Finding and keeping the right people can be a challenge for any business. Depending on the skills required in a role, the size of the talent pool can often be quite small and lead to fierce competition to attract and retain the best candidates.

The satisfaction of your current employees and your business's reputation as an employer can play a big role in whether people view your business as a desirable employer. Getting your employer branding and employee value proposition right can see the best candidates seek you out.

Getting the following five areas right is a great start to arming yourself in the war for talent.

Find the right people and pay them appropriately

Getting the selection process right can help you set the standard when looking for managers and staff with the right skill set and cultural fit. When you get it right, team productivity is usually high and your reputation as a good employer is spread by word of mouth.

Be clear about the pay, the hours, the holidays and what kind of remote working arrangements are available.

Perks for employees

Perks are generally a good method of tempting new employees and retaining workers as they're not related to productivity.

Some perks include:

  • extra leave
  • Christmas and birthday gifts
  • work-life balance benefits – such as flexible working hours
  • subsidised staff canteens and free tea/coffee
  • cinema tickets, access to gyms or sporting facilities
  • extra training beyond skills needed for the job

There may be tax implications – so check with your accountant. Use our HR manual template below to create policies around perks that work for your business.

Provide a quality environment, resources and equipment

People need a good, safe, quality environment, and the right tools and equipment to do their job properly.

This includes providing your staff with:

  • the right furniture
  • computer hardware or software
  • communications technology
  • appropriate access to information or people

Too often these things are considered only in response to a problem, a complaint or after someone leaves – instead of proactively.

Work–life balance

A good work–life balance puts employees more in control of their working life, which reduces stress while increasing productivity and reducing unscheduled days off. It also reduces staff turnover.

Work–life balance is about adjusting working patterns to allow employees to combine work with their other responsibilities.

This includes options such as:

  • working part-time
  • flexitime
  • job sharing
  • working from home

Self-rostering allows employees to choose which shifts to work, while unpaid career breaks and paid sabbatical leave helps retain valued staff and reward those with long service.

Allowing your employees extra days off work too –  whether paid or unpaid – can improve their work–life balance.

Recruitment is costly – and not just in a financial sense. Staff retention improves morale, staff loyalty and commitment.

Visit our page on how to set up flexible work arrangements, and use our templates below to ensure your business stays on track.

Share options for your employees

Share options give employees a real stake in the business and helps motivate them to improve its performance.

As employees normally have to remain with the business to get this benefit, share schemes encourage loyalty and can help you retain valued staff. They act as an incentive or reward and may also help recruitment.

Setting them up takes specialist advice and they have tax implications too – so speak to your accountant.