Several times in recent weeks line managers have told me that, in their experience, young people today lack the skills and attitudes necessary to join the workforce, with communication, teamwork and planning being top of the list of “missing” skills. Somehow, the “youth of today” seem less motivated to work, and less work ready, than previous generations. 
 
These conversations came back to me last week as our local secondary school celebrated the Year 11 Prom. 
You’ve stayed late at work to finish an important task in time for a major deadline. You’ve been working long hours all week to make sure the work is completed properly, alongside your “day job”. As the last action is completed, you feel the most amazing sense of relief and achievement. You’ve done it. Against all the odds, you have succeeded. 
 
You walk over to your manager’s desk to share the happy news. And your manager says...nothing. 
Do you have a parent or grandparent still alive? Or a partner or sibling? What will happen if one of your loved ones becomes too ill or frail to look after themselves? 
 
Until it happens, most of us would probably prefer not to think about it. But imagine for a moment that one day, your previously independent relative can’t get out of bed unaided, or walk to the bathroom alone, or prepare a meal. Perhaps they are unsteady on their feet, and at risk of a fall. Perhaps their condition, or the medication used to treat it, makes them confused and forgetful. They are likely to need transporting to medical appointments, and help with day-to-day tasks such as shopping, cleaning and paying their bills. 
Do you remember how it felt the last time you started a new job in a new organisation? 
 
When I think of my “first days” working for new employers, my overriding memories are of how odd everything seemed. 
 
Of being bombarded with policies, paperwork and people. Overwhelmed with information, but little idea how it joined together or why it was relevant. Meetings. Way too many meetings, but often no idea why they were relevant or whether these people would ever be seen again. 
Recruitment is a two-way process. It’s not just about finding the right candidate, but also about persuading them that they should want to come and work for you. 
 
We are all motivated by different things. Most people would agree that salary and benefits should be competitive, but jobs are about more than just money. Here are five areas that will really matter to some recruits. Are you clear what you have to offer? 
For most small businesses, it’s a potential nightmare. You spend months trying to find the right person and then within a matter of weeks comes the dawning realisation that this appointment isn’t going to work. Somehow, the person who was most qualified for the job on paper, and who gave the most convincing interview, just doesn’t make the grade in the job itself. 
 
How can this happen? 
 
There is a simple answer. Most recruitment activity focuses too much time and energy on the wrong things. 
This is the second post in a series about recruitment, and the issues you need to consider before and during the recruitment process. Part one, in which we looked at whether you really need to recruit, can be found here. 
 
Now you have decided that employing a new member of staff is the best solution for your organisation, you need to think carefully about who you are looking for, and where you will find them. 
Recruitment is time-consuming, expensive, and risky. Hours of selection activity may result in no suitable applicants, or worse, a recruit who doesn’t stay, or the nightmare of a toxic recruit who causes damage to your business before you can terminate their employment. The CIPD estimates the average cost of recruiting the wrong candidate at £8,200 for a non-manager. 
1. Having too many rules about how employees should behave. 
Particularly the rules that no-one can remember the reason for introducing, the rules that no-one enforces, and the rules that contradict other rules. It’s important to set out expected standards of behaviour, but these need to be reasonable, justifiable and not only accepted, but also rigorously enforced by every manager in the organisation. 
If I could suggest to you a few changes to the way your organisation operates which would 
 
a) cost you very little money - and may save you a fortune 
b) be likely to improve productivity and the quality of your products or service 
c) lead to employees using their initiative to solve more problems themselves, and 
d) reduce absence levels, and the chances (and expense) of your best employees leaving... 
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