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Attraction and retention of a high-calibre workforce

Posted by
28 Jun 2017
WorkforceAttracting and retaining high-calibre staff can be a challenge for many organisations. However within the social housing sector, it is become increasingly difficult at a time when it matters most.

In wake of the challenges the sector is facing, social housing providers are not only charged with sustaining the quality of their workforces, but they are also having to plan strategically with a view to how the sector will look in the foreseeable future.

But how are obstacles such as budget cuts and Brexit impeding on the workforce, and how can organisations improve their staffing practices to overcome this? 

Budget cuts – Unsurprisingly one of the immediate challenges organisations are facing within housing is surrounding budgets. A recent survey by Inside Housing found two thirds of respondents to cite welfare reform, rent cuts and the Apprenticeship Levy as impacting on their workforce within the next year. Due to this, many social housing providers have begun to concentrate on recruiting within arrears and collection.

Restructuring
– More and more organisations are being forced to think strategically and increase efficiency. As expected, approximately three quarters of social housing providers claimed they are bringing in major change programmes such as mergers and restructures over the next year.

Brexit
– Although the effect of Brexit is still uncertain, more than 70 percent of Heads of HR within social housing believe it will make no difference towards recruitment of staff over the next year. However, according to Inside Housing, Ria Bailes HR director at One Housing Group believes it may cause a concern for the supported housing sector in the future; ‘’We don’t have many EU employees in our workforce, but there are quite a lot working within the care sector – what is our strategy in years to come?’’

Improvement of staffing practices – Competition is high to attract and retain the most able and dependable workforce in a time of challenge and uncertainty. Specifically, Ian Robertson, Executive Director of EMA Business and Management Consultancy highlighted that we are witnessing recruitment and retention issues in development, finance, legal and governance sectors, with many professionals within this area being attracted to higher salaries within the private sector.   

With this in mind what can social housing providers be doing to attract and retain their staff?

1. Be competitive – Although the sector may not be able to compete with the salaries of the private sector, social housing providers can develop attractive benefits packages. Providing life insurance, health insurance and an excellent pension is essential in attracting and retaining employees. Other perks such as flexi-time and home working also show employees that you are willing to be accommodate their life outside of work.

2. Promote employee development – Investing in your employees through their development will reap benefits not only for the organisation but will also make employees feel valued and in turn more likely to stay. Offering career progression opportunities will also promote retention.

3. Communicate your mission – Open communication is key to a healthy and happy workforce. Moreover, making employees feel involved in the organisations future plans is another way to make them feel emotionally and mentally tied to the company.

Employee attraction and retention is critical to the long-term health and success of any organisation. However, in the wake of tough challenges the sector is facing, it has become more imperative than ever for social housing providers to review their staffing processes to ensure they are able to attract and retain top talent.

For further information on how to attract and retain high-calibre talent, please get in touch by emailing bethan.hall@sellickpartnership.co.uk or check out our client resources for additional tips. Client resources 

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