Recruitment begins at home

You may have read recently the story of a car sales business in my home county of Kent that suffered a 'no-show' from all seven new members of staff due to start work on a wet Monday morning. Well, apart from the inclement weather, the common excuse for keeping them at home seemed to be 'better off on benefits' than risking failure in the commissioned-based role they'd earlier chosen to accept.

This beggars belief when you consider that the Centre for Economics & Business Research has just published figures that show how unemployment is forecast to rise in almost every region of the UK. In London for example, where we run the 100-seat Make It Cheaper call centre operation, it'll go up from 10.3% to 10.7% and in some regions it'll hit 13% by 2016. That's the highest it's been for two decades. So you'd be mistaken for believing that jobseekers would be a little more enthusiastic about turning up for their first day at work.

At Make It Cheaper, we champion a staff-get-staff recruitment policy and this is reflected in the levels of attendance and retention that are pretty abnormal for our line of business. I would estimate that at least a quarter of all staff have been appointed via referrals from existing employees.

We are more than happy to pay out £500 a time to the introducer (once the newbies have passed a three month probation period) because of the cost savings this brings. That's not because it's cheaper than using an agency or that we save on advertising (actually we always post job ads regardless). It's more about the value that our staff-sourced applicants deliver in terms of cultural fit, skills and motivation. We know that they come pre-loaded with the right attitude and have an instinctive obligation to work hard and deliver results. The introducer helps their friend to settle in and they both know they have something to prove.

Put it this way, no one who has been recruited in this way has failed to turn up for work on Day One.

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