Do you want an award winning employer brand?

award winning employer brand

Do you want an award winning employer brand?

Did you know that it’s possible to build an award winning employer brand from the ground up in just one year?

We were very excited to see that our client, Bendigo & Adelaide Bank, was listed as a finalist for the new employer brand for the Internal Talent Awards (ITAs). 

The ITAs celebrate excellence in internal talent across individuals, teams and organisations. 

Employer brand case study  

Businessary was thrilled to help with the end to end development of the employer brand, in collaboration with the internal Bendigo & Adelaide Bank team.

To find out more about our approach, check out the case study we put together on the project. 

Why is an employer brand important? 

There are many reasons having good employer branding is important, including: 

  • Attracting and retaining top talent 
  • Getting better return on investment from your resources and time
  • Building a strong employer reputation with the right audience 
  • Helping to articulate your Employee Value Proposition (EVP)
  • Creating a consistent story about why people work at your organisation
  • Increasing employee engagement and satisfaction
  • Positioning your business for future success with the right people in the right roles. 

Find out more about our recruitment, employer branding and EVP strategies here

How to get started with building your employer brand

The feedback we get from clients is that having an external/neutral consultant facilitating the process results in the most honest and clear outcome. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t steps you can take internally as well. 

Check out our 5 steps towards building your EVP and employer brand blog post here for a few steps that you can take to get started now. 

TLDR (Too long, didn’t read) – 4 summary points:

  1. Congratulations to our colleagues at Bendigo & Adelaide Bank for being award finalists for their new employer brand. 
  2. An employer brand can decrease your ongoing costs and increase your business performance. 
  3. There are steps you can take and internal approvals to work on your employer brand, and a consultant can help you turbo charge the project and get a brilliant outcome. 
  4. Why not book in for a free consultation with our Head of Talent Acquisition and Employer Branding, Jason Burns!  

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Creativity & Collaboration, from a PowerPointphobe with Mondaymorningitis

creativity and collaboration

Creativity & Collaboration, from a PowerPointphobe with Mondaymorningitis

*spoiler alert* I love telly, if you’re one of those “I don’t have a TV” types then hit back or remove the connection. 😉

I’ve posted a few times on LinkedIn how much I love ‘Desert Island Discs’. It is my go-to podcast and because it is aired on a Sunday morning in the UK, it acts as a great tonic for any of us Aussie dwellers suffering a case of ‘Mondaymorningitis’.

Russel T. Davis is a Welsh screenwriter and TV producer responsible for the original and ground-breaking Queer as Folk, the revival of Doctor Who and the terrifyingly brilliant Years and Years which is currently being shown on SBS.

A brilliant idea versus a lacklustre outcome?

There was something he said in this episode in a response to his approach to writing which was ‘sometimes the sketch is better than the finished painting’. He went on to say that the more you layer on to the original idea sometime the final product loses some of the sparkle, innovation or creativity the original idea had. Collaboration with others has helped him along with this to an award-winning level.

I always seem to find something in that resonates with me in these ‘Desert Island Disc’ episodes. In this case, it reminded me of my strengths – I love the sketch piece, get me front of a white board with a problem to solve and I’m all over it. I enjoy the creative part of the process and the execution, however, I recall that in the past I’ve often felt strongly the comedown of completion.

Collaboration is the cure

Maybe this why I’ve had an enormous amount of fun consulting these last two years. While I like working in-house for companies and have immense amount of excitement to see a project come to life, I always felt a sense of loss once it was done and dusted.

What have I learned from this emotion? It’s that the layering piece, getting the sketch to become a painting, is about collaboration with others, and as a self-diagnosed ‘PowerPointphobe’, I’ve had to surround myself with great ‘artists’. The comedown isn’t there anymore and I’ve learned to celebrate and keep going with the finished product, internal speak would call this operationalising!

The benefit of being part of Businessary is that I get to work with people that complement my strengths and where I like to play. We get to create something special for client through the power of team and this is so incredibly rewarding. The planning and the end result are equally rewarding. To get to help operationalise an EV strategy, a talent acquisition transformation or even the onboarding of talent we’ve helped hire, time and time again is truly awesome.

Four things to take away from this:

  1. Cure your Mondayitis with the Desert Island Discs podcast.
  2. You don’t have to be the creator and the artist, or the ‘attention to detail’ person. Success is in the team you assemble around you.
  3. There are two made up words in this blog.
  4. Give me a buzz on 0422 211 297 or drop me a note at [email protected] to talk all things TA.

