Attracting regional employees is a hard sell

If you follow me on social media you would have seen these posts popping up over the past week

When I look at Seek advertising, local business websites and speak to jobseekers & business leaders based outside of Kalgoorlie-Boulder one thing becomes glaringly clear.

We just don’t do a very good job of selling ourselves

One thing I think we can all agree on is it is a lot more sustainable for our businesses & community if people who work here; live here, and, we need to bring residents back to the town. We need to grow the population to ensure essential services, a healthy retail environment and the type robust economic & community environment that encourages continued population growth.

Where to start?

If you don’t already have a recruitment strategy in place seriously consider it. It forces you to look at your current practices and external forces which may prevent you from attracting quality employees.

Know who your demographic is & tailor your advertising to suit. Millennials are those born 1981 – 1996, so at the top end someone aged 38 and at the low end someone aged 23. This generation makes up 50% of the workforce and are our emerging leaders.

We know that millennials consume digital content the most; they stream music over listening to the radio and stream TV over sitting down and watching live free to air tv.

Print, radio & tv advertising is largely wasted money when trying to grab this generations attention.

If you have digital content thats hard to consume ie: overly formal, unnecessary text or information, poor image quality, no emotional connection, then they will scroll straight past. Opportunity lost.

When writing your seek or social media employment advertising view it from the view point of the person reading it. Am I telling them What, am I telling them Who, am I telling them Why?

Have you considered embedding some video footage into the base of the ad?

This one is FREE from the KBCCI on You Tube

Or if you frequently recruit & are going through a period of growth why not create your own content?

Want to read more? I wrote this post 12 months ago about selling Kalgoorlie when you recruit.

When it comes to selling Kalgoorlie as a great place to live we all play a part. But if theres one message I want to reinforce, it’s that no-one is expecting you to do this all on your own. Don’t be shy about outsourcing components of your business if they are areas that aren’t your strength, I mean you outsource your finances & taxation to an Accountant don’t you? Why not outsource your HR too?

Like what you see? Click around and discover how partnering with us can give your business a competitive advantage by aligning strategy with people & culture, or, give us a like on Facebook for regular updates on industry trends, blog posts & photoโ€™s of me having coffee at my regular haunts and / or my dog & cat disrupting my work day

Simone Pickering | The People & Culture Office

ITโ€™S TIME FOR HR TO MOVE BEYOND POLICIES, PRACTICES AND PROCESSES. THE PEOPLE & CULTURE OFFICE CAN PARTNER WITH YOU TO GAIN A COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE THROUGH PEOPLE & CULTURE INITIATIVES CONTACT US TO ARRANGE AN APPOINTMENT TO DISCUSS WHAT SOLUTIONS WE CAN PUT IN PLACE TO DRIVE ACHIEVEMENT OF YOUR STRATEGIC GOALS.

October newsletter

It’s all about branding! And creating a compelling brand to entice employees your way.

Click here to read

Like what you see? Click around and discover how partnering with us can give your business a competitive advantage by aligning strategy with people & culture, or, give us a like on Facebook for regular updates on industry trends, blog posts & photoโ€™s of me having coffee at my regular haunts and / or my dog & cat disrupting my work day

Simone Pickering | The People & Culture Office

ITโ€™S TIME FOR HR TO MOVE BEYOND POLICIES, PRACTICES AND PROCESSES. THE PEOPLE & CULTURE OFFICE CAN PARTNER WITH YOU TO GAIN A COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE THROUGH PEOPLE & CULTURE INITIATIVES CONTACT US TO ARRANGE AN APPOINTMENT TO DISCUSS WHAT SOLUTIONS WE CAN PUT IN PLACE TO DRIVE ACHIEVEMENT OF YOUR STRATEGIC GOALS.

Same, but different (but really just the same)

The People & Culture Office | Tattoo | Woman

“There’s a saying, diversity is being invited to the party; inclusion is being asked to dance. But that’s bull because usually the party is up a flight of stairs. People think if they are treating people the same, they’ve got it right. But that’s the essence of discrimination – as experienced by disabled people – is that when you treat them the same as a non-disabled person they can’t even get in the building” Susan Scott-Parker

Before you read on I would like you to pause for a moment and picture in your mind what a person with a disability looks like.

I’ll check back in with you at the end of my post.

Due to unconscious bias, many people with disabilities face barriers to gaining employment (not just meaningful employment, just any employment), which is why the unemployment rate for people with a disability is more than double that of the general population.

In my former life I was a HR Manager for a disability support organisation, while there I noticed that millennials and Gen Z had a really inclusive view towards people with disabilities due to the prevalence of Education Support annexes in the school system. In my school days (I’m 46) children with disabilities were very much separated from the general school population and as a result Gen X and Baby Boomers can find relating to people with disabilities on a human level quite confronting. (Those damn millennials hey)

People will often direct the conversation towards a family member or a carer rather than converse with the person directly, they may stare, ask inappropriate questions, or, in an attempt to act as though they aren’t feeling uncomfortable, will fail to acknowledge their presence all together.

