Business Barbados

Recruitment Practices

The recruiting process can be handled in-house by an HR practitioner, as well as through the use of employment agencies and human resources advisory firms.  It is common practice for entry level positions to be sourced by in-house human resource personnel, with middle and senior management recruitments being handled by human resources advisory firms who possess experience with these types of recruitments in the local and regional market.

In Barbados, the most common method of recruitment is via advertisement in the print and electronic media. However, it varies depending on the type of recruitment.   Other methods used include head hunts and database searches.  A combination of these methods increases the likelihood of developing a sufficiently large applicant pool from which a few strong candidates can be shortlisted. It should be noted that the local market is relatively small, which makes it difficult in some instances to source a large pool of applicants for some senior or executive positions. The aim is always to find at least one excellent fit.

Selection Practices

Interviewing is the most widely used selection process in Barbados; where first and second interviews are conducted.   Interviews should ideally be scheduled one week in advance, but may not always be possible, therefore negotiation between the potential employer and employee may be necessary. Technologies such as SKYPE and teleconferencing are often used to facilitate preliminary interviews of candidates not resident in Barbados.

Behavioural interviewing is a common practice, along with reference checks and psychometric assessments.   It is advised that a combination of these selection methods be utlised to guarantee that the best candidates are screened and to benefit from a reduction in future costs associated with hiring and training, even at the basic entry level positions. It is also important to consider compensation and benefits packages in order to attract and retain the best candidates.

To ensure an effective selection process a job description which captures the knowledge, skills and attributes required for the job should first be developed.  This information is needed that the recruitment phase to make sure that potential candidates have a clear understanding of what is required of them on the job. Additionally, a well defined job description mitigates against the submission of a large number of applications from persons who do not possess the desired knowledge, skills or attributes.

Hiring Practices

Once a candidate has been selected, the next step is to make an initial offer to the potential candidate.  At this stage there should be agreement between both parties with respect to the hours of work, compensation and benefits packages, vacation entitlement, place of work,  notice period, disciplinary and grievance procedures (all of which are found in an employment contract and are required by the Employers Right Act 2012).

Orientation Practices

On the first official day of work, it is common practice to orient new employees to the company. Orientation programmes vary from organisation to organisation, with sessions ranging from brief introductory sessions to more lengthy formal ones.  New employees should be presented with a copy of the company’s handbook in order to acquaint them with their new company and its policies. Also introductions to all members of staff, the employee’s immediate supervisor and manager should be made.   It is common practice to provide new employees with additional background information required to perform their job, as well as equip them with the necessary tools they may need to do so.


Employee Relations Practices

Establishing and maintaining a positive relationship with your team members is the key to continued success.  Employee engagement becomes an essential component of developing and maintaining good employee relations.  This is achieved through the use of human resources strategies which encourage commitment by employees to achieving the goals of the organisations. Employee engagement fosters productivity and can be useful in measuring output in performance measurement and improvement systems.

Performance Measurement and Improvement

Performance measurement and improvement is linked to the economic performance of the organisation.  It is useful in identifying top, average and below average performers and is also used to measure output.  Performance measurement and improvement systems are necessary tools in measuring and improving the performance of employees and should be aligned to the corporate strategy. These systems are often electronic and should not be complex but practical.

Training and Development

Barbados has several technical and vocational training institutions which offer a wide variety of educational programmes.  These include workshops, short training courses, certificate and diploma courses, as well as undergraduate and postgraduate studies.  Some of the well established institutions are Samuel Jackman Prescod Polytechnic, Barbados Community College, University of the West Indies and Barbados Institute of Management and Productivity (BIMAP).

Beyond Satisfaction to Engagement for Productive Growth

As a part of their retention strategy progressive organisations in Barbados periodically survey their team to better understand specific ways in which they can improve engagement for effectiveness and a healthy, productive work environment. Emphasis on creating and maintaining a value centric culture where talent can grow and develop is important to many organisations doing business in Barbados.