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How to build your own Employee Value Proposition / Employer Brand

create EVP employer brand

How to build your own Employee Value Proposition / Employer Brand

Starting your Employee Value Proposition (EVP) and Employer Brand (EB)

TA pals, I get it, you keep hearing about EVP and employer brand and how important it is that you do something about it. As a TA leader or consultant, it’s your problem to solve right?

EVP process
Click to enlarge

There are some magnificent employer branding examples of massive banks, tech giants and big brand car/grog manufacturers, all of whom have gazillions of dollars in budget. These are inspiring but ultimately feel out of reach for you and your business. These are six things you should do to have a crack at creating your EVP and EB strategy.

6 steps towards building your EVP and employer brand

  1. Be clear why you are embarking on this journey. There might be one or many reasons however you’ve got a better chance to get business support if you’re clear. If any of the following is causing you a headache then having a simple, authentic EVP can help:
    • People don’t know who you are; even within your industry
    • You compete for talent and often don’t win
    • The talent you’re hiring is in short supply
    • Your only real sourcing channel is job boards and they’re not delivering what you need
    • Talent don’t stay with you and are disappointed in the job they have compared to the job they thought they were getting
    • COVID has changed the way your business works and you’ve not communicated this.
  1. No budget? It’s cheaper than you think – rethink that big job pack; tech licences you barely use or agency fees. Cut 25% of spend on each of these things next year and invest into your EVP development and employer branding strategy. I’ve had to become a master at finding money to get shit done – give me a call!
  2. Creating your EVP and EB strategy is a not your problem to solve alone. Get your leaders on board. Try to get your most senior leader of the business invested in this; give them reasons why it’s important and stand firm that your efforts will land less well if you don’t have their backing.
  3. Plan, plan, plan. I’ve learned this the hard way in in-house roles. Build a simple, realistic and compelling business case, build a comms plan and share widely why you’re doing this and what your business will get out of it. Once you have the backing, hold everyone (including yourself) accountable for the part they’ll play.
  4. You’ve got to ask your people what they think. This isn’t a desktop exercise or a HR thing, if you don’t ask your current people what they think then I wouldn’t bother. If you can, bring someone external to your organisation to do your focus groups; I learned this was the best thing I did when I was Head of TA. Someone external doesn’t have preconceived notions about the business and can often unearth more. I’d also recommend interviewing your executive team 1:1, it’s a great way to not only hear them but to ask for help in the next phase of the process. Ask your CFO for someone to crunch the numbers, your CIO to help with the website/tech stuff and your CMO for their support with the design and collateral!
  5. Focus group data is brilliant. I recommend you synthesise this with exit/engagement and if possible external candidate feedback. Sort it into pillars, themes or whatever works to help your marketing team or agency get creative.

Businessary has helped businesses from the travel, insurance, banking, and professional services business build their EVP and employer brand strategies in a matter of weeks. I’d love to tell you how. 

Are you about to set your budget for the next financial year? Book in some time with me and let’s see how we can help get your EVP delivered next year – book some time here for a chinwag.

– Jason Burns, Head of Talent Acquisition & Employer Branding, Businessary

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‘You say goodbye, I say hello’ – why you should get induction and leaving right at your business

Employe induction and leaving

‘You say goodbye, I say hello’ – why you should get induction and leaving right at your business

What stories do you want your people to tell at a BBQ (or on social media?) This is the lens through which you should view your induction and leaving processes. Word of mouth can be either the best or the worst marketing for your employer brand.

A great start

Induction should ideally be the honeymoon period for your new starters. You’re forming the bond between company and employee that can withstand the normal ups and downs of a role. Most employees know the importance of a good first impression during an interview, remember that equally it’s a two-way street.

Your new starters have already formed a view of your business through the application and interview process – do you think it’s a good one? Yes or no, the induction process is your chance to either turn a mediocre perception into a good one, or turn a good one into a great one!

“Take care of your employees and they’ll take care of your business.”
– Richard Branson, Founder of the Virgin Group.

Induction can help you turn your employees into your biggest advocates. This will help you improve not just your company’s employee attraction and retention, but also your client attraction and retention as well!

How do you ensure a good induction?