In fact we (as in society, the media et el) are so unused to seeing someone with a disability featured so prominently that sometimes famous people with disabilities are confused for each other. Those that follow the tennis or are a regular viewer of The Project would be familiar with Dylan Alcott, Dylan and fellow paralympian Kurt Fearnley have a running joke on Instagram that they are often mistaken for each other.

Think about applying for work or attending a job interview knowing there is quite a good chance you’ll be discounted as soon as you enter the room (if you’re even lucky enough to get that far).

1 in 5 Australians are classed as having a disability, a lot of people develop a disability throughout their life as the result of an accident such as a motor vehicle accident or falling off a ladder; through suffering a stroke; developing an illness such as MS, parkinson’s or one of the many autoimmune illnesses or through the presence of a psychiatric illness such as anxiety, depression or PTSD.

Picture an Accountant who has had a stroke, and as a result has reduced mobility. There’s no reason why they can’t perform an office based role without any added safety risk at all is there?

Now picture that same person applying for a job with a company who’s pre-employment medical process eliminates all people without excellent functional capacity. When assessing someones fitness for work the inherent requirements of the job are meant to be considered hand in hand with the individuals functional capacity. But quite often it doesn’t, for whatever reason many industries and organisations baulk at the thought of making “allowances” or reasonable adjustments for people that don’t automatically fit the perfect physical criteria.

Maybe it goes back to the idea that they are treating everyone “equally” ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™€๏ธ

Dylan Alcott has established Remove the Barrier to encourage the employment of people with disabilities. Other organisations such as Forest Personnel can assist with the recruitment of people with disabilities. Follow the links through to their websites where you can find some great info on employing people with disabilities.

Something I really want to stress is that a person with a disability isn’t necessarily a person on a disability support pension, or someone with an obvious physical disability such as being in a wheelchair. Disabilities vary between what type they are and the level of functional impairment such as:

  • Physical – affects a person’s mobility or dexterity
  • Intellectual – affects a person’s abilities to learn
  • Mental Illness – affects a person’s thinking processes
  • Sensory – affects a person’s ability to hear or see
  • Neurological โ€“ affects the personโ€™s brain and central nervous system,
  • Learning disability
  • Physical disfigurement or
  • Immunological – the presence of organisms causing disease in the body

So right at the start of the post I asked you to picture what a person with a disability looks like, well they look like this

Me – not Rachel from Madison Studio Photography ๐Ÿ˜€

5 years ago I was diagnosed with Lupus which is an autoimmune illness that attacks healthy organs and tissue in your body resulting in extreme fatigue, joint pain and organ damage.

The People & Culture Office came to being because I found it increasingly difficult over the years to find a workplace and colleagues willing to accommodate (and be inclusive of) my illness & it’s limitations. I knew that with appropriate wellbeing measures in place I could continue being a valued member of society, contributing taxes to the healthcare system that I lean heavily on and continuing to share my skillset with a range of organisations.

And I would have a guess that 99.9% of my clients, business connections and acquaintances wouldn’t even know that I have a chronic illness. Because with the appropriate adjustments in place I can function in a work environment, I can still add value, and the thought that, that part of my life could have been taken away from me would have been devastating.

Like what you see? Click around and discover how partnering with us can give your business a competitive advantage by aligning strategy with people & culture, or, give us a like on Facebook for regular updates on industry trends, blog posts & photoโ€™s of me having coffee at my regular haunts and / or my dog & cat disrupting my work day

Simone Pickering | The People & Culture Office

ITโ€™S TIME FOR HR TO MOVE BEYOND POLICIES, PRACTICES AND PROCESSES. THE PEOPLE & CULTURE OFFICE CAN PARTNER WITH YOU TO GAIN A COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE THROUGH PEOPLE & CULTURE INITIATIVES CONTACT US TO ARRANGE AN APPOINTMENT TO DISCUSS WHAT SOLUTIONS WE CAN PUT IN PLACE TO DRIVE ACHIEVEMENT OF YOUR STRATEGIC GOALS.

The case for diversity & inclusion

Diversity – โ€œthe collective mixture of differences and similarities that include, for example, individual and organisational characteristics, values, beliefs, experiences, backgrounds, preferences, and behaviors.โ€

Inclusion – โ€œthe achievement of a work environment in which all individuals are treated fairly and respectfully, have equal access to opportunities and resources, and can contribute fully to the organisationโ€™s success”

Feeling welcomed and included, a part of the team, has a substantial effect on whether we feel good when weโ€™re at work, our ability to perform in our role, and our overall wellbeing.

