Regardless of how good a company’s products are, those products won’t go anywhere if they aren’t supported by a bright, talented staff on every level. From support to sales to advertising, every department ultimately depends on human resources and hiring personnel to create a stable of clever, brilliant people who know how to get work done.
Actually bringing in that talent, however, can be a daunting proposition, and retaining strong employees can be even harder still. Sometimes, employers and employees don’t see eye to eye on the things that matter for retention.
Attracting Talent: More Than Just Money
Seem ambitious and reward ambition.
Regardless of what you do, you should have a serious eye toward how your company’s work affects the world, and reflect that in your company’s image. Those who share the ambitions the company broadcasts will be more likely to apply, and in turn will help realize those ambitions. Likewise, you should make sure that once those people have actually joined the company, their efforts get rewarded.
Build a reputation.
This doesn’t necessarily mean you have to have a reputation as one of the top employers to work for, either. Rather, your goal here is to make your company’s culture clear to outsiders, whether it’s through the editorial voice of your website, the way you reach out on your hiring and contact pages, or your overall brand image. By having a clear image as a brand that’s consistent with the realities of working at the company, you can make it much easier to attract those who will thrive in that environment, and dissuade those who will only bring your organization down in the end.
Snap up the right people.
Although it’s extremely important to find the right fit for a given position, don’t go overboard. Sometimes this mentality leads to a type of hiring freeze wherein highly qualified candidates are turned down simply because “the right one will eventually come.” If early in the hiring process you find someone who appears to be a solid fit for your organization with a diverse set of skills, sometimes it can be wise to make an offer quickly. There’s nothing stopping another company for finding that applicant, so always be cautious of your competition.
Retaining Talent: A Bird in the Hand
Keep an eye out for conflicts between employees and their bosses.
Three quarters of those who voluntarily leave their positions don’t leave because of the work or the company; instead, they leave because of a conflict with their immediate superiors. If employees don’t fit their current teams, see about shuffling them around to give them another chance. If they have many talents and are enthusiastic about the company’s vision, consider giving them a chance to move to another department entirely if you can support them there.
Follow through on an engagement strategy.
While almost all business leaders think having an engagement strategy will boost retention and keep employees invested in their business, only a quarter actually follow through on creating and implementing such a system. Whether it’s team-building exercises or an incentive program, make sure any such system actually sees use rather than being the credible threat of a system with no actual followup.
Not all turnover is a problem.
Some turnover is unavoidable, especially that which stems from other obligations, health issues, or other unforeseeable and uncontrollable variables. Likewise, some turnover isn’t a problem: if someone is a poor fit for the organization or performs badly under pressure, you may not want to retain them. Focus all retention efforts on those who you know you can retain and whose retention is ultimately avoidable.
Look into the causes of existing turnover.
Team leads and human resource managers should work together to look into employee turnover. Look for common threads in the reasons given for leaving. If new employees are consistently surprised by elements of the job, for example, consider a stronger onboarding process. Evidence-based decision making can often minimize turnover and help retain talent.
What do you think?
By taking some time to reevaluate your process for attracting talent, you can strengthen your organization’s overall culture and ensure that everyone who joins the company is a strong fit. Likewise, by taking some additional initiative with retention, you can keep these motivated people going for years to come. Have you had problems attracting or retaining talent? Have you made adjustments to your hiring process to improve employee quality or retention? Tell us about your process in the comments.