Details, details, details. There are a lot of moving pieces to having someone join the organisation. Has all the appropriate paperwork been filled out? Have you ordered all the hardware and software they need, as well as setting up their desk? Having access to the network and emails is important, but so is having pens and paper to take notes during their early days. A nice touch? Have their business cards ready and waiting on their desk when your new starter walks in.

We’ve heard tales of people showing up to work with no desk or computer, no access to their company email and no one scheduled to show them around the building and highlight any important safety information.

Administrative tasks are important in induction, but so is ‘cultural induction’. Where do people go for lunch? Who can your new starter join for lunch on their first day, have you scheduled a team lunch or morning tea to properly welcome the new team member? Does your business have a more formal culture, or relaxed? Do you have casual Friday attire? It’s a bit awkward to show up on your first Friday in your best suit when everyone else is wearing jeans (or vice versa if someone assumes you have casual Friday and you don’t!).

Speaking of awkward (but funny) tales of induction, we had a new starter recently who requested two screens for her computer to help her do some website and content work. Our culture is one where we work hard, but we also know how to have fun, so a little prank was pulled.

We acquiesced to her request for the two screens, but as you can see, we just sourced monitors that were perhaps a little ‘vintage’. The best part was the second or two where you could see our new recruit wasn’t 100% sure of the joke. (Don’t worry, she’s now equipped with all the tools of the trade she needs – all brand new this year, no less!)

Take it up a level

Think about the things you would have liked to have on hand when you started in any of your roles over your career so far. Below is my wish list of things I would have liked to see, and they’re also the items that I try to embed in our business now:

  • Business strategy – there are several components to this. First is having a documented strategy (easier said than done, I know). Second is packaging it up in a way that’s easily understood by everyone in your organisation. And third, delivering the strategy and purpose straight from the horse’s mouth. Your CEO/Leadership Team should be the ones either sitting down with or presenting the strategy (depending on your business size). Imagine the impact having everyone in your business on the same page about where the business is going!
  • Mission, vision, values – Understanding the purpose of your business and bringing its values to life are the things that capture the hearts and minds of both your people and your clients. Helping new people understand the soul of your company and embrace your mission, vision and values involves more than just a page in an induction manual. Do you have values-based reward and recognition? Do you celebrate your mission and vision visually in the office where people see them regularly? Aligning your day to day business activities with the mission, vision and values in mind, in a very real and tangible way, takes some planning and determination but yields the best results for your people and your business.
  • Org chart – this one sounds really simple but I’m always shocked at how many businesses actually don’t have an up to date organisational chart that their people can access. For new people, this element can make life so much easier. Imagine walking into a place where the org chart is available on your intranet, along with photos of all your colleagues and their desk location. And at their desks, they all have name tags in case you’re drawing a blank and it’s already that awkward time after your first week when you should remember someone’s name but you’ve had to meet so many new names and faces that you just can’t quite think of it! Again, it’s sometimes these small, inexpensive and easy solutions that can lead to a great induction. And it’s not so bad for some of your teammates that have been wondering what that guy in Finance is really called because it would probably be inappropriate and unappreciated to call him ‘the creepy ninja’ because you didn’t catch his name three months ago and have therefore been referring to him (to your team only, you’re not a total monster) by the manner in which he appears silently next to your desk. HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN THERE, UM, BUDDY?
  • Health, safety, policies and procedures – this is as much to protect your business as it is your people. Don’t let your new people start without knowing what to do in case of an emergency or an issue, whether it’s knowing where the exits are in case of a fire or threat, who they should go to if something inappropriate happens and also a very clear view of what is considered appropriate behaviour at your workplace. This topic, while perhaps seemingly monotonous, is one of the firsts and most important things we address with clients. In fact, I think I’ll expand on this in a later blog, so stay tuned.

Now on the flip side of the coin… Leaving with respect and dignity

People leave businesses all the time, for a variety of reasons. Some leave on their terms, some leave on yours. One thing they should all have in common is a sense of leaving on the best terms possible.

Sure, there will be cases where a company or employee acts blatantly badly and perhaps it’s less possible to leave as friends, but I would still argue it’s important to depart at least with the perception of respect, and there’s a few reasons why.

‘But the employee lied, stole and bullied their colleagues’ you might say, ‘why shouldn’t we make an example of them or herald their departure with a snarky social media post?’

