Birse builds on brand to cut hiring bill

Construction firm Birse has slashed its recruitment costs by three-quarters
in the past year by improving its visibility in the jobs market.

Birse introduced online recruitment and linked its website to the Careers in
Construction site to allow candidates to post CVs via the internet.

The firm has also improved its employer brand by sponsoring construction
recruitment fairs and sector-based advertising.

Phil Harris, group HR director, said the company had cut its annual
recruitment agency bill from £800,000 to £200,000.

He added that the firm also aims to reduce staff turnover by 3 per cent over
the next year to 15 per cent which would benchmark the firm at 5 per cent below
the industry average of 20 per cent.

"We did not have a employer brand or any visibility in the market,
despite being involved in high-level projects."

An employee survey also showed poor management training was leading to staff
leaving. So HR implemented a management leadership and business skills training
programme.

An appraisal system – the Performance Development Review – has also been
introduced to improve the development and talent management of its 1,500 staff.

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