Retention strategies for recruiting and keeping great staff

Retention strategies for recruiting and keeping great staff

Replacing talent is costly and time-consuming. Some statistics estimate that the cost of replacing a high-performing and high-potential employee is two to three times the outgoing worker’s annual salary.

There’s the loss of organisational knowledge, intellectual property and productivity, the recruitment process involved in finding a replacement, and of course the training and development required when new staff start.

In an employment market where ‘supply and demand’ is already creating issues around attracting talent, the focus on finding and retaining great staff is even greater.

 [You can read more about our thoughts on ‘The Great Resignation’ and the impacts we believe it will have in the Hunter Valley here ]

So, what strategies can you implement to help you secure top talent and keep them as valued team members long-term? Here we’ve made some suggestions.

Recruit right in the first place.
Of course, we are going to say this. With over 15 years of experience offering recruitment services in Maitland, Newcastle and the Hunter Valley we know the value of finding the right fit for the right role.

Clearly articulating your expectations of the role you are advertising and communicating that effectively in the job description  – with the appropriate pay scale to match – and following this communication throughout the interview process is crucial.

Looking at motivation, development opportunities, and the outlook of your candidate will further help you identify a future employee who can grow with your company – someone who will become highly productive and a part of your company’s ongoing success.

Onboarding and engagement.
Finding a fantastic employee doesn’t stop at the signing of the job offer. The need for thorough onboarding is very real. Nobody wants to start a new job and have no idea what they are doing. Streamlined systems and processes to help your team understand their role, workplace expectations and policies unique to your organisation are invaluable.

On-going employee engagement is equally important. An engaged employee is a happy employee and therefore much more likely to stay.  LinkedIn’s Global Talent report notes that 77% of the companies surveyed for the report focus on positive employee experience to increase retention.

Training and career progression.
When looking for great people you need to be able to see potential. Is there a skill gap that can be addressed with a training program or mentoring? A great attitude and the willingness to learn will go a long way in contributing to a high-functioning team and positive workplace culture.

Or, are you missing internal promotion opportunities for current team members because you aren’t offering regular training and development? So often employees just need a little encouragement to thrive.

Of course, turnover is inevitable and if you’d like to discuss an effective recruitment process built just for your business, we’d love to hear from you. Start a conversation with Hunter Recruitment Group today.


Technology & Recruitment: Video Interviewing & Remote Work

Technology & Recruitment: Video Interviewing & Remote Work

Over the last two years working remotely and hybrid working conditions have all become the norm for many employees.

There’s nothing like a global pandemic to increase the demand for technology in our workplace. We’ve found ways to work, meet, connect and collaborate online. But how to hire online for a role that will be working remotely?

We believe more and more employment services and recruitment agencies will make the shift to digital, embracing technology to foster connectivity and to handle their ‘virtual hiring’.

Recent survey results from American human resources and recruitment professionals show that 61% of recruiters expect video interviews to be the default interview mode moving forward. And as our pandemic trends and recovery seem to follow a similar path to the American timeline, Australia might not be far behind.

Here at Hunter Recruitment Group, we already offer a streamlined shortlisting and selection process, using state-of-the-art video interviewing software. This is actually our specialty.

The team at HRG love learning more about people than just the skills set out in their resume. Asking the ‘why’ questions as part of our shortlisting process is key – whether you are looking to source staff to work in-house, in a remote location, or a combination of both. And our bespoke one-way video interviewing enables this.

When providing recruitment services for our clients, we look at the role and create a personalised question set to match. We then have our selected shortlist of candidates respond via one-way video interview. As a business owner, hiring manager or human resources professional working with Hunter Recruitment Group, you then receive a resume and also get the chance to see and hear from the candidates, allowing you to make a much more informed decision.

By using this technology, it cuts down the hours interview time for our clients and facilitates more effective, on-going recruitment outcomes.

Beyond the short-listing stage Hunter Recruitment Group can offer video or on-line interviews and assist with the onboarding process for your new team member. Something which is crucial for anyone joining an organisation in a remote capacity.

The future is now, if it’s time for your organisation to embrace a more modern, and effective, recruitment process give us call at Hunter Recruitment Group – we’ll help you source your next great hire.

Find out more today, phone (02) 4936 6537 or email

The Great Resignation

The Great Resignation

A global pandemic, time in lockdown, change of how we live and potentially a shift in how we work. This has been talked about by many, however a new phenomenon that has hit the USA and parts of Europe is being dubbed the Great Resignation

Individuals are re assessing their lives and coming into spring and out of lockdown making large decisions about work.

