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Blog: 10 Hiring Tips to Recruit and Keep the Workforce Your Company Needs

10 Hiring Tips to Recruit and Keep the Workforce Your Company Needs

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People leave their jobs because they quit, are laid off, retire or are discharged. The annual employee turnover rates across all industries was an eye-watering 44.3% in 2018. The cost of this is borne by both employers and employees.

All businesses need to find and keep the right employees. Keep reading to learn 10 hiring tips that will help your business retain people at all stages of the employment lifecycle.

Why is Employee Retention Important?

Some companies operate as if keeping employees isn’t important. They hire people with little effort or thoroughness. Then, they lose them just as carelessly.

Is there a reason why you should care about retaining people? Perhaps there are some benefits to having a lively turnover of employees … not really. What is the real cost of employee turnover?

There is a reason to care about your employee turnover and it’s not a misguided notion. It’s a serious commercial reason and one that could be the difference between your business being successful or failing.

In America, our poor employee turnover performance costs $160 billion a year. But, do you think it’s the mediocre and poor performers who leave your company? No, it’s your best people that are snapped up by the competition and the mediocre performers who hang around dragging your business down.

High-flying performers don’t appreciate being held back by their poor-performing associates. They deliver up to 400% more for you than your average employees. So who can blame them for seeking out opportunities where they are appreciated more. You are losing the soaring eagles amongst your employees and encouraging the turkeys to stay.

It’s time to do something about this sorry state of affairs. There are strategies that the best employees follow to attract, select and retain great employees. Do some or all of these and you’ll improve your employee retention rate and your business performance too.

1. Develop from Within

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Some organizations have a policy of promoting from within. But, developing from within is not the same thing.

Promoting from within sets up an expectation amongst your employees that if they stay around for long enough, their turn will come. It encourages a culture of entitlement rather than high performance. People get promoted because they have served their time rather than because they are right for the job and the company.

Developing from within is a culture where your employees understand that there is a culture of opportunity. People have the opportunity to develop so that they can compete with external candidates.

A learning culture is one where everybody is always working on improvement. This helps people to get better at both their current job and perhaps prepares them for a future job in the company.

This has several benefits for your business apart from the obvious performance improvement. People stay where they get the opportunity to develop. They appreciate the investment in them and love being good at what they do.

Seeing people around them getting promoted and knowing that they have the same opportunity, encourages your people to stay focused, deliver results and grow.

2. Encourage Employee Referrals

When you have good people, they tend to attract other good people. Your good employees appreciate being on a team of high performers. Implementing an employee referral program allows your people to bring other good people to you.

An employee referral program encourages employees to sell the benefits of working for you in the employment market. Employees in your competitors’ companies soon learn that you’re a great place to work.

You can even incentivize the program by paying a bonus to anyone who introduces a successful candidate to your business. It’s best to make the bonus playable on completion of the new employees’ probationary period.

3. Give Candidates a Great Time

For some reason, many employees are careless about the experience they give prospective candidates for a job. They forget that any unsuccessful candidates go back into the employment market with a negative impression of that company. Like an unhappy customer, they tell their friends and family what a dreadful company it is and how happy they are not to get the job they applied for.

Next time you are recruiting, that candidate may be perfect but because of their experience, they are unlikely to reply to the recruitment advertisement. Not only that, they will have put off several other possible candidates from applying.

When job candidates come into contact with your company give them a great time. The candidates’ experience should be a positive one, even if they don’t get the job. Leave them feeling that working for you would have been a wonderful employee experience.

These candidates are then far from disappointed and disaffected. They become an active salesforce for your employment brand.

4. Exit Interview

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When you lose somebody from your workforce, you should regard it as a learning opportunity.

Organizations often treat someone who resigns as if they have betrayed them. It feels like a personal insult or even a bereavement. The result is that communication stops or is uncomfortable for both parties.

Far from avoiding communication, you should open up the communication. There is much to be gained from a really good exit interview. Ask your employee for a meeting to discuss their reasons for leaving and make it clear that it will be a constructive meeting.

Just as onboarding is important for new employees to establish a great relationship from the start, off-boarding is important too.

Ex-employees can be a source of referrals for future jobs. If they leave feeling good about you and the company, why wouldn’t they encourage people to join your company?

These employees may even return to your company at a future date with more useful experience. If they are talented, why wouldn’t you take them back? Leave the door open for a future relationship.

Also, take the opportunity to learn any lessons you can about why you couldn’t retain this employee. This is especially important if they are a high performer. Take action if there is a problem you can do something about.

