How to recruit great employees when you're on a budget

Published on Tuesday, 26 February 2019
Last updated on Thursday, 01 October 2020

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In the early childhood education and care sector high turnover of staff can be a real problem for providers. Having to recruit regularly is time consuming and costly, so it's important to try and attract the right people for your service without breaking the bank.

When budgets are tight the best approach is to use different resources and tactics that are either free or low-cost. The good news is that you can still recruit amazing staff this way.

Here are six tips for recruiting the best talent for your centre when you don't have a big budget:

A standout careers page

It's important that candidates can easily find the careers page on your website and going one step further by including a page dedicated to what it's like to be an employee at your company can add real value. Include staff pictures, career profiles, photos from company events, plus a list of current job vacancies. You could even post a "day in the life" type video featuring one of your employees simply using a smartphone and free online video editing software.

Outstanding ad copy

Add your logo to any recruitment ads you might be placing for a polished and visually appealing look. Use lots of white space, bold type, action words, heading and sub-headings to make sure your ad is eye-catching to candidates.

Go viral

Use your existing network of staff, friends and family to boost the number of people who see your job ad. Forward it to them and ask them to send it on and post it on their social media accounts. When it comes to current employees, their social media feeds will generally reach the right demographic of potential candidates, and it costs you nothing.

Skill based interviewing

This approach can save small services time and money. To ensure you don't hire the wrong person for the job, instead of just relying on a CV to tick off skills and credentials, have the candidate demonstrate their skills for you.

For example, do part of your interview in a room or outside where children are and ask them to perform a task such as changing a nappy, helping a child with a toy, or reading a book. This way you'll have the chance to see first-hand their skills and also how they interact with both children and other staff members in the environment in which they might be working.

Emphasise the benefits

During interviews, on your website and in any job advertisements; be sure to emphasise the benefits of working in your centre or place of service. Flexible work arrangements go a long way with recruiting and retaining employees, so consider highlighting what you can offer staff in this area. Anything else that might be a point of difference to other centres or that potential employees would find appealing, are also good to emphasise.

The personal touch

Give candidates an up-close-and-personal look at the environment they may be working in and be transparent about what goes on in your workplace. Again, social media is another great tool for this (plus it's free!), allowing you to post stories and pictures about what's happening in your service.

Finally, don't forget that the happier your staff are, the less you'll have to recruit in the first place. So, once you've attracted those talented employees be sure to hang on to them by creating a positive working environment, encouraging open communication and innovative thinking, as well as offering training, employee rewards, challenging and interesting work, and job security.

Thanks to Seek for the helpful recruitment tips noted above.

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