EMPLOYEES can feel they married their job. But the marriage goes two ways and separation comes at a cost - for employers at least.
Training, downtime, loss of knowledge, performance managing an employee out and recurring recruitment costs can easily add up to the equivalent of a year's salary.
That's why recruitment firm Peoplefusion has taken to showing clients how serious it is about getting the match right.
The Newcastle-based agency, which specialises in business services, administration, engineering and technology, has announced a one-year replacement guarantee on all its placements. In an industry in which three-month guarantees are the norm, the move would likely "set the cat among the pigeons", said industry commentator Ross Clennett.
"I'm not familiar with any other recruitment agency who would offer that - outside of executive search firms, which are dealing with salaries starting at a quarter of a million," said Mr Clennett, a veteran of 25 years in recruitment and a fellow of the Recruitment and Consulting Services Association.
He said the strategy was "risky" because many factors remained outside recruiters' control.
But Peoplefusion directors Sally Bartley and Ali Kimmorley said their free-of-charge replacement offer was backed up by their own solid statistics. A recent internal survey revealed that 97 per cent of placements were still in their roles more than a year down the track.
"We've got candidates that we placed 10 years ago who we still speak to," Ms Kimmorley said.
The Maitland women, who grew up just streets apart and have worked together in the company formally known as Richardson Recruitment for 12 years, attributed their high retention rate to "getting the steps right in the first place".
"When you consider the amount of time people spend in their workplace, it would be like going into a marriage where you had never met the person and didn't know what they were really like," Ms Kimmorley said.
A major factor behind their success was the ongoing support to help clients train and retain staff, they said.
"For us, placing the person in the position is only the beginning of our partnership," Ms Kimmorley said.
Ms Bartley said she hoped the one-year guarantee would help "lift the bar" in the recruitment sector.
TOP TEA GAINS AWARD
PORT Stephens-based Bondi Chai has won the NSW Telstra micro-business award.
The chai latte blend, inspired by New York and named after Bondi Beach, is made in Brisbane, packaged and distributed in Sydney and managed in Port Stephens by life and business partners Martin Buggy and Melissa Edyvean.
The venture is turning over nearly $2 million worth of product and has zero debt.
SHOPPERS on Hunter Street mall can now pick up an off-the-plan apartment.
PRD Nationwide launched an "art gallery-style" shop front last week to house its project-managing arm.
Speaking at the launch of Newcastle New Projects on Thursday, Newcastle MP Tim Owen said the one-stop resource centre for investors and home-buyers was a "fantastic concept".
The CBD display suite at 113-145 Hunter Street would provide information on investment opportunities and urban renewal projects, and would run information nights for consumers, said managing director Mark Kentwell.
The display suite will use Global Imaging Satellite data to show clients what other residential, commercial and public infrastructure projects are mapped out.
DAY ONE OF RETIREMENT
THE executive director of the Hunter region's Housing Industry Association might be enjoying a sleep-in this morning. After 15 years serving the residential building industry, Steve Jeffries will have his first day of retirement today.
Mr Jeffries shepherded HIA members through ups and downs such as the introduction of GST, the collapse of HIH Insurance and the global financial crisis, HIA managing director Shane Goodwin said.
"Steve is to be congratulated on a long and outstanding career," he said.
Former deputy Craig Jennion takes the reins as executive director.
MINING SAFETY ON AGENDA
THE Mining and Engineering NSW trade show organisers are scouting for local talent to take part in panel discussions and show their wares at the exhibition, which returns to Newcastle in October.
Event organisers REEDMININGEVENTS said more than 150 suppliers had been confirmed for the October 8-10 event at Newcastle Entertainment Centre. Panels will discus safety and women in mining. For more details, see miningandengineeringnsw.com.au.