HR Strategy | By Scott Schulte,

3 Keys to Employee Retention

Employees are easy to keep when there isn’t much competition or opportunity. But when the employment market shifts to give job seekers the advantage, it can be increasingly difficult to hang onto your talent.

It’s not rocket science. It’s supply and demand. Unemployment rates are low, which means candidate pools are shrinking. Meanwhile, Baby Boomers are retiring in large numbers, leaving employers scrambling to fill open positions. The combination of these two factors is the proverbial one-two punch.

Unlike during the recession years, employers are finding they now have to compete for talent. Highly qualified candidates are gaining the upper hand when it comes to job search, and talented employees can be easily found with a quick LinkedIn search.

Your employees don’t even need to be looking for a new job to be presented with opportunities. Potential new employers are already looking for them.

A whole new world

You’re going to have to work harder than ever to find, hire, and keep to your best people. If you’re not thinking about how to maximize employee recruitment, engagement, and retention, you’ll want to add it to your To Do list.

Here are three ways to get started:

1.) Evaluate your hiring processes

Do you know what it’s like to be recruited by you?

According to Career Builder, probably not. Their research revealed that only 31 percent of employers have actually applied to an open position at their company to see what the process is like.

You may think your online application is super slick, but do you know that for a fact? Does it work as smoothly as it was designed or are you missing out on candidates due to antiquated technology or inefficient processes? Even something as simple as a broken website link can cause frustrated candidates to skip on by. Now just imagine the damage a poorly written job description can do!

It’s time to take a dive into your employee recruiting processes.

Are you dragging an entry level candidate through three panel interviews? Taking way too long to move interviewees through the process? Waiting for buy in from six different departments before you make an offer? Of course you need to evaluate job candidates, but guess what? They’re evaluating you, too. If your hiring process isn’t friendly and efficient, your candidates will be scratching you off their lists.

Go through your recruitment process from start to finish make sure it’s quick, easy, and appealing.

2.) Change your filters

Remember when you had hundreds of applications coming in for every open position? Back then, you had to filter out large swaths of applicants just to get a manageable candidate pool to work with. It wasn’t a luxury to eliminate candidates based on small details, it was a necessity just to shrink the pile.

Employer who are using the same filters in this new market are going to run into trouble. Put some thought into the things you really value in an employee, and then use that criteria to evaluate the filtering mechanisms you have in place.

Are you requiring five years of experience for a position that doesn’t really need it? Are you immediately tossing out resumes because of a single typo, regardless of the rest of the content? Are you ruling out candidates that have tattoos, piercings, or green hair? In today’s job market, you’re probably doing yourself more harm than good.

You may need to extend this evaluation into to your company policies as well, as more and more talented individuals opt out of traditional cultures and into less restrictive environments.

Depending on what industry you’re in, this could be a super quick fix or the beginning of a long, slow process. But the longer you wait, the more likely you are to find yourself with fewer and fewer candidates to choose from.

3.) Up your job description game

Very few dynamic, talented people are going to get excited about a bunch of corporate jargon and a laundry list of tasks. If you want candidates to be enthusiastic about your positions, write your job postings and descriptions to get at the kind of person you want to hire.

Looking for a marketer? Ask interested applicants to describe their favorite ad campaign and why they think it was effective. Looking for a salesperson? Ask them to sell you on why you should or shouldn’t watch Game of Thrones. Looking for an engineer? Give them a story problem to solve, preferably one that involves weight and angles. The point is, make it compelling. Make it interesting. Make it reflect what it’s actually like to work at your company.

And don’t be afraid to be upfront about compensation. The time for luring candidates with the promise of a steady job at a mystery salary is over.

According to a 2015 Jobvite study, money is still the number one factor in the decision to leave or accept a position. But many employers are all too happy to leave this important part of the conversation out. Compensation is the elephant in the room. If you don’t address it, your candidates are going to get frustrated— and look for someone who will.

Recruiting and retaining employees is easier when you can proudly offer a comprehensive benefits plan that makes your team members feel as valuable as they are. At Sonus Benefits, we build cost effective, long-lasting employee benefits strategies to keep your business and your employees in optimum health.