Employee retention will be a focus for many companies in the year ahead, as the demand for talented workers rises. Replacing a lost employee can cost several weeks of salary and work can remain unfinished while positions are vacant. Yet one of the most important steps many companies are taking to increase their retention rate is to focus on hiring the right people in the first place. Here are some ideas to consider when you're developing an employee recruitment strategy with retention in mind.
Map Out the Growth Opportunities in Each Role
As you craft your job descriptions and interview candidates, don't just focus on the immediate responsibilities. Describe how the person in the role may grow their career through opportunities such as training, certifications, and the ability to take on more complex projects or responsibilities over time. Describe a possible path to advancement. For example, an administrative assistant might be promoted to an office manager or executive assistant. Your company's career track for developers might include different levels with varied responsibilities and higher pay. Help candidates see how they can grow with your company throughout their career.
Look for Examples of Focus and Commitment
When you're evaluating candidates, look for how long they have actively worked in your field and for how many businesses they've worked. Is the candidate looking for a place to settle and grow, or do they have a pattern of changing companies or careers frequently? While historical behavior doesn't always predict future actions, someone with a long track record of lateral moves and job changes may not be the right hire when employee retention is a strategic priority.
Foster Strong Relationships During Onboarding
Employees who have good relationships with their managers and colleagues are less likely to leave a company. Building strong relationships starts early in the hiring process. Ensure that managers and teammates play a role in the interviewing and candidate selection process. During onboarding, allocate time for new hires to begin forming a solid relationship with their manager, create opportunities for new hires to meet colleagues from around the business, and consider establishing a mentorship program that helps build strong relationships with other peers from day one.
Develop a Sense of Cultural Fit
The term "cultural fit" may mean different things to different recruiters. However, a position that demands overseas travel, long days in the office, and being on call on the weekends is unlikely to be the right fit for a candidate whose top priorities are flexibility and work-life balance. Take the time to educate candidates on what it's like to work at your company. The right type of employee will self-identify with your culture. The clearer you are about the experience you offer and what you expect from candidates early in the process, the more likely your employee recruitment will attract candidates who are a good fit with your business needs.
While employee retention should be a priority for businesses who want to manage costs and cultivate their next generation of leaders, remember that the process begins with employee recruitment. Consider candidates with a track record of stability, and help them succeed by fostering strong relationships, open communication, and a long-term growth path to career success.