It’s official, Jaguar Land Rover is making the Gravity site their home and as a result, will be bringing an estimated 9,000 jobs to the area.
Great news, right? Well, yes, absolutely for job seekers and businesses in the supply chain across Somerset and beyond.
But, if your second thought was, ‘How will this impact us as a business when we already struggle to recruit?’, you’re probably not alone.
There is no denying retaining staff and finding staff could become more difficult when a big shiny new employer rocks up.
So, is that? Game over? In short, no.
The great thing is we have plenty of notice which means if you start acting now you will have the best chance possible of competing with Jaguar Land Rover and others.
It may seem a little overwhelming but fear not, we have put together a trusty list of things you can do as a business to ensure you have the competitive edge at the point you need it.
1. Create a People Plan
If you know what your growth plans are, it’s time to start thinking in advance about what that looks like in terms of employee numbers, and specifically which roles, across the next 3 years.
Don’t forget to include your expected attrition numbers.
Once you know how many people you expect to be recruiting and which roles, you can start to build out a timeline of how long it would take you to recruit the roles and in turn, when you should realistically start recruiting for them.
This will help you later on when we talk about your role-based strategies.
2. What do you have to offer?
What is the best thing about working for your business? Do you know? Or perhaps you think you know but in reality, your staff hold something else in higher regard.
How will you ever know?
Don’t be scared to conduct some employee surveys to collect valuable insight.
You will hear us say often that Recruitment is Marketing, not HR. And all good Marketing is based on Data and Research.
If you can ask the right questions, you can unlock not only what your staff love about working for you, but also what they would like to change.
You can find out what platforms of social media they’re using (good for when you start trying to communicate with other people like them) and what’s a key motivator to them for job satisfaction.
When you know, you can decide if you are doing enough, or not enough, to retain current staff and attract future employees.
This will be helpful when you look at your current Employee Value Proposition (EVP) – perhaps now is the time to run a project to improve your EVP in line with employees’ needs and wants.
Once you have completed any reviews, make sure you have a comprehensive list of what you offer. The next step is to publicise it on your careers site, if you have one. You also need to make sure that all Hiring Managers have a full list of the benefits, this will help them further down the line at interview stage.
Remember also that current employees will be a key part of your employer brand strategy.
3. Employer Brand – what is it REALLY all about, and how will it help your recruitment?
Not sure if you know what an employer brand is or whether you have one? Guess what…you do! Every company has an employer brand, but not every company knows what it is or how to manage it.
In a nutshell, your employer brand is how you are perceived as an employer both by current, future and ex-employees.
As mentioned above, employee surveys are a great place to start! From there you can start to understand what your key selling points are and how to use them. After all, who better to describe what you’re like to work for than those already doing it?
Once you’ve determined your USPs and how staff describe you, think about how you can put this into action, aligning with your candidate journey.
Pinpoint all your touchpoints so you can understand exactly where you need to be putting those key messages. We’re talking social media, your careers site, amending job adverts, employer review sites (like Glassdoor) and all the other areas you may appear and influence throughout the candidate journey.
By understanding what your employer brand looks like and how you can manage it, you’ll start to attract the right kind of candidates, those who align with your values and resonate with your current team.
You’ll also start to build an audience of people who are truly interested in working for you, not just those trawling job boards applying for 20 jobs with the same title.
Managing your employer brand doesn’t just attract future employees, it also helps with your staff retention. By hiring people who align with your business it’s much more likely they’ll want to stay and work for you. Likewise, existing staff will be happy to work with engaged and motivated colleagues, making their work experience more fulfilling.
4. Start now, yes really….now
Don’t wait until you want to recruit to start focusing on recruitment.
When done right, recruitment is strategic, it isn’t an operational/admin exercise.
When you have an idea of the Employer Brand you want to build, you need to put time and resources into promoting it.
A great way to do this in Somerset is by attending local jobs fairs and engaging with local jobs boards like Somersetjobs.co.uk
Having a stand at a jobs fair and talking to people about future roles is time well spent, even if you don’t hire someone there and then.
You put a real, human face out there, engage with people and they will remember further down the line.
It gives you an important and impactful touch point with the community from which you wish to draw on later.
5. What next?
Not local to the Bridgwater area? This doesn’t just apply to the Jaguar Land Rover Gigafactory, this can be applied to any scenario where a large employer is moving into a new area.
Keep an eye on our website and social media platforms for more blogs and advice on this topic.