My top tips: Jackie Nunns, chief executive, Kids' City

Make sure applicants know what the job involves Staff at Kids' City work in a physically and emotionally challenging environment. We make sure that the demands of the job are made apparent to applicants during our recruitment weeks and that no grey areas exist. Some people will probably drop out during the recruitment process, but those we recruit are more likely to stay.

Broaden staff intake A lot of people who have come to us on our volunteering schemes have gone on to become full-time staff. Those who volunteer with us come from a wide range of backgrounds, and this is reflected in our staff. Our Teenscene project is a good example of how we engage with the wider community to improve participation by encouraging young people to work as volunteers with children.

Support minimum standards I felt that the introduction of the minimum wage was a good thing, because in our sector many work on or close to that minimum level and can sometimes be exploited. I can't understand people who object to laws put in place to protect employees.

Make your own rules Most human resources templates and textbooks tend to be concerned with in-office staff, yet a large number of our staff operate outside this environment. We felt we needed to develop a distinctive approach.

Make sure employment and disciplinary procedures are transparent Involve employees in decision-making. Equally, details of training and vacancies need to be made available. Our commitment to openness is evident in Kids' City's disciplinary procedures, which were developed in consultation with staff. Low pay and demanding work conditions needed to be reflected in open disciplinary procedures and empowering decision-making processes.

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