To be frank, partly because it happened on your watch. I have never seen a business gain anything by a nasty exit (not even satisfaction from calling out ‘don’t let the door hit you on the way out’). Be the bigger person, and instead review what YOU could have done differently in your role or as a business to prevent such things in future.

Not all leaving is bad leaving however, and in fact, I’ve seen some boomerang employees who come back after seeing that ‘hey, the grass was, in fact, not greener’. Don’t count your regrettable turnover as a lost cause. Maybe they don’t all come back, but if you leave them with a good feeling about their contribution, that their time was valued, perhaps they’ll be referring you their high performing friends (or even clients!) in future.

What does a good departure look like?

You know what a good employee should do when they’re leaving so they do the right thing by you: give you proper notice (or more), complete a good handover, give real feedback as to the reason for their exit, unsubscribe to their fifty eNewsletters so you don’t have to…

But what should they expect from you in return?

Leaving with respect should be something you pay to every employee, even if they are leaving because their performance or behaviour didn’t meet your expectations. Allowing them to tell their own story for their departure (leaving to take some time off, chasing a different opportunity) is one of the most appreciated steps you can take. There’s nothing to be gained from sharing that they didn’t pass their probation period or you aren’t extending their contract.

Redundancies can be difficult and emotional, but one of the most admirable things I’ve heard a good HR Manager say is that she takes pride in going through the redundancy process with utmost respect, care and professionalism – the impacted individual may already be going through everything from fear and anger to happiness and relief. Regardless of their response, manage the process in a way that doesn’t make them feel like their work didn’t matter or they’re just a number. Apply the golden rule, it always helps to think about how you’d like to be treated during this kind of significant change.

I’ve heard horror stories of everything from businesses withholding pay to make sure the employee ‘shows up’ in their final week (this also might be a breach on the part of the employer by the way), to the manager of the employee not even showing up for their last day or sending any kind of farewell note or a phone call.

Don’t leave a bad taste in someone’s mouth – it takes little effort to give a polite farewell. If someone has been with the company for many years, a proper card, gift and perhaps a lunch is appropriate. If they’ve only been with you for a short while, a card, small gift or at least a genuine thank you is called for. I’m not of the opinion that every departure calls for ten rounds of drinks at the local pub – this is all too commonplace and I can tell you that more times than not it ends poorly (a few drinks in and you get tears, blame, anger, gossip, the opposite of leaving with dignity and respect!)

And don’t forget about the details you attended to when your employee joined, perhaps take that list and reverse it for your departures checklist – here’s a few things to consider:

  • Have they returned all your equipment, keys, pass?
  • Have you communicated their leaving so their key stakeholders know who to contact from now on
  • Have you alerted your IT person so they can begin the procedure of ensuring they remove access and maintain your data security?
  • Do any external suppliers need to know of the change?
  • Do you have access to your outgoing employees emails and files so you can catch anything that’s slipped through the cracks in the handover process?
  • Have you spoken to your team and/or function to let them know what is happening with the role (is it being filled or not, are you recruiting, can they apply)?

And it doesn’t hurt to keep up with your leaving employee on LinkedIn and congratulate them if and when they have a new role. Even if someone leaves feeling disenfranchised or somewhat bitter, their attitude and advocacy of your business may improve with time.

If you’ve done as much as you can to be considerate of your people’s induction and leaving, you can rest assured that your improved employer brand and word of mouth will not only improve your overall business culture and employee engagement, it may even give you a competitive advantage.

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Why your small business can’t afford NOT to have an HR audit!

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Why your small business can’t afford NOT to have an HR audit!

An HR audit is a business’s way to check compliance with continuously changing rules and regulations, with regards to people risk within the business. 

It is a systematic and comprehensive insight into business practices to do with employees, everything from how you hire them, train them, pay them, manage them, exit them and how you collect, store and use their information. It looks at what policies, processes, practices and systems are currently in place, are they compliant with regulations, what are your gaps and risk exposures, as well as how to mitigate and correct, and identifies the blind spots your business didn’t know it was exposed to.

Basically, an HR audit is important to mitigate the business risk of being liable for what might be deemed unfair employment practices and ensure you are compliant with your obligations under Fair Work Australia.

Why you can’t afford not to have an HR audit!

There are so many rules and regulations when it comes to employees, their rights and protections. Changes often happen and businesses are not always aware or updates. Not being aware or changing with the updates is not a defensible excuse when it comes to the crunch. Legal issues and conflicts can be very costly and often are ruled in favour of an employee rather than the employer. So, an HR audit is a proactive and cost-effective way to protect a business from unnecessary legal process and costs.

