By | November 6, 2014

Is your organization hiring and protecting its most valuable (and most expensive) asset?  You’re probably aware that recruiting and retaining talented employees is vital to the long term stability of your organization.  But did you know it’s not as “touchy feely” as you may think?  Let’s explore some of the science behind finding the right folks and keeping them happy, under your roof, for the long haul.

Recruiting Right

#1: Recruit internally before externally

Instead of panicking when a position becomes vacant, look within your organization and ask, “Who have we developed over the years to take on this position?”  Promoting internally progresses institutional knowledge and when word gets around town that your organization develops their people, you’ll become a magnet for future talent.

#2: Leverage your employee referrals

Employee referrals can be your most cost-effective and greatest source for talent.  Historically employee referrals are stronger fits both technically and culturally due to their connection with your organization.  Referrals tend to have longer tenure than other hires as well.  Good people know good people; not only will your employees become more involved in the organization’s success but they will also turn to their networks to share how great your team is!

#3: Invest in campus recruiting – not all senior-level openings need senior-level candidates

There are a lot of incredibly talented candidates on campus right now.  Tap into those pipelines and build authentic, credible relationships with campus career advisers and professors.  It’s likely you can fill one senior-level, high-cost role with two junior-level, cost-effective candidates.

#4: Don’t make your decision in the first 30 seconds

Too often we make up our mind on a candidate at the start of an interview.  For better or worse, we spend the next 30-60 minutes subconsciously trying to prove our initial impression right.  Don’t fall into this habit.  Be objective until you’ve truly had enough information to make an informed decision.

Retaining Right

#1: Recruit internally before externally – yes, this is also a retention strategy!

Promoting from within not only rewards your top performers but it keeps them in-house as well.  In addition, providing promotion opportunities boosts morale and sends a great message to the rest of your organization; “You can build a successful career here and there will be opportunities for you, too!”

#2: Create a culture they will appreciate

I’m not talking about coffee bars, on-site gyms, and foosball tables.  Those are great amenities, but top-producing employees will not stick around for a decent cup of joe.  Great employees want to be inspired and challenged by their peers and leaders.  Create an environment where employees are free to give and receive positive and constructive feedback as well as collaborate on projects that are bigger than themselves.

#3: Transparency builds credibility

Employees want to hear from the managers and leaders of the organization.  They want to know the ship is heading in the right direction.  Don’t be the “man behind the curtain,” especially when times are tough or uncertain.  Communicating and sometimes over-communicating with your employees gives them direction and the assurance they’re working for a stand-up organization.

#4: Make employees feel valued

The quote you’ll see floating around LinkedIn these days is, “A person who feels appreciated will always do more than what is expected.”  Makes sense, right?  To solidify that statement, a study of over 1,200 organizations shows us productivity would increase with 88% of employees if they were recognized for their effort.  Employee happiness has a strong correlation to productivity, so consider implementing a valuable recognition program in your organization.

Employees also put a lot of value in training and continuous education.  The training can be related to their specific job or industry, their safety, and even legal compliance.  When an organization provides personal development there is a sense of appreciation among its employees.  They know their organization is committed to helping them grow.  The best work environments include knowledgeable, safe, and legally compliant employees.  Employees’ views on how well their organization trains them can drive them to leave the organization or make a positive impact and motivate them further.

You Don’t Need to Be Google….

But your organization does need to be the best version of itself.  Most of these strategies will not be completely foreign ideas but if your organization can’t say, “Oh yeah, we’re really good at that,” it’s time to revamp how you’re finding and keeping your most valuable assets.

David Stella

Recruiting Manager

Recruiting Manager at Relias


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