance can protect them from burnout. Alongside this, HR should have robust processes and procedure in place to make sure that no one is made to feel uncomfortable, and grievances are dealt with swiftly.
2. Reward – people work well when they feel recognised and rewarded. That means HR need to ensure there are systems in place to celebrate the achievements of consultants and support staff, and incentivise hard work, innovation and creativity. Whether it’s themed sales days, high flyers meals for the top performers, day trips for exceeding company targets, or early finishes for exceptional performance, coming up with (and often organising) great incentives keeps morale and motivation high.
3. Communication – fostering open communication involves encouraging employees to share their ideas, opinions, and feedback. This means creating an environment where all feedback, positive and negative is welcomed and acted on. Creating a safe space, such as an employee forum, or an anonymous quarterly survey could help people feel heard. Starting a ‘you said, we did’ campaign will ensure that employees know their opinion is valued and they have a part in building company culture.
HR best practices are essential for creating a positive work environment, attracting and retaining top talent, and driving business success.
By adopting effective HR strategies, organisations can improve their bottom line, reduce employee turnover, and create a culture of trust, respect, and collaboration. From talent acquisition to company culture, HR has a significant impact in any recruitment company. Adopt these best practice methods, and you'll quickly become the MVP of your company.