Summary: Good employees are hard to find. Here are 15 ways to hire and retain them.
- Finding and keeping quality employees has become an inherent challenge within today’s business world.
- This article lists 15 ways employers can find and retain the best of the best for their business.
- Keep reading to find out how you can find and keep the best employees for your company.
We know companies need awesome employees to thrive. That’s why so much time and effort is spent finding them. In an ideal world, top-notch employees will stay with us for the remainder of their careers. However, turnover happens. This is especially true with millennials. That demographic notoriously leaves their employment every one or two years if they think their job no longer has meaning. But for older generations, attrition occurs if employers fail to attend to their workers’ concerns.
So what can employers do to find and keep great employees? And why does it matter?
For one, onboarding a new employee is an expensive process. According to Glassdoor, the average U.S. company spends $4,000 to find a new worker and that process takes 52 days. During that time, employers use valuable resources writing job listings, posting want ads, reviewing resumes, and interviewing candidates. Not only is the hiring process financially expensive, it is also a drain of energy and time.
Plus, waiting to find new employees creates a lag in productivity. That lag occurs when the position is empty. It also occurs in the time it takes new employees to get up to speed, which Entrepreneur said can extend over six months on average.
“According to Investopedia, training a new employee to the break-even point takes an average of 6.2 months. That means if an employee leaves, you'll need a half-year to get his or her replacement up to a base level,” Entrepreneur wrote.
Now consider what happens if you spend that amount of money, energy, and time every year. As you can see, this is a huge problem. But the problem worsens exponentially if you lose rainmakers or other important people in your organization. To avoid this, employers should do the following:
- Don’t be a stickler for what’s on a resume. Instead, trust your instincts when hiring.
Companies need good people to fill their positions, and sometimes, the best and most loyal employees will not be shining stars on paper. However, if you give an unpolished, smart person a chance, you’ll most likely be rewarded. That’s what Lou DeVoto, founding partner of Rossetti & DeVoto, PC told Employment Crossing.
“For us, hiring quality employees starts with finding quality people who are both smart and energetic. We have learned that we can train anyone to be proficient and skilled in the actual job or career. What we can’t do is train average people to become great people who get along well with others and work well on a team,” DeVoto said.
The attorney added that when interviewing he looks for personality cues and then uses his intuition to make a final decision.
“Sometimes it’s the smaller details in a prospective candidate’s resume that gives us insight as to the quality of a particular candidate,” DeVoto continued. “We also give a test at the initial interview that has little to do with the job, but gives us insight into a person’s general knowledge, conscientiousness, and truthfulness. This allows us to separate candidates more easily than if we just looked at the resume and the interview. In doing so, we have learned that some of the most polished candidates wound up being the least desirable candidates. Likewise, some of the candidates, who were not always the most seasoned in their interview process, had some of the best test responses. They had far more insight and judgment than the polished candidates.”
- Put out a job listing that shows what working at your company is like.
Potential employees look at your job listing to not only see if they are qualified for the position but also for cues as to what your company is like. A boring ad won’t help you stand out from the rest. To attract quality, you need to show your value to candidates as well as outline what traits your company desires. Write an interesting ad that gives people a sense of what it would be like to work for you.
“We advertise for job openings as opposed to asking for referrals from friends and relatives. We have often found that referrals tend to be biased based on the relationship. Advertising for job openings also gives us the largest pool of candidates to consider and gives us insight into the current job market,” DeVoto told Employment Crossing.
- Polish your online presence.
All companies nowadays need to be mindful of their online presence. That means they need a professional website that clearly states what the company does and what it stands for. When candidates see a job listing, they will immediately look for your website, so make sure it is appealing.
Candidates will also Google potential employers, so make sure what they find is positive. Be mindful of your reputation because it could either attract or repel talent.
- Use social media as digital word-of-mouth.
While job candidates will look at your website, they will also use social media to determine whether or not they like you. Many younger potential employees trust what they read on platforms such as Facebook and Twitter; and when job seeking, they use those apps to find work and to see what their friends say about those companies.
“In addition to word of mouth, the best way to find great millennial candidates is via social media,” Mitchell Sexner, founding partner of Sexner & Associates, LLC, told Employment Crossing. “Millennials seem to trust social media and social media reviews for not only great places to eat dinner, but for great places to work as well.”
- Recognize your employees’ achievements.
People want recognition for their hard work. No one enjoys putting in long hours and tons of energy only to be unappreciated for it. That’s why companies that want to retain quality employees should reward them by publicly praising them, giving them financial bonuses, or providing other types of thank yous such as parties or luncheons.
“Prioritize employee recognition; and you can ensure a positive, productive, innovative organizational climate. Provide employee recognition to say thank you and to encourage more of the actions and thinking that you believe will make your organization successful,” Susan M. Heathfield wrote on The Balance. ”People who feel appreciated are more positive about themselves and their ability to contribute. People with positive self-esteem are potentially your best employees.”
