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Employee retention is fast becoming a key competitive differentiator for many industries across the world. I am regularly in touch with businesses across the UK, Europe, America and Australia and we’ve all got the same challenge. A company’s ability to hold on to its talent, especially in rural businesses, often has ramifications for its ability to operate at a high level, without the disruptions that employee turnover can bring.
Working alongside a number of garden centres and farm shops this past year, it is clear that the attention to gaining good quality applicants is in the detail. There are so many benefits to working for independent rural businesses, including the work-life balance, shift patterns, the influence the applicant is allowed to bring and working for an owner who sees you as a person not just a number.
Amongst other aspects, retention of the staff is often down to culture and commitment. The interviewing stage is essential, and if you get your advert and criteria correct, hopefully this will help to monitor the quality of applicants. When you interview, I would encourage everyone to think about personality more than skills. Ideally the applicant will come with the right criteria for both, but if not, you can train skills, improving personality is another challenge.