An HR audit is also very helpful way to identify areas for improvement with regards to performance and efficiencies within the business.

Who should conduct an HR audit?

It is often best to outsource an HR audit to an objective HR professional, who knows the legislation, what should be in place, and can quickly and easily spot your risk exposure. HR Professionals can both recommend how to fix it and support your business to do so.

So how often should a small business HR audit be conducted?

A full and comprehensive HR audit should be conducted initially. Following this, annual mini-checks that allow for course correction. It may seem overwhelming when you don’t know where to start or what to look for, but this is something that can be quickly and easily done with the right support!

At Businessary, we’ve found that it is often the small to medium businesses that are the most exposed and the least informed are these people risks. Often without contracts and polices in place, varying pay rates not consistent with minimum requirements, and no clear guidance on what to do if you need to discipline an employee, and let’s be honest… questionable filing system. It is such an easy predicament to find your business in. Most small business owners wear many hats and are spread very thin and without proper advice or support, you would not know these silent hazards your business faces.

We are passionate about helping small businesses protect what is important to them: their business, their people and their reputation.

If you are concerned about your employment practices, please give us a call! An HR audit is very affordable and something all small businesses need to protect themselves!

Get assistance with your HR audit

Call us on 03 9662 9900 or contact us for a no obligation quote to get your business protected!

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Is redundancy the new performance management?

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Is redundancy the new performance management?

When should you use redundancy versus performance management?

Too often we hear from an employer or manager when they’ve reached their limit with a poor performer. Our initial advice is often to begin a performance management process, but we’re met with resistance because the problem has gotten out of hand and the employer now feels like they don’t have the time nor wherewithal to begin to manage the employee’s performance. Often, they turn the conversation to whether or not they can use redundancy as an alternative option. Is that a viable option? Let’s explore it.
 

What’s the difference between performance management versus redundancy?

In between those steps should be periods of review and assessment, during which you should provide your employee with the relevant support to assist sustained improvement. It’s essential that a proper process is followed throughout the performance management process to ensure that all reasonable steps have been taken and documented in accordance with legislation.

Active performance management can help you create a strong culture of excellence for your business. It creates clear expectations and can help attract and retain highly motivated and productive team members.

If you’re trying to leverage redundancy in place of performance management, it could be illegal and have unintended consequences, like a post-redundancy hit to your team’s morale and an impact to their productivity, not to mention unfair dismissal risks.

“A classic mistake that employers often make is that they don’t realise that if they make a role or person redundant, they are claiming that the position is genuinely not required by the business, therefore potentially leaving the business under resourced and open to the risks of an non genuine redundancy process,” notes Businessary HR Manager Lauren McCleery.

“A redundancy means the employer no longer wants or needs to have that position performed by anyone. And if it’s not a genuine redundancy, for example if you then try to recruit to replace the role you’ve made redundant, the employee could claim that it’s an unfair dismissal and make a claim against the company to the Fair Work Ombudsman.

“Generally we would advise clients to focus on leading by example – providing coaching, mentoring and support to their teams, including a well structured performance management program. This will help mitigate the need for a knee jerk reaction of using redundancies to exit an underperforming or unliked employee from the business.

“Your managers and leaders should have the capability and confidence to handle difficult conversations, and if you’re not finding that they are able to, then perhaps it’s at their level that more training and effort should be applied.”

But businesses can and do have the need to make roles redundant at times. Your business could consider making roles redundant for a number of reasons, including new technology that reduces reliance on the role, economic slowdown or business slowdown, closing or relocating an office, or perhaps you’re undergoing a merger or restructure.

If you’re not making a role redundant for genuine business reasons, you could be trying to cut corners. However, if your reasons are valid, making a role or roles redundant could be the answer for your business.

How do I make someone redundant?

Firstly, make sure that you are looking at a ‘genuine redundancy’, which requires you as the employer to meet three requirements, according to Fair Work:

  • You do not still need the employee’s job to be done by someone (i.e. you’re not hiring someone else to do the same role)
  • You’ve followed relevant requirements to consult with your employees about the redundancy under an award or registered agreement
  • You’ve made a reasonable attempts to find suitable alternative roles for the employee within the organisation.
  • You then have an obligatory consultation process to set out what you as the employer need to do, and this process should be done ASAP after you’ve made the decision to make major changes to the workplace that will result in redundancy.

