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Give staff a career, not a job

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Career development will undoubtedly entice committed employees, rather than those seeking short-term employment. The search for skilled staff was a common complaint amongst small to medium businesses surveyed in the March 2010 Sensis Business Index.

To motivate employees, provide ample opportunity for a job to evolve into a career. A proactive employee will relish in opportunities for personal growth, challenges and the potential for career movement.

Utilise all possible avenues

Sites such as and may be convenient starting points in the search for an employee but may not be the most successful. Instead, utilise alternate avenues to access a pool of potential employment.

Networking is a great tool for gauging suitable candidates for a position. The major benefit of networking is that an introduction will never be cold; references will be a given and a potential employee’s cultural fit with the company can be determined before any formal interview takes place.

“The key thing is to get yourself in front of people,” says Stephen Moir, Australian managing director of leading recruitment consultancy Michael Page International. There are a number of ways to develop networks, including attending business functions and trade shows, as well as joining professional associations and networking groups. Strengthen the potential for networking, by building a reputation as a good employer and candidates will seek you out.

Offering internships can be a fruitful source of potential employees. By offering such a position, an employer can determine whether an individual is suited to the role, before entering into any legally-binding relationship.

Offer incentives

The ‘career for life’ is in decline, while the ‘portfolio career’ is gaining traction. Paul Stevens, from the Centre for Worklife Counselling, says that workers will likely experience five major changes in career content during the course of their working lives. “People… view their career capabilities as a mosaic of considerable diversity,” he says.

Employers must anticipate a worker’s movements and continue to propose opportunities for career growth, rather than aim to lock them into a certain role. Trawl training websites, such as, for courses relevant to your company’s industry and encourage employees to take advantage of the offer.

Talk of the future

Never breed a culture of apathy. Regular acknowledgement of the individual’s future prospects will motivate and inspire.

“When organisations withdraw from talking with their prospects, and don’t articulate where they could go, the employees become quite transient in outlook,” says Bob Olivier, director of Olivier Recruiting Group. “They openly have agendas outside their workplace – if the offer of a transfer or a promotion isn’t forthcoming, they won’t wait around for a year.”

“Smart organisations talk about international placements or promotion paths as part of the job, and ambitious people like that approach. When people go into a firm like Pricewaterhouse Coopers, the international opportunities and the chances of working in other practices, are things that are discussed and communicated,” says Olivier.

Not only will these measures benefit your business, they will benefit you too. With the right people onboard, managing your business will seem less of a chore, and more of a career.

So, if you’re looking to work on your business rather than being stuck in it, book in for a complimentary business assessment today with Switzer Business Coaching

Important information: This content has been prepared without taking account of the objectives, financial situation or needs of any particular individual. It does not constitute formal advice. For this reason, any individual should, before acting, consider the appropriateness of the information, having regard to the individual’s objectives, financial situation and needs and, if necessary, seek appropriate professional advice.

Published on: Tuesday, June 15, 2010

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