5. Take Diversity Seriously

Diversity isn’t just an ideal notation in human resource policy statements. It’s still less about keeping your company out of the courts and discrimination litigation. It’s an opportunity to attract and retain talented people.

Some potentially excellent employees are difficult to recruit and retain unless you are serious about actively supporting a diverse workforce. Remote working, flexible working, and part-time working are all ways you can appeal to some sections of the employment pool that find it difficult to work conventionally.

Child care and elder care can limit some very able people from working conventional hours. Think creatively about how you can organize work so that you can leverage this untapped talent pool.

Take seriously the likelihood that unconscious bias against some potential employees may be reducing your talent pool. Check your employment profile against the demographics of your locality. Are you failing to attract or retain any specific groups?

Explain to your management that unconscious bias is likely to be present. Demonstrate the evidence for it with objective data. Act to reduce the effect and tap the talent that is being missed.

6. Use Selection Centers

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Interviews are a popular recruitment method. This is despite the conventional recruitment interview being a notoriously poor way of choosing candidates. Both the candidate and the interviewer are on their best behavior.

A much more reliable method of selecting the best candidates is to use a multi-dimensional approach. Have an interview by all means, but don’t rely on it.

A selection center approach is one that uses psychometric questionnaires, group exercises, ability tests, and interviews to really get under the skin of the candidates. Be clear about what you are measuring and what criteria candidates need to meet. Don’t be swayed by one person’s preferences but instead use a team of recruiters.

7. Set Clear Expectations

Be clear with candidates about what the expectations will be for the job holder. Don’t oversell a job and then under deliver. This is unethical but it is also a sure way to have a high turnover of candidates in the first few weeks.

Have a clear job description and share it with candidates. Many people will rule themselves out when they see what the job actually entails. Describe the job accurately including the boring or tough aspects of the job.

It’s as important to be clear about what the behavior expectations are for people working for your company. A poor cultural fit is as likely to result in an early exit as poor job performance.  

If your culture is people-oriented, then let people know that they will be expected to behave in line with that. If it is a long-hours culture, let people know before they take the job.

When a candidate has been successful, continue to be clear about the expectations for job performance. Sometimes employees don’t deliver what is expected because it is not clear to them what that expectation actually is. Sometimes employees don’t understand what the consequences of not performing are either, so be very clear.

8. Recruit Great Attitudes

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A great attitude is difficult to train. You can train skills and knowledge, but attitudes are formed in early life and affected by major life experiences. Recruiting people with a great work ethic or authenticity and training them in the skills they need is easier than doing it the other way around.

Don’t be seduced by the idea that you can ignore poor attitudes if the candidate only brings knowledge, skills, and experience. These people are likely to undermine your culture, challenge your values, and bring down morale. 

9. Engage Employees

Truly engaged employees make your business safer, have fewer defects, are more productive and more profitable. This is such a powerful effect that it’s frankly incredible that more companies don’t put more effort into engaging their people. With only 15% of employees being engaged, it’s an untapped resource for many companies.

A further benefit of having engaged employees is that they tend to stay with you. Employee turnover is better and absences are much less too. It makes so much sense to engage your people, but how do you do it?

Companies that engage their people check how engaged they are by surveying them. They ask questions about their employees’ employment experience. They focus on the stuff they can do to improve engagement.

They empower people and their managers to make a difference in their workplaces. They select and train managers who empower their people. They ask for people’s opinions and listen to the answers.

These organizations make “engagement” a key performance indicator for managers. It’s such a key factor in performance improvement that this commitment to engagement is a strategic goal.

There’s a virtual circle at work here for employee recruitment and retention. By definition, engaged employees want to stay with you. They attract others to work with them and to enjoy the benefits of a successful company too.

10. Be Consistent

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You shouldn’t accept second-rate performance in any area of your company. The same is true in the areas of employee recruitment and retention. It’s not clever to be able to recruit and keep poor performers. So don’t compromise a business performance goal simply to hit a recruitment and retention goal.

Recruiting and retaining just anybody, may not see the needs of the company. Hard-to-get and hard-to-keep people may be what you need. Be consistent in driving for what the company needs.

Check that pay and benefits are competitive with the market. Also, check that you are providing the appropriate training and development. Check that the job design and opportunities for career development are attractive.

Make sure that all your human resource strategies are aligned and pulling in the same direction.

Apply These Hiring Tips!

Recruiting and retaining good people is a worthy objective. Apply these hiring tips and give your company a shot at excellent benefits. It’s worth the effort. 

We invite you to talk to us about your staffing needs, so contact us.