Your consultation requirements include:

  • Notifying your employees that may be affected by the changes
  • Provide them with information about the changes and the anticipated effects
  • Discuss steps that you’ve taken to avoid or minimise negative impacts on your employees
  • Consider your employees’ ideas or suggestions about the changes
  • Discuss any potential suitable alternative roles available.
Making the redundancy process as smooth as possible
Strong and consistent communication is key. You should carefully plan and implement a communication strategy to avoid mixed messages or inaccurate information throughout your obligatory consultation process. “If you’re not sure about your obligations, this is when you need to rely on your HR team or find an HR consultant,” adds McCleery. “This isn’t the time to wing it or leave it to chance.”
Provide dignity, support and respect throughout the process

Strong and consistent communication is key. You should carefully plan and implement a communication strategy to avoid mixed messages or inaccurate information throughout your obligatory consultation process.

“If you’re not sure about your obligations, this is when you need to rely on your HR team or find an HR consultant,” adds McCleery. “This isn’t the time to wing it or leave it to chance.”

To summarise

  • You need to make sure that any redundancies you’re considering meet the criteria set out by Fair Work.
  • You can make roles redundant when it’s a genuine redundancy, which can be tricky so we encourage you to get expert advice.
  • Redundancy isn’t a good replacement for performance management – you can’t use it to terminate someone who is underperforming or a ‘bad cultural fit.’
  • Focus on your performance management process NOW so you don’t run into a scenario of wanting to exit someone from your business without the structure, process, time or energy to do so.
Need to have a difficult conversation with an employee?

Get 30 min free advice from an HR Manager first! Call today on (03) 9662 9900.

The information provided in this article is only general in nature – before making business decisions you should consider seeking advice specific to your situation.

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Businessary bolsters team with top talent acquisition and employer branding leader

talent acquisition, visa sponsorship

Businessary bolsters team with top talent acquisition and employer branding leader

Jason Burns has joined the team as the Head of Talent Acquisition & Employer Branding.

Melbourne, Australia: Businessary is pleased to announce recruitment and employer branding leader Jason Burns has joined the team as the Head of Talent Acquisition & Employer Branding.

After nearly four years since inception, Businessary has well and truly established itself as a preferred provider of business advisory, marketing and HR services. With more than ten years of talent acquisition experience gained both locally and overseas, Burns’ appointment bolsters Businessary’s capability in the HR advisory space.

“Attracting top talent through a strong EVP and getting it right when it comes to recruitment strategy and process is a frequent pain point for business leaders. Being able to offer our clients these services backed by someone of Jason’s calibre is a huge coup for our business,” said Businessary Managing Director Annabel Rees.

Previously, Burns headed up Talent Acquisition for REA Group, and was the Head of Recruitment for Gallagher Australia. Most recently, he’s been providing ad hoc consulting services to a select group of businesses. Renowned for his ability to understand different industries and businesses and translate that into a compelling offer for candidates, Burns is passionate about ‘making great companies ace at talent acquisition.’

“I’ve worked with Annabel and the team in previous roles and I know the exceptional level of services they provide and quality of clients that the business attracts. I’ve got a reinvigorated energy and empathy for the challenges that come with building an employee brand and internal recruitment and joining Businessary gives me the opportunity to apply my skills and expertise,” emphasised Burns.

“The competition for talent is cutthroat, and if you’re not being proactive in this space you’re going to miss out on some great candidates.”

For all media enquiries please contact:

Melissa Montang, Head of Marketing and Communications at Businessary
+61 431 251 339
[email protected]

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Maternity Leave – Burden or Mutual Benefit?

maternity leave, parental leave

Maternity Leave – Burden or Mutual Benefit?

Frequently asked maternity leave / parental leave questions

The most common types of questions we get on the topic of maternity/parental leave are around whether an employee can be made redundant whilst on maternity leave, and what the employer’s rights are when it comes to an employee returning from maternity leave and requesting flexibility to their working arrangements.

If we dig a little deeper into the underlying concerns managers have when they want to explore these questions, it is often the unknown as to the productivity and commitment of the employee upon their return.

Promoting flexibility and supporting parents back into the workplace isn’t just your responsibility and obligation, it’s an important part of your people management strategy. Done well, it can also be an opportunity to truly demonstrate your integrity in the modern workplace and can be a real point of difference for companies who get it right.