The US is about 6 months ahead of Australia here as they eased out of lockdowns earlier in line with spring in the northern hemisphere. What occurred was a wave of people shifting careers. With a large chunk coming from the following groups:

  • Front line workers who have had enough of there roles 

The front line workers are not just health workers but this includes retail staff, teachers, and some hospitality workers who kept working at the workplace whilst others worked from home

In terms of a local context, we had greater government intervention with the likes of jobkeeper and the aim of keeping employees connected. Will this impact our great resignation or not only time will tell.

  • Employees who believe they had been miss treated during lockdowns

Employees are reevaluating what brings them joy and in 2021 it seems to be so much more than money.

How your Organisation treated staff is going to be critical to the impact on your business with regards the great resignation.

  • Employees seeking more flexibility and for work from home to be the new norm

I have spoken of this for years with excitement for the future. I truly believe that skilled individuals living in the Hunter will be doing more telecommuting with Sydney. Working for global companies from home in Maitland. Earning greater salaries and a potential for our kids not to have to move to the ‘big smoke’ to get a start.

However, the flip side of this becomes local employers will sooner compete more readily with Sydney and beyond for local talent.


Is your business ready to deal with what will be the new normal around flexible workplaces post covid. Do you have the culture to survive?

Another factor from the US experience is, pre covid one of the major areas for a career shift was the opportunity for development and career advancement. Americans are valuing this much less and looking at how they work and how this fits their life with greater importance.

  • Supply and demand for staff is seeing sign-on bonuses becoming more frequent in the employment space

In the US the IT sector has been the biggest market to be hit with regards this issue. Tech savvy employees are understanding the dynamics of supply and demand and there is a trend towards lucrative sign on fees and equipment purchases coming with a new employment contract

At HRG we have had one client discuss with us the potential to offer a cash payment upfront to entice trade labour to their workshop.

Supply and demand is a major factor in the current issues I discus with my clients on a daily basis. Is your business ready to wait for the right person? Can you train up staff?

The Great Resignation is a serious consideration for Hunter Valley employers to start to explore in their business. As we exit lockdown and return to some normality at the workplace. How we treat our employees, how we view the employment market along with how we recruit needs to change.

Recruitment is not just about sticking a job ad on seek and picking a person. It has always been so much more complex, but as the great resignation hits and the market forces demand more, how we recruit becomes a different dance.

I think we got a taste of this late last year as we exited jobkeeper. The fear that was driving lower job applications and the security of government payments declined and more candidates hit the market. As we transition back to work, back to life in late 2021 more and more local people will be challenging themselves as to what they want to do in terms of career.

The US experience will be similar here in the Hunter and now is the time to review your employment strategy.

If you would like to have a confidential discussion with me regards my thoughts on local impacts and how HRG can assist you to navigate this period in time. Then start a conversation with HRG today.

Tips to have the best, most effective, experience with a recruitment agency

Tips to have the best, most effective, experience with a recruitment agency

Finding great staff and building a team can be challenging. And time-consuming. Without certain tools, technology and connections in your industry you may not know where to start.

This is one of the reasons why businesses turn to recruitment agencies such as HRG. At Hunter Recruitment Group we take your business and staffing needs seriously, and want you to have the most positive experience possible. We get the best results when our clients give us the best and most up-to-date information on not only the role but the business.

Here’s just a few things to consider when selecting a recruitment agency:

Check out the reviews, testimonials and social media posts for any prospective recruitment agencies. Does their tone, objectives, vision and quality of work align with yours?

Are they local? Known in the business community? Experienced?

Culture and compatibility are crucial in recruitment. Think of your chosen recruiter as an extension of your business – ensure they are the right fit for you.

HRG focuses on finding values fit for new staff members. Take the time to explore the values of the agency you wish to use and ensure you are comfortable with the values alignment and having such an organisation represent you to the employment marketplace.

Yes, you must acknowledge and factor into your planning that there is a cost involved with using a recruitment agency.

Have a conversation and get a clear picture up-front. From here you can consider the associated fees and also the benefits of using an experienced recruiter – including finding the right fit, long-term employee relationships and staff retention.

Clear communication
No one knows your business better than you. But if you share your insights and your plan for growth, projections and goals with your recruiter they will better understand who, and what, you need when it comes to staffing.

Be specific and detailed in developing your job descriptions, salary rates, policies and expectations – this way your recruiter will know the skills, outlook, experience and attitude any candidates must have.