Australia, and subsequently its workforce, is one of the most diverse countries in the world. We come from a wide range of cultural, ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds, gender identities, ages, sexual orientations, and differing family responsibilities.

Yet discrimination, bullying, and harassment in the workplace remain ongoing issues, particularly for people from different cultural backgrounds, people with disabilities, mothers returning to work, LGBTI people, and mature age employees.

Diversity is about our individual differences and acknowledging the unique blend of knowledge, skills and perspectives people bring to the workplace.

Diversity can include characteristics such as cultural background and ethnicity, age, gender, gender identity, disability, sexual orientation, religious beliefs, language and education. Diversity also includes characteristics such as professional skills, working style, location, and life experiences.

An inclusive culture is one where everyone feels valued and respected and is able to fully contribute. It is about removing barriers to make sure everyone can fully participate in the workplace and have equal access to opportunities. Inclusion is about empowering people to contribute their skills and perspectives for the benefit of organisational performance and business outcomes.

The moral argument is weighty enough, but the financial impact – as proven by multiple studies – makes this a no-brainer.

Diversity is central to innovation. It brings forth new and better ways of doing things, helps us to harness the benefits of technology and improve the efficiency and quality of our services. Inclusion is the key to unlocking this potential.

When we value workplace diversity and inclusion we see benefits such as higher employee engagement, improved performance, greater innovation, retention of talent, improved employee wellbeing and lower levels of unlawful behaviour such as harassment and discrimination.

The case for diversity & inclusion lies in valuing peoples abilities instead of their limitations

Whether business owners and managers like to admit it or not, people tend to recruit someone that reflects back themselves. Sometimes when a management team states they recruit on cultural fit what they really mean is they are looking for a while male aged between 25 – 45 that likes to sink a few beers at the end of the week and supports the West Coast Eagles. Sometimes it’s overt, such as my example, but sometimes you can look around your workplace and realised you’ve basically employed the same person 40 times, this is called unconscious bias.

2018 Diversity & Inclusion report conducted by Hay’s found that ย 63 per cent of respondents across all markets believe leaders hold a bias towards people who look, think or act like they do.

Research suggests that we instinctively categorize people and things using easily observed criteria such as age, weight, skin color, and gender. But we also classify people according to educational level, disability, sexuality, accent, social status, and job title, automatically assigning presumed traits to anyone we subconsciously put in those groups.

The “advantage” of this system is that it saves us time and effort processing information about people, allowing us to spend more of our mental resources on other tasks. The clear disadvantage is that it can lead us to make assumptions about them and take action based on those biases. This results in a tendency to rely on stereotypes, even if we don’t consciously believe in them.

Read more about this here

No matter how unbiased we think we are, we may have subconscious negative opinions about people who are outside our own group. But the more exposed we are to other groups of people, the less likely we are to feel prejudice against them. So the more diverse our workplaces, the more it will become the norm.

Millennials have a unique perspective on diversity. While older generations tend to view diversity through the lenses of race, demographics, equality and representation, millennials see diversity as a melding of varying experiences, different backgrounds and individual perspectives. They view the ideal workplace as a supportive environment that gives space to varying perspectives on a given issue.

Kicking goals in the area of diversity & inclusion isn’t easy, it’s a work in progress, something that requires continued work and maintenance. Empathetic leadership is key to this transformation. For real change to happen, every individual leader needs to buy into the value of belonging โ€“ both intellectually and emotionally.

Like what you see?ย Click around and discover how partnering with us can give your business a competitive advantage by aligning strategy with people & culture, or, give us aย likeย on Facebook for regular updates on industry trends, blog posts & photoโ€™s of me having coffee at my regular haunts and / or my dog & cat disrupting my work day

Simone Pickering | The People & Culture Office

ITโ€™S TIME FOR HR TO MOVE BEYOND POLICIES, PRACTICES AND PROCESSES.ย THE PEOPLE & CULTURE OFFICE CAN PARTNER WITH YOU TO GAIN A COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE THROUGH PEOPLE & CULTURE INITIATIVESย CONTACT USย TO ARRANGE AN APPOINTMENT TO DISCUSS WHAT SOLUTIONS WE CAN PUT IN PLACE TO DRIVE ACHIEVEMENT OF YOUR STRATEGIC GOALS.

I need you!

So here’s the thing……

I’ve been in HR for 15 years, but always with mid – large sized organisations.

So while I may think I know what assistance you need in your businesses, I would like to know I’m on the right track.

So whether you are a business owner, or in a position of responsibility I love to hear from you so I can learn a bit more about your operations & how I can offer you the types of services you require.