The challenge for managers when faced with a returning employee or request to change previous arrangements is to think bigger picture and flexibly themselves, as it is often a case in which actions speak louder than words and they start to question if the role is really needed.

So, what are the facts when it comes to parental leave and flexibility?

With regards to what an employer is permitted to do within legislation, an employer can make an employee on parental leave redundant if the redundancy is genuine and the correct process is followed. Furthermore, there is no requirement for an employer to agree to a request for flexible working arrangements, therefore, an employer can also refuse a flexible working request provided the refusal is based on reasonable business ground.

Businessary HR Manager Lauren McCleery comments “While the legislation allows for redundancies of employees on parental leave, I’ve found that in most cases when talking through the situation and the business needs with the manager, a redundancy and refusal of flexible working would not be genuine, and in some cases fabricated – leaving the business open to risk.”

Are you missing an opportunity? Viewing parental leave as an HR tool

Returning parents to the workforce and allowing increased flexibility can be an opportunity for employers. Employees returning are often more motivated, productive and better able to juggle demands because they are very conscious of time restraints and being as efficient as possible. This is something that can be utilised and fostered by managers and will ensure greater engagement, loyalty and performance for the business! It also helps ensure that you don’t lose the investment you’ve made in that employee, and the valuable intellectual property they’ve developed within their role.

It can cost 1.5 – 2.5 times an employee’s salary to replace them if they leave because of the money spent on recruitment, retraining and inducting people into your business. And in specialist roles, where skills are hard to find, these costs are significantly higher.

Parental leave and flexibility makes business sense (and cents)

A study done by the Australian Human Resources Institute (AHRI) found that paid parental leave schemes give medium to large employers an advantage and can actually help cut costs and deliver a better result to your bottom line. This may be due to reduced turnover/recruitment costs.

On the flip side, employees that are not supported, refused flexibility and potentially terminated upon return not only send a person back out into the job market with a negative experience of the business, but also sends a negative message throughout the business for employees that remain, that may potentially be in that exact situation in the future.

Taking it up a level – prepare for the future workforce

Embracing parental leave, carer’s leave and flexibility arrangements can be more than an engagement and retention tool. It can also help to attract the best available talent and work to normalise caregiving – making it okay for single people, men, senior executives, anyone really, to take a block of time off or make flexible arrangements to care for an ailing family member or new child. Some countries and companies have begun to mandate parental leave for both men and women, which helps level the playing field for men and women at both home and work.
“It’s unfortunate because we’re losing our best leaders to caregiving, yet caregiving qualities make the best leaders today.”
-Shelley Zalis, Forbes
Do you want to talk to an HR Manager about your specific business situation? Get 30 Min Free HR Advice by calling (03) 9662 9900.

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What happens in an induction and what is an employee induction programme?

Employe induction and leaving

What happens in an induction and what is an employee induction programme?

Your new starters have already formed a view of your business through the application and interview process – do you think it’s a good one? Yes or no, the induction process is your chance to either turn a mediocre perception into a good one or turn a good one into a great one!

What is an employee induction?

An employee induction programme is the consistent process your business should use to welcome your new employees to the company and prepare them for their new role. Sometimes an induction is also known as ‘onboarding’, ‘orientation’ or ‘socialising’.

The process is designed to help integrate your new team member into the organisation. You’re forming the bond between your company and your employee that can withstand the normal ups and downs of a role.

A great start – what happens in an employee induction?

Induction can be quite formal and lengthy or informal and brief, just covering the necessities. It should mirror the culture of your organisation.

Here are the main sections that should be covered off in your induction:

  • First day logistics – i.e. what time should they arrive, who to ask for, who is organising keys/badge/uniform
  • Legal obligations – i.e. signed copy of the letter of engagement or employment contract, completed tax file number declaration form (unless declined by employee), completed superannuation choice form, etc
  • Introductions and safety – introduce your new employee to their team and schedule meetings with key contacts, show them the facilities and emergency exits
  • Culture and ‘the way we do things here’ – share the story of your business and expected values and behaviours

A great induction can help you turn your employees into your biggest advocates. This will help you improve not just your company’s employee attraction and retention, but also your client attraction and retention as well! This is the lens through which you should view your induction programme. Word of mouth can be either the best or the worst marketing for your employer brand.