- Offer fair compensation and excellent benefits.
Money is one of the main reasons quality employees jump to another job, so it is important that you pay a fair market rate to your employees from the get-go to avoid attrition. Additionally, salary and benefit information is easily found online, and workers will not stay if they are being low-balled or if there is an unfair pay gap with their coworkers.
- Offer flexible schedules.
Sometimes employers can provide a great environment and pay, but people will still leave. Common reasons are their commutes are bad or they need more time with their families. To prevent their resignations, offer flexible schedules. This will help retain and attract talented people, especially those who are parents or caregivers; and it will also end the feeling of a 9-to-5 grind.
- Offer remote work.
Because of the internet, many employees no longer need to come to an office to do their work. Unless it is necessary to have your workforce on-site, consider offering remote options, either full or part-time. Not only will it be convenient for your employees, but it will allow you to hire talented people who live anywhere.
- Create a positive work environment.
Employees want to work in a friendly work environment where they feel free from bullying, sexual harassment, and other forms of intimidation. The year 2017 saw a reckoning when it came to sexual harassment and retaliation in the workplace, but the threat of being exposed publicly or facing a lawsuit shouldn’t be the only reason to stop a toxic environment from brewing. Allowing impropriety or negativity will drive out talent and create a reputation that will repel new hires in the future.
“Find the right culture and a job won’t feel like work,” Harrison Barnes, founder of BCG Attorney Search said. “What will make the difference over time [for an employee] is not a $5,000 salary differential but whether they feel comfortable and appreciated.”
- Offer fun perks.
Google is famous for giving employees free food, a casual dress code, and ping-pong tables; and other companies have followed suit by providing equally fun places to work. But it’s not just the superficial that attracts quality employees. Companies that offer free gym memberships, free child care, flexible schedules, unlimited paid time off, and other unique benefits attract and retain the best of the best.
- Promote open communication.
Getting feedback from employees should not be limited to the one hour or less it takes to give a year-end performance review. Companies should have an open communication policy, where they allow workers to give feedback on what is working and what is not.
“Consider asking longer-tenured employees why they stay. Ask questions such as: Why did you come to work here? Why have you stayed? What would make you leave? And what are your nonnegotiable issues? What about your managers? What would you change or improve? Then use that information to strengthen your employee-retention strategies,” The Wall Street Journal wrote.
- Hire and promote diversity.
Homogenous environments tend to not be as creative as diverse ones, but many companies struggle to hire and retain diverse employees. If you are having trouble finding a diverse workforce, you can reach out to diverse professional organizations for resumes, collect referrals from existing employees, partner with schools, or advertise in diverse media.
A study about the high attrition rates of women and people of color in the tech industry found that these groups experienced a high amount of unfairness in the workplace. According to the research that was published in USA Today, eight out of 10 employees left their jobs because of bullying and unfair lack of promotions. To combat diversity attrition, make sure that your workplace is free of discrimination, and make efforts to mentor your staff and promote diversity to leadership positions.
- Give meaningful work.
Employees crave work that is meaningful. Millennials especially want to feel as if their contributions to a company have a purpose. They are more motivated by that than money, and employers who want to keep them should keep that in mind.
“The most important things for employers to do, especially for younger employees and lawyers, is to give opportunity,” DeVoto told Employment Crossing. “Opportunity creates an incentive for employees to showcase their talents and to get credit for a job well-done. Regardless of how much you pay someone, they will eventually become miserable in their job if opportunities for growth and personal satisfaction are missing.”
- Allow employees to have work-life balance.
The days of spending early mornings and late nights at the office, only to do it again the next day, and then the next, are over. According to The Intelligence Group 88% of millennials value work-life balance. Employers who refuse to accept this fact risk losing the millennial demographic, which reportedly will make up 75% of the workforce by 2025.
- Hire an employment agency to help with your search.
Finding the right people is one of the tallest hurdles toward retaining your workforce. Writing comprehensive job listings, weeding through resumes, and interviewing strangers is a daunting task. For some employers, it makes more sense to hire a third-party to help with hiring than to do it themselves. These employment agencies usually charge when a hire is made, and considering the cost of a new hire and turnaround, it’s a worthy investment.
The biggest expense to most organizations are its employees, and the cost of onboarding adds even more to that. To avoid attrition, take care in finding the best people based on their personalities, and not necessarily what their resumes state. Additionally, appreciate your employees and give them quality work, fair compensation, and excellent benefits; and you will see a workforce that is excited to stay and grow with you.
"Retaining the best and brightest is what ultimately matters," author Lynn Taylor told Business Insider. "The most innovative and successful companies today have figured that out. They've taken retention efforts to an advanced level."
What methods does your company do to find and retain quality employees? Let us know in the comments below!
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