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Attraction and retention of talent

There are five key elements to attraction and retention of staff.

Identify Core Skills

Clearly identify what the local area goals and objectives are and develop a list of core skills required to achieve these objectives. These will form part of the position description which will be used to attract potential candidates.

Recruitment and Selection

The University aims to recruit and select staff to achieve its strategic directions and who demonstrate attributes that are consistent with the organisation's directions and culture. The position description and advertisement should be used to attract suitable candidates. Refer to the Staff Recruitment and Selection Policy and Guidelines for further information.

Reward and Recognition

The University provides a range of benefits and mechanisms to encourage and support the recognition, reward, attraction and retention of staff. It is important that the local area identifies suitable reward and recognition strategies for the local area, taking into consideration the local environment, cultural issues, etc. Refer to the University's Remuneration and Reward Policy and associated Market Allowance Guidelines and Performance Based Remuneration Guidelines for further information.

Professional Development

The University provides programs and activities that coordinate development opportunities for all staff. These include induction programs, general and equity development programs and professional development programs. The local area should identify professional development programs that are focussed on improving performance, motivating and encouraging an individual staff member's growth. Refer to the Induction and Staff Development webpage for further information.

Performance Management

Performance expectations need to engage, motivate and encourage staff to improve commitment and productivity. Performance management is about optimising every staff member's (including managers) capacity to meet the University's expectations, the staff member's personal goals and career aspirations. Performance expectations should be identified annually for all staff, in line with local area goals and objectives. For further information, refer to the UniSA Performance Management website.

A Workforce Plan

Creation of a Workforce Plan can monitor strategies on the attraction and retention of talent. These strategies include recruitment, induction, performance management, professional development and succession planning.

It is recommended that local areas examine their workforce planning needs, at least on an annual basis and align this with the Corporate Business Plan. When researching workforce planning processes, five common steps were consistently found for successful workforce planning:

1 Review Business Strategy and Objectives
  • Focus the local area staffing structure on what is core business.
  • Understand the local area impact to the University and focus on the challenges.
  • Look at the possible future directions.
  • Identify internal and external factors that may impact on the workforce profile. External factors may include changes to government policy on Higher Education, labour market shortages, technology, globalisation, etc. Internal factors may include changes to Industrial Instruments, program/course changes, introduction of new business activities, products or services, projected enrolments, etc.
2 Analysis and Forecast
  • Identify workforce implications of business strategy and objectives, for example, workforce profile, capabilities requirement and labour market pool.
  • Examine the local area workforce profile and determine workforce projections for the coming three to five years.
  • Identify current and future workforce needs and analyse current commitments.
  • Considerations should include: Is there excessive or too little turnover? Is there an appropriate balance of managerial, professional, academic and general staff? What are the levels of technical competency and is this sufficient?

The Annual Workforce Profile Report provides broad workforce data and analysis against a number of human resource indices. Further local area specific data can be gathered by using UniSAinfo. Both of these tools can help with the following steps.

3 Gap Analysis
  • Identify the extent to which staff contribute to the core business. What new skills are needed? Are there any shortfalls?
  • Identify existing staff capabilities and establish whether these need to be further developed for the future to achieve local area strategies and objectives.
  • What capabilities need to be developed? Capabilities can be developed by either creating career management plans through the University's performance management process or implementing succession plans.
  • Consider broader management issues as a way of improving local area performance, for example effective use of technology, more appropriate staffing structures or better management techniques.
  • Develop objectives and strategies to address any workforce gaps.

Specific areas for consideration include:

  • Need for a more diversified workforce.
  • Need for staff with greater contacts with commerce/industry.
  • Need to increase research activity.
  • Need to improve the quality of teaching.
  • Need for specialised skills/experience in a tight labour market.
  • Need to increase the qualifications of staff.
  • Implications of managing an older workforce.
  • The importance of retaining key aspects of corporate knowledge.
  • The need to match recruitment and retention approaches to the aspirations of different generations.
4 Strategy Formulation
  • Look at strategies that move the local area from where it is now to where it should be. Consider all of the above factors mentioned.
  • Consider external environmental factors. For example, are there suitably qualified recruits available in the market, are there changes to Higher Education government policy?
  • Consider internal environmental factors, for example performance management issues, changes in management.

Develop action tables to track the implementation of strategies formulated. Staff involvement at this stage is crucial.

5 Creation of a Workforce Plan - Monitor and Evaluate

From these action tables a Workforce Plan can be developed. The Workforce Plan will capture attraction and retention strategies that can be monitored on a regular basis. These strategies include:

  • Recruitment and selection (Marketing the University as an Employer of Choice).
  • Succession Planning.
  • Career and Professional Development.
  • Knowledge and information management; capturing, sharing and developing the right University knowledge.
  • Managing performance proactively and retaining valuable staff.

Creating a Local Area Workforce Plan

Should local areas choose to create a Workforce Plan, two templates have been developed to assist in exploring the above considerations, analysing workforce gaps and determining strategy formulation.

Workforce planning responsibilities must involve appropriate managers and supervisors, including first line managers and HR Officers.

The templates are broken into two parts: Part 1 - Workforce Planning Questionnaire and Part 2 - Strategy Development. The Questionnaire can be used to identify key workforce themes or issues occurring in the local area. Strategy Development can be used to address resource implications and identify strategies for each of the workforce themes/issues.

From here a Workforce Plan can be created specific to the local area. It should include timelines, allocate responsibilities and be supported by the relevant Pro Vice Chancellor/ Executive Director.

If a Workforce Plan is created, it is recommended that it be communicated to all staff and monitored annually.

The process is voluntary and can be enhanced to suit the local area's established processes.