Special offer: FREE employee induction checklist!

Using an new employee induction checklist is best practice to make sure you have covered all the requirements.

Simply fill in your name and valid email and we will send you your FREE employee induction checklist.

How do you ensure a good induction?

It’s all in the details. There are a lot of moving pieces to having someone join the organisation. Has all the appropriate paperwork been filled out? Have you ordered all the hardware and software they need, as well as setting up their desk? Having access to the network and emails is important, but so is having pens and paper to take notes during their early days.

A nice touch? Have their business cards ready and waiting on their desk when your new starter walks in.

Administrative tasks are important in induction, but so is ‘cultural induction’. Where do people go for lunch? Who can your new starter join for lunch on their first day, have you scheduled a team lunch or morning tea to properly welcome the new team member?

Does your business have a more formal culture, or relaxed? Do you have casual Friday attire? It’s a bit awkward to show up on your first Friday in your best suit when everyone else is wearing jeans (or vice versa if someone assumes you have casual Friday and you don’t!)

These are all one-percenters for sure, and if you miss one or two it isn’t likely to be a dealbreaker. But you can imagine the difference to your employee if they show up and nothing has been prepared for them, versus arriving to work their first day, confident that due thought and effort has been put into their arrival.

Interested to learn more? You can also check out our blog on getting both induction and leaving right in your business.

Need help with your induction programme or have other HR queries?

Need some additional help? Get 30 min FREE advice from an HR Manager! Call today on (03) 9662 9900.

The information provided in this article is only general in nature – before making business decisions you should consider seeking advice specific to your situation.

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What’s all the buzz about visa changes?

talent acquisition, visa sponsorship

What's all the buzz about visa changes?

Heightening scrutiny of the ‘genuineness’ of a particular role being sponsored by a business for a 457 visa has seen many employers seek professional support for the application processes. 

Immigration crackdown on employer 457 visa sponsorship

Heightening scrutiny of the ‘genuineness’ of a particular role being sponsored by a business for a 457 visa has seen many employers seek professional support for the application processes. Government case officers are scrutinising roles being sponsored, asking:

  • Have you tried to fulfill these roles locally? If so where is the evidence?
  • Are the roles relevant to your business?
  • Why are the roles crucial to the business?

What do you need to do?

If you’re an employer submitting a 457 visa sponsorship application, include detail, detail and more detail. Less questions from case officers means a quicker turn around.

Consider including as much information as possible to address the following 11 points as part of the application process:

  • Type of business and your operations
  • The industry sector your business operates in
  • Any new client contracts that require this particular role to be hired
  •  The importance of the role with in the business
  • Detailed position descriptions
  • Job ads and/or agency agreements to show that the local market was considered/exhausted
  • Why the business considered international recruitment
  • Why the applicant is most suited for the role
  • Applicants resume and any other relevant application details
  • Signed employment contracts
  • Any other information that supports the 457 application process

The 11 points above will help build a business case to streamline the process therefore allowing case officers to understand exactly why the business needs such a role.

It’s also important for approved Australian sponsoring employers to keep records to ensure they can defend their applications if the department audits the business.

For more information, or if you require further advice or assistance with regards to sponsorship criteria, compliance or special considerations when dismissing sponsored workers, give Businessary a call on 03 9662 9900.

Employers affected by budget changes to skilled migration

In the recent budget announcement to be launched from March 2018, the government has introduced a new levy employers will have to pay to sponsor foreign talent under the reformed skilled migration regime.

The Government is replacing the requirement on employers to contribute 1-2% of their payroll to training if they employ foreign workers, with a fixed-fee arrangement based on their annual turnover.

Business with an annual turnover of less than $10 million will be required to make the following payment:

  • An upfront payment of $1,200 per visa per year for each employee on a Temporary Skill Shortage visa.
  • A one‑off payment of $3,000 for each employee being sponsored for a permanent Employer Nomination Scheme (subclass 186) visa or a permanent Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (subclass 187) visa.

Business with an annual turnover of more than $10 million will be required to make the following payment:

  • An upfront payment of $1,800 per visa year for each employee on a Temporary Skill Shortage visa.
  • A one‑off payment of $5,000 for each employee being sponsored for a permanent Employer Nomination Scheme (subclass 186) visa or a permanent Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (subclass 187) visa.

For more information or to review how you could manage your current employees on a working visa, give us a call!

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