Lismore Business Breakfast Wrap Up – November 2016

Your Most Valuable Asset: Your Staff

business breakfast lismore chamber of commerce and industry palate at the gallery

How do I manage my employment needs?

As business owners and managers, we are always keeping an eye on the bottom line, making sure we have sufficient cash flow and planning for the future. But there’s something not on your balance sheet, and it’s the most important thing of all – the skills and abilities, an incredible potential of your current staff.


Did you know, that for an employee on $60,000 salary, it will cost you $29,000 in recruitment and training costs? And, if they happen leave within 12 months, you can add an additional $6,000 in annual leave and performance management costs. It makes sense to do everything you can to retain your employees.


There was also discussion today about the major infrastructure projects happening in our region – being the Pacific Highway upgrade and the ongoing Lismore Base Hospital redevelopment. These projects will require thousands of staff and have the potential to bring many families and workers to the area long term.


This has many benefits (to the service area and subcontractors in particular) and may also have some negatives (luring your current civil and technical staff to the major infrastructure projects). It is important to remember that with the ramp up – also comes the ramp down, so keep an eye on your business strategy to ensure you don’t get caught out when the boom ends in a few years’ time. Focus on revenue sources outside the major projects to ensure the long term sustainability of your business and cash flow.


What if I need to replace staff or recruit additional team members?

If you do need to replace staff (even the best employees leave at some point), there are a number of options available to you.

  • Contact North Coast Employment to find long term employees- one contact for the seven major employment providers on the North Coast (including disability employment services)
  • Employ Temporary Staff for 2-3 days or 2-3 weeks – agencies like SilverTemp or Complete Staff Solutions
  • Advertise on Seek – for a $300 fee you will have more applicants than you could possibly imagine, and you can rank and score each applicant to help narrow down who you will interview.

How do I attract more applicants?

Joanne McLaughlin, panelist at today’s breakfast, suggested that you include one sentence in your ads: “Parents returning to work are encouraged to apply”.  We have recently hired our fabulous Accounts & Admin Manager, returning to work following maternity leave, and we can not sing her praises enough. Our new staff member has extensive industry experience in big business and brings a wealth of skills and knowledge to our company.


Another suggestion was to offer ‘Flexible Work Options’ in your job advertisement. Flexible work options are an excellent recruitment AND retention strategy. It is important to establish the parameters of flexible work at the start of the contract, including work hours and working from home arrangements.


The Queensland Government website has some excellent information that will start you on the right track. Flexible does not mean ‘free for all’ so make sure the parameters of your arrangement are clear from the outset.


And finally, make your advertisement interesting and appealing. Have a bit of fun and let your personality shine.

Today’s Business Breakfast Panel

  • Joanne McLaughlin, Human Resources Coordinator, Multitask.
  • Kath Paton, Nortec, representing the North Coast Employment Accord.
  • Jock McNamara, EPIC Assist.


Thank you to the Lismore Chamber of Commerce and Industry for another fantastic event. Sign up to the LCCI newsletter to keep up to date on industry news and to be notified of upcoming events.  Thanks also to Palate at the Gallery for the wonderful breakfast, the mushroom was delectable!


The next LCCI event is ‘Business After Hours’ hosted by ETC (employment, training & community). We will be meeting at the Lismore City Hall on Wednesday November 23, starting at 530pm.


See you there!

Warm Regards,

Stefanie Stanley, Business Manager.