Q: Recruiting new employees is a huge investment, and this is costly to my company. How can I safeguard new recruits from leaving shortly after being trained? Are there any methods that can reduce recruitment costs and save money?
What ultimately makes a successful business is a proficient work force. Training workers is an investment in the employees’ personal attainment and an investment in the interests of your business, promoting your business to new and better levels. However this benefit does come at a considerable cost to employers and so their concerns of staff leaving them promptly after completing valuable training are very valid worries.
Equipped with valuable knowledge, skill and experience thanks to the employer’s training, the employee becomes, inevitably, more knowledgeable, skilled and experienced therefore capable and feeling confident to advance onto bigger job opportunities. Sometimes these job opportunities can arise in the company where the employee has been trained, but more often than not these opportunities are found elsewhere.
An employer can safeguard their company’s loss if the employee gains employment elsewhere after you have invested in their training by expressly agreeing that you can deduct money from their wage to reflect what you have spent on that training. You can do this by drawing up a form of ‘training agreement’ which sets out your position. It is important to ensure that your position is effectively communicated and understood by the employee by inserting terms and conditions into the contract of employment that is given to the employee at the start of employment, or implementing a stand-alone agreement. Whichever way the provisions are implemented, it is essential that the employee signs their agreement because what you will effectively be doing is deducting money from their wages.
The agreement should clearly stipulate that the employee will be liable to pay back all or some of the costs incurred by the employer to train him. This is because the matter is agreed between both parties i.e. in the form of a contractual agreement, the terms themselves can take shape in whichever way the employer chooses but he should show reasonableness in the way the deductions are formulated. To do this, the deductions could be set out in a sliding scale.
This agreement would specifically cover any specialised training that the employee needed to perform their job or enhance their skills, and would most likely include off site courses that have a quantifiable cost attached to them. Everyday training that is provided to employees on your particular software or your machinery that is provided by other employees during their induction period, for example, would not be subject to the training agreement.
This procedure should be embraced for all new employees when they commence employment with you. Just because this agreement makes up part of their contract of employment does not mean that you are obliged to provide them with any extra training. Introducing this agreement to deduct wages for existing staff would require a consultation period with them because it amounts to a change in their terms and conditions.
Recruitment costs can be significant. The best way to keep down recruitment costs is to avoid having to recruit at all. An employer who takes full responsibility for the well-being of their workforce, rewards effort, offers continuing support and creates an enjoyable motivating ethos to work in may be as attractive and compelling to an employee as a healthy wage packet. Keeping staff morale up and focussing your business around them will make them feel like they are an integral part of it. This may in turn prevent your employees looking elsewhere to gain fulfilment in their careers.
For any further information regarding the issues above, please call our Advice Service on 0844 892 2488