A recent survey shows the importance of recruitment strategies that attract the best employees, and workplace policies that retain employees by creating positive environments. Something to be taken into consideration by Umbrella Companies when hoping to attract the right contracting professionals.

The survey was conducted by Citation, a company that provides support services to businesses in the areas of human resources, employment law, ISO and health and safety.

In the survey, 93 per cent of the 139 small business owners questioned found employing the right people and building an engaged workforce that is happy to be the most important factor in both growth and long-term success.

In an economy where both attracting and retaining the best employees, be they permanent or freelance,  are vital to any business, companies are acknowledging the importance of sustaining a happy workforce in a positive workplace. In the survey, 44 per cent of SME owners placed this as the number-one factor in retaining employees. This may seem surprising when compared to more intuitive factors such as salary, but in fact, only 13 per cent of the surveyed employers put salary as number one in keeping employees.

In terms of recruiting employees, 65 per cent of the survey participants believe that a human resources strategy that is specific will have a direct impact on the success and financial growth of a business.

These results indicate that instead of offering pay raises, companies would be better off developing an effective human resources strategy. In spite of recognizing this, 66 per cent of the surveyed companies had taken no recent steps to update their human resources procedures to account for better recruitment and retention strategies.

The Human Resources Director for Citation, Linda Jodrell, said: “Smaller businesses can have higher engagement levels than larger ones because their people are not just a payroll number, they are a person – and this really matters to people.” Jodrell also pointed out one example: “Give someone support in a time of personal need and you will get it paid back ten-fold.”

In addition to this kind of support, the survey indicates that a better work environment can be built with social perks or engagements. Currently, 23 per cent of the surveyed businesses don’t offer these to staff.

When asking about why workers leave their employ, there was no consensus amongst the responses. The answers instead split along the lines of salary (42 per cent), personal growth (35 per cent) and lack of opportunity (20 per cent).

Citation’s guide, Growing Your Business Through Employee Engagement, is available for free from its website, www.citation.co.uk.

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