Ask the Tough Questions to Improve Recruitment and Retention

retention, recruiting, hr

Recruitment and retention are hot topics right now. Finding the right talent and keeping them presents employers with a tremendous opportunity. Keeping talent is, in fact, critical to the success of your business. Many companies do not realize the total cost involved with turnover.

So, how do you figure out what the cost is and how do you keep it from happening? First, stop hiring the wrong people. This means you need to make a change in the way you recruit talent. Second, change the way you manage your people. This is particularly relevant when you hire the right people, but your culture is not what you sold to the employees during the recruiting process. The result is tension, frustration and discontent.

So, before you can focus on the solution, you must know the problem. Ask yourself, do you need to hire better or do you need to treat your folks better?

Making the ‘Sale’
If folks are leaving within the first 30 to 60 days, more often than not, they were sold a career and culture that is not reality. I am going to let you in on a secret — recruiting is sales.  SURPRISE!

In order to recruit folks to leave their current employer — folks who had no interest in leaving before you called them — they have to “buy in” to the opportunity just as if they were “buying” a tangible item.

Here are some things to consider when turnover happens this early on:

  • Is the job description out of date? When was the last time you revised it to fit the role you are trying to fill?
  • How are candidates being qualified? For example, if the person must read blue prints, are you asking them to explain blue prints in the face-to-face interview?
  • Are your benefits tailored to all employees? If people continue to leave the “same” position, more often than not, it is because of a pay increase. But, for some, it could be due to better or more benefits. There are, on average, four generations in the workplace right now. Each has unique needs and wants in benefits. Companies must be willing to make the necessary changes to meet the needs of diverse employee groups.
  • Are your employees being terminated due to attendance issues? Include more than one interview with different times on different days to gain insight into what may or may not be a candidate’s peak performance time. Although allowing applicants the chance to remove themselves from the consideration process is time consuming and somewhat frustrating, it is better for it to happen before they go on payroll!

Culture, Environment and Rewards Structure
Let’s say you have a rock-solid recruiting team, and they hire the best of the best. Congrats! All of a sudden, however, you notice that people are leaving after one, two or five years. In that case, it’s time to objectively evaluate the possible reasons. (FYI, the reasons might not be entirely bad, since there is such a thing as good turnover. I will talk about that in a future blog.)

As I mentioned earlier, there are many different generations co-existing in the workforce today. With that, there are many reasons that they leave. Your job is to find out why.  Once more, consider the various possibilities.

  • If a very experienced person has left for “a better opportunity,” did they leave because they felt like they were being passed over for a recent promotion opportunity? Was it because they were not being trained to improve, and thus perceived a glass ceiling in their current role?
  • What are you doing to keep your folks engaged in the company’s goals and allow them to feel like they are part of your successes?
  • Do your folks know, easily understand and visually see upward mobility in the company?
  • Benefits, benefits, benefits. Are you meeting the needs of the four generations in your company?
  • Are you publicly recognizing GREAT work? Are you letting the families of those folks know how much you appreciate their sacrifice? Yes, acknowledging family is important because some employees take their work home.


Put Yourself in Your Employees’ Shoes
So you have a great team. You want to do what you can to keep them around. That means showing appreciation for them and having frank conversations about their career.

All that said, you are never going to retain all your employees. Honestly, the better the employee, often the harder they are to keep. This is a good problem to have. Even if you lose them, though, you want them to have bittersweet feelings when they leave.  Achieve that by creating a great culture, environment and rewards structure that easily aligns with their knowledge, skills and abilities.

So right now, take the time to ask yourself a few questions. How do you want to work? What do you like? What do you wish you had when you were in their position?

Once you have the answers, take charge and begin to make the changes necessary to significantly improve both your recruitment process and talent retention. I promise you’ll be glad you did.

Incipio Site Admin

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