3 things to consider before expanding your workforce in 2016

As businesses across Australia prepare to welcome in a new year, now is the perfect time to reevaluate your position in the labour market. 

Many professionals around the country will utilise the change of calendar to embark on a new career direction or seek better opportunities within their current field. Your small business could offer an appealing opportunity for these jobseekers but this requires careful thought and some potential changes to your recruitment process

Here are three key questions to address in your small business to ensure you are in the best possible position to attract talent in 2016. 

Are you maintaining diversity in your workforce?

A multicultural workforce is no long a simple "nice-to-have" for smaller businesses. Diversity is becoming a key factor for attracting and retaining candidates, as well as fostering creativity and innovation the workplace.

67 per cent of jobseekers stated that diversity within the workforce is a key consideration.

According to a survey from Glassdoor, 67 per cent of jobseekers stated that diversity within the workforce is a key consideration when deciding to apply or accept a new job offer. For female candidates, this proportion rises to 72 per cent. Diversity programs must be implemented with the best intentions and in a way that is meaningful to employees, as Vice President of Human Resources Mariah DeLeon explained.

"Your voice to recruits detailing your diversity efforts must mirror and promote the voice of employees who are key to showing how the workforce is comprised," she said.

Seeking the help of an HR consultant can be highly valuable in creating effective diversity initiatives and strategies for your workplace.

Do you have the right technology on board?

Innovations in technology have gained plenty of traction in 2015. Applications have become affordable and effective solutions to manage staff within almost any company. According to a recent report from Bersin by Deloitte, technology will become a key factor for improving staff engagement in 2016

"The HR technology market is bursting with new applications that shift the focus toward more consumer-like experience and away from tools created to streamline the work of HR administration," he said.

Some key applications that will grow in popularity include mobile-enabled platforms, predictive analytics, feedback and culture management software and cloud-based programs. If implemented correctly, all these tools can offer significant improvements to your HR and recruitment practices. 

How effective are your channels of communication?

As the world becomes more interconnected, domestic firms in Australia now face potential competition from firms overseas, as well as larger conglomerates on home soil. 

In a survey regarding the outlook for 2016, 59 per cent of firms stated they plan on investing more into their company brand in 2016 compared to the previous year. 

Social media is critical for deeply engaging potential candidates. Social media is critical for deeply engaging potential candidates.

With this in mind, it is important for smaller firms to capitalise on their unique messages, culture and methods to leverage their brand to stay relevant in a wide market. 

According to a recent survey conducted by Sensis, only 30 per cent of small businesses have a presence on social media. Surprisingly, this proportion has decreased from the previous year by 5 per cent. While it is not always feasible or appropriate for some businesses, having a Facebook page can do a lot for expressing your unique brand to both clients and future candidates.

Considering that over 50 per cent of larger firms have a presence online, implementing social media practices into your business may soon become a mandatory practice for small firms in order to appeal to potential candidates.

As 2016 draws ever closer, making some investments now could pay off well in attracting new employees to your small business.