Attract and Retain the Best Staff

A recent survey by our Professional body found that only half of permanent employees (51%) think they are paid fairly and even fewer (34%) think that everyone in their organisation is paid fairly says Chris Wilkinson from Expert HR Solutions.  But we prefer to present solutions not problems he continues so read on.


The report finds the perception of unfair pay is being driven by employers’ lack of communication around pay.  When people don’t think they’re paid fairly, organisations reduce their chances of attracting and retaining the best talent. Employers also miss the opportunity to improve employee performance and well-being.  Chris says it is important to remember that what matters here is not what you think but what is the perception of your staff, because their perception is their reality.

Part of the solution says Chris is to communicate what your pay policy is clearly to all staff.  We suggest employers think about their pay policy differently and think more in terms of benefits package which allows employers to be much more creative in how they reward staff.  We all place different values on different things, so think of the benefits package like the shopping basket, pay is just one of the things that can be put in the basket.  It also happens to be a legal requirement to pay your staff at least the National Minimum Wage (NMW).  It is also true that at this moment in time the recruitment marketplace is highly competitive with far more jobs available than candidates.  It is therefore a fact of life that if you want to attract and retain the best you need to know what your competitors are doing.

There are any number of surveys that show that the offer of flexible working is consistently in the top five benefits that employee’s value.  The law was changed a few years ago to permit any employee to make a flexible working request so why not include flexible working as one of the benefits you offer as a benefit.  It has the advantage that it may not cost much to implement but will definitely be valued.


There is a huge amount of political and press interest in Senior Reward Packages currently, but have you ever done any of the following asks Chris:

  • explained to your staff why they get paid what they do, only about 60% of employees say this has happened to them;
  • have a formal process to assess and manage pay risk, less than 20% of companies do;
  • carried out an equal pay audit in the past three years to ensure they are complying with the law, less than 40% of companies required to do this have done so;
  • benchmarked your benefits package against other employers.


Well says Chris we think we have a solution.  If you are one of our Gold or Platinum retained clients, why not take advantage of the fact that included in the monthly fee is the opportunity to benchmark your package against other employers.  If you are not a retained client you can get the same comprehensive report which shows not only salary comparison, but other benefits such as insurance, car, bonus and so on both nationally and locally, call us on 01202 611033.

Does my business need an HR Software Package?

Here at Expert HR Solutions we are often asked what is the best HR Software package says Chris, and it is a very difficult question to answer.  The best test is to monitor how much time you are spending on managing things like recruitment and selection, absence management, managing leave requests and managing internal communications over a reasonable period of time.  If the average of your hourly rate divided by the hours you spend on such tasks per month is more than the number of employees expressed as £’s then the answer is you need to investigate further.  All HR Software packages are very good at automating HR related processes.  There are a huge number of HR software options available, but they can vary in quality significantly.

It pays to get your HR processes in good shape at the earliest opportunity. To help you do that, think carefully about what you need from your HR software. Some ‘core’ requirements that you’re likely to need include:

  • record-keeping, some of which are a legal requirement;
  • administering benefits;
  • secure data storage;
  • attendance tracking and arranging leave.

Depending on the nature of your business, you might also consider platforms that offer additional features such as:

  • hiring and onboarding processes;
  • training delivery;
  • internal comms, for example through a dedicated ‘intranet’ system;
  • employee self-service, allowing staff to manage aspects of the process themselves such as benefits choices or personal detail updates;
  • staff turnover;
  • staff retention;
  • staffing rotas.

Price is likely to be another key consideration.  Make sure you research all your options and choose one that suits the needs of your business.  Some of the packages we suggest you research include:

SMB; Bright HR; Breathe HR; Zoho People; CakeHR; BambooHR; WebHR.

If you want advice on this or any other employment related issues just give us a call on 01202 611033.

Most wished for Employee Perks

Have you ever wondered perks would help you attract tempt top talent to join your Company rather than a competitor asks Chris Wilkinson from Expert HR Solutions?  Well read on to find out what the research by the Job Search Engine Adzuna found, and best of all none of these cost a fortune, but please bear in mind this was a global research project.  Probably brought about by necessity as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic the top perks for workers in 2021 are all about the ability to work from home and support for wellness and overall wellbeing, with childcare also being high on the list.

Some Companies are offering a work from home cash allowance of anything between £500 to £2,000 to help recruits create a good working environment at home.  Chris says this makes sense from a Health and Safety perspective as well as the Employers duty of Care applies to home working as well as in the workplace.  If you are a VAT registered Company it probably makes even more financial sense to buy the equipment for them rather than giving them an allowance.

Many companies are offering virtual exercise classes to help their employees stay healthy, some are engaging a Personal Trainer to run weekly lunchtime virtual workout sessions, others are offering virtual yoga classes.

Encouragingly, many employers are caring for the minds, as well as the hearts, of their employees by championing mindfulness.  Some subsidise the cost of counselling or provide access to mental health first aiders, and yoga and meditation sessions.  There has also been a significant rise in companies offering a ‘wellness allowance’ for workers to spend on anything from meditation app subscriptions, to trainers, to airpods.  

As many parents struggle to juggle childcare and work, some companies are introducing childcare as a work perk.  Offers of back-up childcare or adultcare, some have even established a subsidised on-site nursery. If you want help and advice on this or any other employment issue why not give us a call on 01202 611033, the initial consultation is always free says Chris.