The more details the Hunter Recruitment Group team have, the better and more effective our recruitment outcomes are. We love asking the question – Go beyond the PD and tell us what you are truly looking for? Think about how you would answer this question when recruiting.

Be Open to Expertise

The recruiter should understand the market, and this constantly shifts. The economics or basic supply and demand is different for each sector and to be honest on each separate recruitment experience.

The recruiter may tell you that you need to increase salary to attract the right person, you need to be open to this suggestion but also potentially open to sourcing a candidate with a lower skills fit that is more your price point if increasing pay rates is not possible.

Great recruiters ask insightful questions and really dive deep into fit, they may at times source multiple candidates that will excel in your business. Again, this is potentially an opportunity to be open to where that can take you.

Always remember, an experienced recruitment agency is here to make your life easier and your workplace more cohesive.

If finding great staff is an issue for your business, start a conversation with HRG today.

The ‘Post’ covid employment market

The ‘Post’ covid employment market

As we sit in mid 2021 it has been just over a year since we all were working from home and living on zoom. I was proud to have committed a stretch of 28 consecutive days living in basketball shorts (not that those in my zoom meetings knew)

With all my legs covered up and back in the office we are experiencing a different employment market in 2021. You would not think so given the news cycles and talk of still high levels of unemployment, but in the Hunter, it is a struggle to source good candidates, from advertising alone.

The volume just is not there. Once where we would have advertised for an admin position and been smashed with 400 + applicants, now in some instances we are receiving under 10.

Employers are becoming frustrated with not having access to choice and not being flexible or willing to train. We have a market full of people from sectors that have been decimated by covid wanting a fresh start and employers looking for new staff & not understanding the current situation.

I personally think a shift will change in the future and some normality will return but at present fear is driving people to stay in their current job:

  1. The passive job seeker is no longer looking. Employees will stay in their current roles for fear of being last on, first out should we enter a third wave and more lockdowns. “I don’t want to be on a probationary period right now”
  2. This is creating issues for employers as a recent seek survey announced prior to covid 1 in 3 people were looking to leave their current employer. Meaning we potentially have 1/3 of the workforce wanting to leave but fearful to act.
  3. Headhunting from within your sector is tougher in the Hunter than prior to Covid meaning access to staff with less training costs is hard to gain.
  4. The rise of the counter offer – in my time in recruitment this tool has never been more powerful. Stats are up on people bouncing job offers as their current employers bump up the rate to keep them.

As the vaccine roll out progresses and candidate confidence returns, this market will find balance but what is the answer to staffing issues in 2021?

At HRG we have always believed in recruiting on values and culture fit, validating skills and training the gaps. This is more important in today’s employment market. Exploring the ‘why’ from a candidate’s perspective and finding fit is critical.

In recent months we have had great success with clients in going outside of the usual advertising box to source excellent people. As we work more as a recruitment partner to business and gain an understanding of the culture, we can source amazing people fit.

Working with recruiters in ‘partnership mode’ as opposed to ‘transactional mode’ always leads to a better result, but now more than ever.

2021 is also a time to evaluate your retention strategies. If the ledger is tipped towards finding it hard to get the skills you require it makes sense to invest more in retention (yeah I know this is a bit weird coming from a guy that wants you to recruit more) I love seeing business thrive and retaining great staff in my mind leads to growth which will lead to new staff requirements. At HRG we just want successful clients. Now is the time to look at smarter ways of keep your top performers, think about the positivity this will bring today but also into the future as the market shifts!!!

In summary, recruitment is an ever fluid marketplace and you need to understand what the playing field is like at the time you need to recruit. It is a tough time in 2021 as we navigate the post covid space and employees put on their pants and either are motivated or not to stay in your workplace.

If you want to learn more or have a conversation with someone who loves this space then start a conversation with HRG’s Craig McGregor today.

More than a resume – recruit today via video

At Hunter Recruitment Group we love learning more about people than the skills set out in a resume and asking the ‘why’ questions as part of shortlisting is key.

We now do this and more via bespoke one-way video interviewing.

For each role we are filling for our clients we create a personalised question set and have our shortlist respond via one-way video interviews. As a business owner or hiring manager now you get to see a resume but also see & hear from the candidate and make a more informed shortlisting decision.

This cuts down hours of wasted interview time for our clients and also has created more effective recruitment outcomes.

The future is now, it’s time to embrace a more modern recruitment process by engaging HRG to source your next great hire.

If you would like to find out how HRG can assist your business by implementing more streamlined recruitment strategies and employment services Start A Conversation with us today.