“Find staff for free!”

The old employment services catch line designed to appeal to businesses looking at hiring employees. This line is repeated nationwide by individuals from various organisations promoting the Disability Employment Services and JobActive federal government programs that assist unemployed persons to find jobs. Depending on the organisations, such personnel may have titles like Business Development Managers, Marketers, Job Placement Officers, or Employment Advisors.

With multiple organisations operating under the same contract, how does one person ” ͞finding staff for free͟” stand out from the next and get that repeat business?

There are a number of ways which come down to different stages of the overall process of listening to your client’s needs, finding the appropriate staff member, providing the administrative support to set up the employment, providing support during the employment, and allowing access to incentives for the employer. Lets break it down;

– Understanding business

Make it your mission to get in the head of a business owner and invest your time (but not at your employer’s expense) learning about what is involved with starting, managing, and succeeding in a company. Starting in the industry after coming from a government job I had absolutely no idea what business was all about, so every day I made it my interest to learn something (which 5 years later continues to this day). Helping a business find staff requires you to understand that employer’s business, which in turn helps you learn so this is a fantastic method of gathering business knowledge. Moreover, to understand what it is like to own a business means you will be able to talk on the same level as your client and genuinely understand the nuances, pains, gains and ͞utopia͟ that is strived for in business which finding the right staff is a core ingredient. This will guide you in finding a solution but will also build goodwill with your employer.

– Listening to your client’s needs

What does the employer need of their new staff? I still remember the first vacancy I ever received from now one of my oldest and best yielding clients. We all know how exciting it is to receive a vacancy from a new employer that has a lot of potential for future ongoing business – so I posted this job out excitedly. I was referred a stream 4 jobseeker that had recently fallen out of work because, to put it lightly, they were not “job-ready”. I understood for star-ratings I was being pushed to refer this person, and only this person, to my vacancy. Putting this person forward was not listening to my client’s needs. Referring this jobseeker may get a short-term and one-off only result. Better still, the longer-term benefits of keeping that employer relationship alive would bring a far greater yield of placements/outcomes for the agency and more importantly, jobs for people who need them! The point I’m trying to make is that you need to deliver according to your brief otherwise it will cost your jobseekers opportunities for jobs. Take a bigger-picture view!

– Providing administrative support

This comes back to simple, clean and structured assistance with paperwork. Sending up-to-date resumes to the employer is where it starts. Upon commencement on the same day the employer should have a wage subsidy agreement signed, co-signed by the provider, and confirmation that it has been lodged on the system. They should also be advised that every couple of weeks payment summaries will be required as evidence of employment. Finally, send them calendar invites for the date their subsidy is due. Simple? Absolutely. Don’t get whisked away by your next placement without tidying up the one you just made. If you miss the subsidy agreement you’re in trouble – either by the employer or by your manager paying off bottom line. Not doing this properly again could cost you repeat business, and your jobseekers future jobs.

– Providing support during the employment

Take a real interest that your placement is working out and do everything you can to make it work. If things go wrong, the result will be less important than the employer seeing that you do your bit and trying. Upon start date is a prime-time to introduce support workers/employment consultants to the employer. The more eyes, ears, and arms supporting this role the better chance of a great outcome.

– Allowing access to incentives for the employer

Putting on staff comes down to profit and loss. A staff member that does not work out is a big blow to take for an employer, but it hurts less if there is some kickback available to assist with all the start up costs like training. Employment Services is about helping people that need a bit of extra help. A wage subsidy is something that is a point of difference in our niche recruitment industry so use it to your advantage. Some people have a more conservative view on using wage subsidies so I thought I’d mention that of 400 plus employers I’ve recruited for, not one is “just after the wage subsidy”. Employers want superstar employees, not wage subsidies, but if they’re available that is a bonus!

– Delivering on expectation

This comes down to being sharp on doing what you say you do. Turn up on time, get subsidies paid, don’t say you’ll pay for a forklift ticket when you can’t, send resumes like you said you would, help if things go messy, and only offer what you can definitely offer!

And remember, sometimes when you’re dealing with people you may get a poor result but if you do all the other parts well you will hopefully have enough goodwill to come out squeaky clean!

Josh Smith