Unless you decide otherwise itโ€™s 100% anonymous so click below to begin โฌ‡๏ธ

Click here

Simone Pickering | The People & Culture Office

Building an “always learning” culture

“No matter how much you’ve done, or how successful you’ve been, there’s always more to do, more to learn, more to achieve” Barack Obama

One of my favourite questions to ask of potential new employees is “what is something in your area expertise would you’d like to learn more about”

When looking to future employees I’m looking for not only someone who can, and, is willing to learn something new, but someone with enough self awareness to understand there is ALWAYS something to learn.

I’m about to bang on now about how the workforce is changing and how entrenching a culture of continuous learning is a must for attracting and retaining not just younger employees (16 – 37 year old demographic), but any employee who values their position within an organisation and wants to bring as much value as they can to their role. In other words, the type of employee you’d be lucky to score.

So lets start with my favourite subject – the changing landscape of the workplace

Learning is no longer just for students or apprentices & trainees. Technological advances, such as AI and automation, are creating an environment of almost constant change – not just at work, in every aspect of our lives. Businesses that donโ€™t encourage and enable their employees to adapt to the changes will lose their competitive edge.

Traditional employee learning and development strategies are based on a stable and predictable environment. That, for better or worse, no longer exists.

On a small scale we are talking about minor changes to internal processes; ie: the requirement for handover notes or incident reports to be completed online meaning all employees need some level of computer competency, for a big picture example, thanks to technology a multitude of businesses can now operate in a digital & global space that just wasn’t conceivable for them 20 years ago.

Itโ€™s also no longer enough to employ someone and expect them to remain stagnant in their nominated field of work.ย Deloitteโ€™sย โ€˜2017 Global Human Capital Trendsโ€™ report found 42 per cent of millennials are likely to leave their organisations because theyโ€™re not learning fast enough. That number is astounding, especially whenย 75 per cent of the workforceย will be made up of millennials by 2025.

Whatโ€™s needed for organisations to survive and thrive in this new world is education; creating a culture of continuous learning that helps older staff shift into this new, fast changing era, and to satisfy the younger workforceโ€™s desire to learn.

It requires a change in mindset, but the rewards are positive. Leaders who embrace the concept of a learning culture understand that learning is a natural process, that people yearn to grow. These organisations cultivate employee potential through learning opportunities and experiences.

And now onto my next point – thanks to technology workplace learning is now easier than ever.

Thanks to applications such as Zoom & Skype workplaces can access coaching, webinars and structured training right from their desks.

TAFE’s around Australia have been delivering course content 100% online for some years now.

Depending on your industry, there may be an industry specific LMS system available for you to join in order to access learning modules for your employees.

And finally the *most* important factor in building a culture of continuous learning within your organisation – senior employees & leaders who possess the skills to coach employees.

Most people within a leadership position was probably bought up through the ranks by what’s known as a “Command & Control” leader, defined by traits such as; I’m the manager, so I make the rules; Your job is to do what I say; If you mess up, I’ll let you know about it; If you don’t hear from me, that means you’re doing fine; You’d better be careful not to make a mistake, or cross me!; I make the policies, and you follow them.

If this was your boss how willing do you think you’d be to try something new? Not very; you’d be terrified of getting in trouble.

Growth and innovation comes from trying new things; stepping outside of your comfort zone; not being afraid to fail. It requires a collaborative and innovative leader.

When people think of coaching employees to learn something new, they think in terms of just showing them what to do. “First we do this” “If this happens you need to do that”

Coaching is about providing your employees the tools and capacity to discover the solutions for themselves as opposed to the how and when to complete a task. The leader still makes decisions but the conversation in getting there is two way.

It’s about developing your employees by providing regular support & feedback to allow their careers to progress to where they aspire to be. The ongoing dialogue of coaching communication guarantees that employees know what is expected of them and how their work ๏ฌts into a larger vision or strategy of the organisation.ย 

The unfortunate reality is most peopleย in leadership roles do not coach or develop their employees — ever.

Organisations with neglected learning cultures experience high talent turnover, struggle to keep customers, and ultimately fall behind competitors. These organisations may be profitable in the short term, but they ultimately fail.

On a scale of thriving to failure, where would you rather be?

Like what you see?ย Click around and discover how partnering with us can give your business a competitive advantage by aligning strategy with people & culture, or, give us aย likeย on Facebook for regular updates on industry trends, blog posts & photoโ€™s of me having coffee at my regular haunts and / or my dog & cat disrupting my work day

Simone Pickering | The People & Culture Office

ITโ€™S TIME FOR HR TO MOVE BEYOND POLICIES, PRACTICES AND PROCESSES. THE PEOPLE & CULTURE OFFICE CAN PARTNER WITH YOU TO GAIN A COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE THROUGH PEOPLE & CULTURE INITIATIVES CONTACT US TO ARRANGE AN APPOINTMENT TO DISCUSS WHAT SOLUTIONS WE CAN PUT IN PLACE TO DRIVE ACHIEVEMENT OF YOUR STRATEGIC GOALS.