Employment involves a number of factors. It begins with sourcing and hiring the best candidates. Then moves on to retaining them and creating a pleasant, fulfilling place to work. It can seem like an employer’s duties never end. But making your workplace the right environment for productive and happy employees shouldn’t involve great effort. In fact, with the right approach, it can become very simple to build the atmosphere you want in your business.

However, it’s important to remember that creating a positive working environment is just one challenge. Maintaining it is another entirely. Retention is as important as recruitment, but staff will undoubtedly move on from time to time. When this happens, it will inevitably upset the positive working environment. It's important to realise that recruitment is where the creation of a positive workplace begins.

Recruitment planning

Employees are a company's most valuable asset. This is why effective and successful recruitment is so important. Recruiters need to be as sure as possible that a new hire can fulfil the requirements of a role. After all, you should consider any new hire as another vehicle to drive the company forward. Personality and 'cultural fit' are important too. A candidate may have a fantastic CV, but could they be disruptive to the team? Do they fit well with the company’s culture?

It's also crucial that recruiters appreciate how the demands of a role have evolved since it was last filled. Exit interviews with outgoing staff will garner useful insights about this. Treat any new recruitment campaign as a clean slate and a blank canvas. Copying and pasting in a job description from a few years ago will only result in a like for like replacement. Chances are, the role and the company have moved on since then. Every time the company recruits, it is an opportunity to ensure the role aligns with the current needs of the business. It shouldn't just be about filling holes.

Creating the job description and advert

Ensuring the job description adequately reflects the nature of role entirely should become a significant priority. It also pays to research the competition. After all, a company can only present a competitive offer if it does so. Job adverts need to be dynamic. They should showcase the company as well as the job opportunity. At the same time, they need to signal what skills or qualifications are requirements that are necessary, so that only suitably qualified candidates apply.

The interview

An interview is never exclusively about finding a suitable candidate to fill a vacant position. It is a two-way process. Candidates - especially the top talent - may not be interviewing a potential employer, as such - but they will be evaluating, assessing and weighing-up whether the organisation is one in which they will feel comfortable. Traditional interviews aren't always the most effective way of gauging a candidate's suitability for a role. Other selection and assessment tools might be appropriate. The interview itself should be an open and transparent process. Candidates should know what to expect. Interviews should be made to feel like a relaxed conversation, as much as possible. Offer feedback to all candidates. After all, the reputation of a company is at stake here.

The induction

Once an employer makes a formal job offer, the next crucial stage is a thorough induction process. This begins from the moment an offer is accepted. Successful induction programmes help new hires to establish themselves quickly and to become acclimatised to the culture of the company. The highest rates of staff turnover are new hires, so it is vital to get induction right. Motivate employees from the off, and productivity is maximised.

Creating a positive working environment will help to build a team that collaborates and works effectively together. It is vital to take the initiative in building a social, inclusive and creative company culture. Engaged, proactive and confident employees contribute ideas and energy to the business. Therefore, creating a positive working environment is essential.

An article by HR Solutions, providers of practical HR advice