Strategies and advice for businesses to stay in control through COVID-19 and get ahead of the pack

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COVID-19 Business Continuity – 27th August

I’m here with the COVID-19 continuity update for Australian businesses on 27th August.

In today’s update:

1. Recruitment in the current climate

2. Fair Work template for giving a direction to use annual leave

 

1. Recruitment during COVID-affected business conditions

While some businesses are right-sizing their workforce to match the current requirements, some Tenfold clients are actively recruiting, while others are waiting it out to see how the economy opens up.

For those who are recruiting, the early signs are that there is a solid flow of applicants with some good quality candidates in the mix.

It’s worth noting that the ability of businesses to recruit ebbs and flows with the economic conditions. Back in 2007 when the economy was booming, it was nearly impossible to land a good recruit with the first ad you ran on Seek; it often took months and several ad postings to find that right person.

2020 is different: there are going to be good people in the market who have been stood down on JobKeeper. Others will have had their hours reduced and may be looking to get their salary back up to the pre-COVID level.

Think through the situation and be innovative with what you are offering:

• It might be that you offer a part time role that converts to full time once the restrictions are lifted and employees can return to the office.

• Address homeschooling and show that you acknowledge that they may have homeschooling responsibilities in the short term; be flexible with how you work around your new recruit in the short term;

• Consider a start date that might be further out in the future once restrictions ease, knowing that you will be satisfied that you’ve locked in good talent, and the candidate will be satisfied that they’ve locked in a job for the future.

My perspective is that while things are uncertain at the moment, think of this time as being a ‘sale’ when you can pick up good people for reasonable salaries and the employment of them may mean you’ve locked in an A-grade employee for many years to come – you’ll appreciate your foresight in acting when you did.

Many Tenfold clients have shown more compassion to their employees than other small businesses in the broader market have done. Some of our clients have chosen to absorb the cost of their underutilised staff, maintaining people on a full week and full wages. And several Tenfold clients are carrying employees who are not eligible for JobKeeper through stage 4 restrictions.

Those gestures will position you well with good candidates who have their pick of employers, so promote your goodwill, promote yourself as being a compassionate, employer of choice who has looked after your team and gone above and beyond what is expected of an employer during these times.

Talk to a Tenfold business coach about your recruitment strategy to ensure you are in the best position to make the most of this situation.

 

2. Fair Work template for giving a direction to use annual leave

On the matter of right-sizing your workforce, I wrote about using JobKeeper to reduce your annual leave liability on 11th August. The Fair Work website now has a template to assist business owners to direct an employee to use their annual leave. You can download the template from this page on FWA: https://coronavirus.fairwork.gov.au/coronavirus-and-australian-workplace-laws/contact-us/tools-and-resources-during-coronavirus#templates

(The template is “Directing employees to take annual leave during the coronavirus outbreak”)

There are also other templates available on Fair Work’s website to help with making changes with employment:
• JobKeeper notification to change employee duties and or work location
• JobKeeper change of employee duties and or location
• JobKeeper notification of stand down
• JobKeeper stand down
• Standing down employees – for employers not accessing the JobKeeper scheme

Again, your business coach can support you with right-sizing your business.

Ash

Ashley Thomson B.Eng(Hons), Grad. Dip. Mgmt, MEI
Managing Director
Tenfold Business Coaching

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