Help your staff apply for jobs

Some public service agencies are offering their staff workshops on how to write a quality application and how to prepare for job interviews. Some are also offering follow-up one-on-one coaching.

Why would you do this? Surely staff should know how to go about these exercises. And if I did offer such help, surely they would go elsewhere? Perhaps. But consider these points:

  • If staff are applying for jobs and missing out, they may go elsewhere anyway.
  • If staff repeatedly miss out this will impact on their morale, as well as on that of staff generally.
  • It will also impact on perceptions of fairness and diminish your agency’s reputation.
  • Recruiting costs will likely increase if internal staff aren’t succeeding in winning jobs.
  • Investing in staff by offering workshops and coaching, may be the factor that encourages staff to stay.
  • If quality staff are applying for jobs and missing out, something is amiss with either what they are doing or with what the selection panel is doing. It may also be useful to review the selection process to ensure that staff are not being disadvantaged.

Apart from workshops and coaching, what else can managers do to help their staff succeed in their careers?

  • Give staff regular informal feedback.
  • Take professional development plans seriously by taking a genuine interest in staff’s careers, meeting your commitments, following-up on professional development by, for example, giving opportunities to apply learnings in the workplace, asking about what was learnt, providing opportunities to share learnings with others.
  • Make sure staff know about internal opportunities for secondments and short-term appointments.
  • Manage acting arrangements so that staff gain the maximum benefit.
  • Take your referee role seriously.
Dr Ann Villiers, career coach, writer and author, is Australia’s only Mental Nutritionist specialising in mind and language practices that help people build flexible thinking, confident speaking and quality connections with people.