7 ways to hire and retain safety-conscious employees
3 minutes | Posted 03 February, 2020

Are you looking to hire safety-conscious employees? Creating a safe workplace is something that everyone should strive towards. For employers in construction and manufacturing, building a strong workplace culture of safety is critical to the long-term sustainability of your business. Creating safe workplaces lowers worker’s compensation claims, reduces risks and potential accidents and is part of employers’ legal obligations.

Not to mention, potential candidates are more likely to choose employers who emphasise and promote safe workplaces. But how do you find the best team members with the right mindset and attitudes toward safety?

Here are seven ways to hire safety-conscious employees and create a safe workplace.

1. Make a culture of safety and creating a safe workplace part of your employer brand

If safety is one of your core values, it should naturally be expressed as part of your employer brand and Employee Value Proposition. Establishing strong brand messaging enables you to attract like-minded team members with shared values, allowing you to build a strong workplace culture of safety.

Regularly reinforce and amplify this value through your various channels, for example, through employee profile stories and social posts.

2. Include brand messaging around safety in your recruitment advertisements

A strong employer brand will be reflected in your recruitment advertisements. Make a safe workplace a key focus in your ad copy and showcase it as part of your Employee Value Proposition.

3. Include a screening question around safety

Attraction is the first part of the process; when it comes to screening, the fastest way for you to identify the top applicants in your pool who share a safety-focus is by including screening questions. Including a question around candidates’ safety focus allows them to demonstrate how they prioritise safety in their work.

4. Ask questions around safety priorities during second-stage interviews

After assessing candidates’ screening-question answers, second-stage interviews are an excellent opportunity to delve deeper into their experience and understand their values and priorities.

Here are some examples of questions you can use during second-stage interviews to explore candidate’s safety-focus more deeply.

Example 1: “Safety is of the utmost importance in this role and our organisation. How do you always ensure safety within your work?”

Example 2: “How do you promote health and safety practices among co-workers?

5. Offer consistent training

Structured training is vital to prevent accidents and serious injuries, so it’s likely your organisation has OHS training as part of your new hires’ induction. Leading with this safety focus is a great way to create a safe workplace, establish expectations for your new team members and make them feel comfortable and motivated about their new role.

Check out our article: “Why upskilling is your #1 attraction and retention tool.” 

While onboarding training is a great place to start, consistent training is an effective long-term strategy to reinforce your organisational and brand values.

If you experience challenges with participation and engagement, adjust your delivery. Some people may need to learn how to operate a piece of machinery, others will learn how to fix it. But everyone need to understand how to deal with an electrical fire. Your team members will be more willing to engage with and accept training when they understand its direct impact on their lives and how it serves their benefit.

6. Use incentives and rewards

Gain better results and establish a workplace culture of safety by offering rewards and incentives for using safety procedures properly. One way is to report and share information about decreased injuries and accidents. (But use this strategically so it doesn’t make employees reluctant to report workplace incidents.)

7. Provide the right support and equipment

While training is useful and effective, it must be reinforced with support and good equipment. While Australia has many mandatory rules and regulations, go above and beyond safety laws to provide support and good equipment in ways that are unique to your business. Regularly talk about first aid kits, helmets, fire safety, vehicle and machine-specific protocols, and other elements relevant to your business.

Demonstrating your commitment to creating a safe workplace communicates to your current and future talent that you care about their health, safety and wellbeing. Use these tips to hire safety-conscious employees. Including a safety-focus as part of your employer brand, screening and training processes, will empower you to build a strong culture of workplace safety.

Do you need a recruitment campaign to attract the best candidates to your vacancy? Schedule a discussion with our Recruitment Marketing Specialists.