New year, new outlook: Focus, discipline & attention to detail

Deb Loveridge provides some tips to ensure your attraction and retention strategy will be effective throughout 2013.

New year, new outlook: Focus, discipline & attention to detail

Deb Loveridge provides some tips to ensure your attraction and retention strategy will be effective throughout 2013.

2013 is the Year of the Snake in Chinese Zodiac and for Australian employers it’s wise to take heed of what that means. From a human capital standpoint, focus and discipline will be essential in order to navigate your organisation through the challenges which lie on the horizon. In 2013 there are a number of key people issues employers and HR professionals will need to be mindful of in order to ensure a successful year.

While talent shortages and a shallow talent pool will remain problematic in many industries over the next 12 months, the New Year is likely to see a growing competiveness in the labour force as people once again look for new ways to progress their career.

For organisations wishing to attract top talent, maintaining a strong employer brand should be viewed as a necessity, especially for those who may have limited resources. Likewise, keeping talented employees should be viewed as a key issue for the coming year. Organisations will need to ensure they are creating an environment which allows these employees to flourish and remain committed and content.

In order to ensure your attraction and retention strategy will be effective throughout 2013, here are five issues to keep in mind as the New Year approaches:


  1. Make your business a place where people really want to work
    As competition grows, business leaders will need to look at how to attract the best talent while also holding on to their stars. Employers should revisit their value proposition and communicate this at every opportunity. Offer the right training and development opportunities to allow people to up skill and take on new projects, and ensure you are open about opportunities for employees to further their career.
  2. Know how to navigate important people issues
    One issue which will remain a constant challenge throughout 2013 will be staying up to date with legislative changes and best practice within an ever changing and fluid industry. In order to stay ahead of the curve, HR departments will have to find answers to daily issues fast and deal with the issues promptly and professionally in order to maintain organisational reputation and avoid any legal situations.
  3. Productivity with limited resources & the need for future planning
    Understanding how to manage teams with limited resources will be a recurring theme. However, just managing your current workforce isn’t enough, as not planning for the future may be one of the major factors stunting the growth of your organisation. It will be the role of HR professionals within larger companies to ensure this is a focus, as currently workforce planning is not prioritised highly enough in many businesses. Ensuring your staff are ready when the economy starts to pick up will ensure your company is in the right position to grow.
  4. Know how to work with diverse talent
    With the labour force maturing, organisations will need to look to new employees to fill the gaps left by those leaving the workforce. Finding these people, whilst simultaneously welcoming generation Z into the workforce, will require strong HR support and a high level of planning. The diversity of talent isn’t just limited to age, as 2013 will see the greater emergence of flexible working options and a truly blended workforce.
  5. Innovation needed to stand out
    Maintaining a competitive edge and standing out from the crowd can be difficult when budgets and resources are limited. While it can be tough to find that truly game changing idea, innovation remains the key to business success and should be a key focus for the New Year. Ensure your business creates an environment which fosters innovation and original thinking. Engage employees at all levels, especially those on the ‘shop floor’, as more often than not it’s those workers at the heart of your business who have the best insights into the areas in which your business can improve.


For HR professionals, 2013 represents a year of great change and also great opportunity. Levels of preparedness and focus will separate those organisations that will be successful in attracting and keeping quality talent, and determine whether the transformation of the industry will leave your organisation behind.


About the author

Deb Loveridge is Randstad's managing director, Asia Pacific


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