Investors in People – a recruitment tool?

Can the Investors in People standard help you find the best staff?

Published:  09 July, 2021

After running a successful repair centre for 20 years, it was clear that finding quality staff to grow and improve our business was becoming more problematic.  A respected friend who runs a communications company locally had posted on Facebook that he had recently joined the Investors in People Standard and had transformed his business through it.  After a short conversation with him, I got in touch with IIP (Investors in People), and our journey began.
The Investors in People Standard is a business improvement tool designed to advance an organisation’s performance through its employees.  It provides an expert overview of the organisation, offering valuable insight and pointing the way to improvements from an independent and objective perspective. One of the claims made by IIP is as a “benchmark for any well-run organisation, signalling to customers and employees your commitment to good business and people management excellence.”

Humbled and horrified
What difference has it made to us? Well, firstly, the biggest change has been me. As a very hands-on Managing Director and co-owner of our family-run business, I had always assumed that if the staff had a problem, they would tell me.  However, when I conducted my first staff appraisal (on the recommendation of IIP) I was both humbled and horrified when I learned of issues in the workplace and in employees private lives. It became clear that there had to be opportunities for more one-on-one conversations and also Toolbox Talks, a short meeting in the workshop to keep staff up-to-date with any changes or issues cropping up in the workplace. This keeps staff more connected with the success and progress of the business and, hopefully, more involved with the day to day concerns as well as providing opportunities to share any issues.

Aims and retention
Through working with IIP we also now have a company profile which states the following:
Overarching Aim: To build a loyal clientele and a company that will experience longevity and fane a trustworthy reputation, with client recommendations at the heart of what the business stands for.
Mission: To deliver optimum customer service at a fair price, and the promise to customers is we will Cut Costs - Not Corners.  We deliver on this promise by providing a professional service to every customer, ensuring work is completed right the first time and to budget.
Values: Loyalty to staff and customers; Good workmanship; Quality customer care; Investment in staff development (personal and professional).
Our employee contracts have been updated and we have company handbooks for each member of staff. As part of the ongoing IIP involvement each member of staff has an interview with an IIP representative who then gives anonymous feedback to me along with any recommendations for implementation.  
We began this journey with IIP in 2015 along with Investors in Young People (IYP) for our staff under 28 and became the only organisation of our type in Britain to attain both awards at the same time.
Has this helped us recruit staff? Probably not.  Has it helped us retain staff?  Absolutely!  Being in a situation where we’re about to appoint a new member of staff we find ourselves in a position of not having to advertise. The new employee about to start with us is coming because of a recommendation from another member of staff. Just as our business grows with customers recommending customers, maybe our staff will continue to grow with employees recommending other potential employees.

Graham Clark is the owner at Anderson Clark Motor Repairs, an award-winning independent garage based in Inverness.

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