Recruitment, hiring, and retention have seen their fair share of press in the last few years. The human resources industry was shaken like a snow globe with furloughs, layoffs, re-staffing, career pivots, and revamping work perks. Yet, in a competitive marketplace with remote-first and hybrid options, salary demands, and a shrinking labor pool, a recommitment to the core practices of resourcing talent can lay the foundation for organizational stability and success.
Katrina Fehring, Partner and Senior HR Advisor at Pacific Crest Group offers valuable insight into elevating your recruiting endeavors. And it all starts with company culture. “Before considering recruitment, it’s essential to look at your company’s current retention efforts,” she said. “Retention is deeply connected to engagement and balance. When you look at engagement levels statistically, they haven’t changed much over the last 20 years, so ‘quiet-quitting’ is not a new concept. People have been saying for years that they need balance. How people behaved during the pandemic centered around ‘I don’t want to be so engrossed with my thoughts, I need to prioritize work in my life’ because we were all worried about whether our jobs or companies would survive. There was a lot of uncertainty. We also had people needing to work from home. Many employers previously managed by equating visibility in the office to productivity, so people felt they needed to prove their productivity in a different way. All those multifaceted situations created a dynamic we’ve seen historically with other generations about balance and prioritizing health and wellness.”
Below are a few ideas from Fehring on creating a solid recruitment strategy.
Be clear about your company values and vision
When you communicate what’s important to the company, in all stages of the recruiting process, from job ads and interview questions to offer letters and onboarding, applicants and employees can align themselves and make better decisions. Take a look at how you onboard new employees. How often do you evaluate your company’s roles? How are your values serving as a lighthouse to guide everyone’s work?
Build a company culture where everyone supports each other
Every company should always be thinking about engagement. Perhaps you have an employee who experienced a death in the family. They will likely need to shift focus for a little bit, and you can still find ways to help them feel productive and engaged. Be the employer who encourages the kind of culture that allows everybody to support one another.
Show employees they are valued beyond the salary
We often hear about high-profile organizations and the perks they offer their employees. What tech or healthcare companies do for their employees may differ from what’s most important to manufacturing employees. Get in touch with who your people are and what’s important to them, and tailor your benefit plans accordingly. You may consider increasing dependent contributions if you have many employees with families. Do you have a lot of employees new to the workforce? Consider a retirement plan with more robust financial wellness information or tools or assist with student loans. Maybe many of your employees have pets, and you can offer pet insurance. It really should be driven by who your employees are and benefits brokers can help identify areas to enhance. On another note, some employees just want you to hire another person to take the overflow of their work so they can have more balance. A raise is great but sharing the workload for more balance is even better.
Evaluate the biggest area of opportunity: bad managers
The most significant opportunity for retention is the same as it has always been. People leave because of their supervisor. When employees leave, they might give a reason such as they are moving on to another opportunity or returning to school, but usually, the trigger is something with their supervisor. Whether you’re an introvert or an extrovert, we are all human beings, and as a species, we are social. We need to have solid relationships with our supervisors. If you have people in those roles who need further development and support, or if things within the organization’s structure aren’t what they need to be, you will continue to have that risk. If someone has too much work on their plate and feels stressed out, the supervisor needs to hear about it and translate that issue organizationally so they can make some operational decisions.
Provide leadership training
In every industry, you need to have regular communication and relationship-building. Have an informal touch-base weekly. Instead of giving feedback, consider “feeding forward.” Rather than focusing on what’s happened, look at what’s next. What roadblocks can you help remove? And take action to remove it. Employees will then trust that they can bring the next big roadblock to you. As a result, everyone learns how to be authentic managers and empowered employees.
Check your job descriptions
Building a great job description can make or break who will apply. You have your nuts and bolts, but what makes the role special? What will trigger someone to apply? First, ask your star performers their opinion about the role and the company. What qualities do your star performers possess that you want more of on your team? Then, you can market for the person you want to hire. Some companies are constantly hiring to create a candidate pipeline for filling turnover in stepping-stone positions. When engaging in such “volume recruiting,” focus on that one person in your target audience, and you’ll get higher-quality hires. And, before you include diversity, equity, and inclusion language in a job description or hiring ad, you must take an internal look at your company culture because otherwise, you’re just giving it lip service.
Leverage your tools
No matter the size of your company, one of the essential tools in managing a recruiting process is technology. Systems like JazzHR help keep track of applicants and correspondence, making the process more efficient and easier to share candidate information, automate responses, and it keeps your inbox clean. Paylocity has an integrated applicant tracking system module, so you can handle recruiting there and push out offer letters, and once the offer is accepted, it is automatically fed back into the HR system files for that new employee. Another feature in some systems is the ability to text message candidates. We are seeing candidates who are responsive to texting which is more efficient when using a platform instead of your personal phone. Recruiting is not a latent activity. If you want to find someone, you can’t wait for them to walk by. You must go hunting or engage a third-party platform to do the hunting for you.
When your company values and culture align, and your managers and roles are audited for blindspots, you can present a clear and compelling vision to prospective talent. And using the assistance of technology, you can quickly find the best fit for the organization. Contact us for more information or guidance on how and where to start.