Improving recruiting efforts alone will not fix a company’s employee retention issues.
A company’s first efforts in reducing unnecessary employee turnover should always start with the reasons people are leaving. If companies focus on gaining greater staffing stability and keeping the employees they have, over time there will be fewer positions to fill, and therefore less recruiting to worry about.
Retention efforts can and should involve creating a culture where people want to work, which happens to also be a great recruiting tool. This has the double result of making sure employees already working there want to stay, and attracting plenty of new applicants for the positions that need filled.
So how does an organization make itself attractive in the eyes of potential candidates and current employees alike?
Do You Know Your Employer Brand?
When it comes to candidates, they normally will have an opinion about a company before they set foot in the building for an interview. What is your company’s reputation in the community? What are people saying about the organization? Building this brand can make a huge difference and can build up the excitement people feel when they apply for a job at your company – or squash that excitement pretty quickly if all they see and hear is negativity. Online sites like Glassdoor or Indeed allow people to review what it’s like to work for your company. The more you know about what people are saying, the more you can improve any aspects that aren’t top-notch and build a more positive employer brand.
Today’s new workforce has grown up with reviews for basically everything in their life – restaurants, products, hotels, doctors – instantly at their fingertips. We should expect no different of these potential employees when they’re researching places to work. So take advantage of what people are saying – and either use it to recruit candidates, or use the feedback to improve your company culture.
How Do You Describe the Company & Jobs?
Once you have done your research on your employer brand, it can be helpful to adapt the job and company descriptions you’re using in job postings to be more attractive. Yes, you should always start with the great work the company is doing and why people love working there. But if reduced turnover really is the goal, then retention efforts need to start early by being super transparent with candidates: Be honest about the good, the bad, and the ugly regarding the open positions. This may seem crazy when you feel like you just need “warm bodies,” but when you sugarcoat a job description, you’re only setting yourself up for more pain down the road (extra time, money, and turnover) whenever your new hire learns the less-than-glamorous aspects of the job and feels misled by their new employer. At that point, you’ve broken their trust, which takes a long time to regain.
Too many companies try to sell a culture that doesn’t truly exist within their walls, and it always comes back to haunt them as their new hires quit soon after training once they realize the reality of the situation.
Are You Making Candidates Wait Too Long?
We’re in an employees’ market today where they have choices since everyone’s hiring – so companies should adapt their hiring process to fit the current environment. Speed it up! Whenever you are considering new candidates, it’s important to expedite your hiring process.
Don’t let applications languish on anyone’s desk or in anyone’s inbox. Be proactive with moving the process along – because if you don’t, another company will. Streamline and automate where you can to ensure you don’t lose more candidates as they wait for your checklist to be completed.
And above all, throughout the application process, continue communicating with the applicants about their status and your hiring timeline to remain their employer of choice as they consider working at several other places in your area.
Once leaders strengthen the organization’s reputation and develop better, faster hiring processes, recruitment will improve automatically. And improved retention of that talent will follow.
By Cara Silletto, MBA, and Leah Brown – Crescendo Strategies