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HR Overview

HR Overview

​As we enter 2017, we can reflect on a very positive year just past, for all of those
involved in the HR Industry. At Grafton HR, we have seen a noticeable increase in the number of HR related hires across the board, from junior to senior level appointment, generalist to specialist.


Driving this increase has been a renewed confidence in the marketplace, the
continuation of FDI clients setting up in Northern Ireland and most interestingly, the frequency of appointments for newly created HR positions.

In the past 12 months alone, we have observed a trend in the appointment of a high volume of newly created stand-alone positions for SME organisations that for the past few years have been utilising the service of an outsourced HR provider.

Interestingly, the most common reason for bringing the HR function In-House, is
the believed value it will add to the business, through Business Partnering, the
upskilling of the existing workforce across Performance Management, Employee
Relations, Recruitment and most importantly, Employee Engagement, by instilling
a set of values in the employees and managers, that they are collectively working
towards a larger company goal and that everyone has an important role to play in
how this is achieved.


2017 HR Focus | Health & Wellbeing & Flexible Working Options
Part of the means of instilling this feel good factor in the workplace is the focus on Health & Wellbeing.

Another trend which has come more to the fore in the past 12 months has been the shift towards trying to accommodate the employees’ work-life balance. This can be for both existing employees and new appointments.

At Grafton HR, we have observed that whilst salary/reward is still a strong factor
in a candidates decision making process, many are now looking at flexible working
options as a means to achieving a more sustainable work/life balance.

This has resulted in more companies offering part time or flexi working options, and makes complete sense, for an industry which is still predominantly female lead.

Whilst work-life balance will continue to be important, it’s imperative that HR also
focus on their employee’s health and well-being. It is said that a healthy worker is a happy worker and to maintain workplace happiness, an employees’ health must be seen as important to reduce absence and increase a positive workplace culture.
The CIPD defines employee well-being as: “creating an environment to promote a
state of contentment which allows an employee to flourish and achieve their full
potential for the benefit of themselves and their organisation”.

Interestingly, some of the industries that find it most difficult to compete for and/or retain staff, such as IT/Technology, have some of the very best Health & Wellbeing initiatives that we have seen, placing the emphasis on ensuring that their employees are healthy, both mentality and physical, creating a happy and ultimately productive worker.

Cultural Fit
In a time when HR hires are on the increase, it’s critical that appointments are
made using a multitude of decision making factors across skill, competency
and most importantly, cultural fit.

Cultural fit will ensure that a candidate will not only buy into the company
values and mission statements, but additionally, and if assessed correctly,
the company values will be aligned with that of the candidates, ensuring
a strong long term fit, loyalty and a highly productive employee, who will
champion the organisation to others. Not something to be sniffed at!

Culture is therefore something that must be driven and influenced daily by
Senior Management, Executives and Board level stakeholders, to ensure
true buy in from the rest of the organisation.

At Grafton HR, this is our mantra and something that we champion to both
our clients and candidates alike. We want to take the time to get to you and
your business and have a genuine interest in trying to become a long term
recruitment partner, and this can only be achieved by understanding the
underlying values of your organisation and its employees.

Our process is simple but effective, we meet with every candidate and client
we represent and listen to what they want, looking for the small but key
aspects of both parties and bring them together.

Whilst we also understand that its not always possible to meet, or
sometimes even not appreciated, we do highly encourage the process to
be followed by both parties, as the success rate with retention of our HR
placements is extremely high and this can be traced back to the cultural fit
being established at the very outset of the process.

If your current agency are not asking to meet with you, ask them why not!

Digital & Data Driven Recruitment and Talent Pipelining.
The days of placing a job advert in the local newspaper, the job centre or
even via a job board to a certain extent and actually achieving tangible
success is becoming a thing of the past.

Most employers have identified that more needs to be done around how
they identify and more importantly, engage with their target audience,
which has seen a huge uplift in the number of company’s now building their
presence online.

As this competition for Talent will only increase, candidates, as well as
employers, are looking for “best fit “in terms of the next move.

We would describe “best fit” as a number of factors or needs, and will vary
in terms of importance from employee to employer, but can include, culture,
reward, skills & potential, career development and what will help add the
most value to the individual or organisation in the short, medium and long
term. When this process is done correctly, more often, it’s because the fit is
aligned on both sides and both parties either consciously or unconsciously
are buying into the same factor(s) or goal.

Millennials and even more so, the generation to follow, are looking for
something more from an employer than simply a job, they are looking for
purpose, and this is where it’s critical that as an employer, your Brand,
Mission Statements, Engagement/Health & Wellbeing initiatives etc., are
all aligned and well propositioned to the target audience, to ensure you
are engaging and attracting the best possible talent available.

LinkedIn, Facebook & Google Plus are just a small portion of mediums that
can be utilised online, not only via laptop but now more frequently via
mobile technology, to engage with your new workforce and sell your story.

The benefit of this means of interaction and engagement, is that it’s
available to a very wide range of the population and different demographics,
allowing you to choose the medium that best suits your audience.

Equally importantly though, is it that it can all be tracked and recorded
and most importantly, analysed for future use, thus allowing you to
create a bespoke and truly tailored approach to candidate attraction. The
other benefit is that this form of data is now more accessible than ever
and analysis of this data is becoming easier and cheaper through various
online tools and software.

Through thorough research and data analytics, you can position yourself
in such a place that you will engage with these different demographics
and be able to forecast to your stakeholders, how you intend to attract
and more importantly retain these employees, by providing real tangible
evidence to support your plans.

Recruitment Business Partnering
At Grafton HR, we are well versed in advising and guiding you through
the hiring process, for temporary, contract and permanent appointment,
advising on when it’s best to use each solution and the associated costs
involved.

We can create bespoke hiring solutions for one off vacancies or volume
hires, tailoring every bit of the process to match your needs, through
effective analysis and partnering, to ensure that your hiring plans are
successful first time, every time.

Testament to this claim, is the fact that Grafton was Awarded the Most
Effective Recruitment Strategy at this years(2016) CIPD NI Awards.