Recruiting and retention shouldn't be separate – they are two sides of the same human capital management coin, and HR professionals need to ensure they are working to retain the workers they are bringing in to the business right from the beginning. According to an article in Business and Legal Resources by Max Lytvyn, co-founder of proofreading platform Grammarly, effective retention starts before people are even hired at an organization.
Yet this isn't always easy. Turnover often comes down to a number of factors, from inefficient managers to low salaries, so it's easy for HR departments to overlook retention strategies that don't take a specific approach to this issue. However, if HR professionals aren't able to find the right workers from the get-go, they face a bigger risk of losing key performers down the line. HR professionals must think about retention when they are recruiting by looking for talented candidates who have the potential to fit in at the organization and by offering salaries that are competitive. Setting the stage for high retention starts with an effective recruitment process.
This may sound like it is too generic of a strategy to be applicable in the business environment, so here are four steps that HR professionals can follow to ensure they adopt the right techniques to make this strategy work:
1. Begin with Big Goals
According to Lytvyn, HR professionals need to remember the big picture during recruitment. Lytvyn recommended HR departments have a clear understanding of the company's long-term objectives and vision to ensure they are looking for new hires who fit these goals. The direction of the business is important to know which types of talent to bring in to interview, and HR professionals need to also recognize which skills are needed for employees to move the company toward its goal. Lytvyn noted that as recruiters, HR professionals must keep their eyes peeled for workers who are engaged in the company's mission and overall vision as well as who have the abilities that will drive the company's growth. Finding these workers and bringing them in ensures that the company is staffed with employees who are more likely to stick around in the long run.
2. Gain a Strong Understanding of Pay and Career Expectations
Certain candidates may have assumptions about salary and benefits, and HR professionals need to know these preferences. During the talent acquisition process, HR professionals should talk to job seekers about their career goals and their salary expectations to understand right from the beginning candidates' professional goals. HR professionals know that bringing in a talented worker to an entry-level job but not providing him or her with professional developmental opportunities may cause the employee to start looking for jobs that do provide training and education and offer a salary increase.
Yet HR professionals shouldn't assume anything about workers' career goals. Dennis Hoffman, CEO of Engage Direct Mail, told Inc. magazine that he's learned that everyone is motivated to stay at their jobs for different reasons, and HR professionals need to understand these needs.
"I never know what's inside people's heads," Hoffman said. "I used to assume everybody's ambitious because I'm ambitious and that everybody's motivated by money because I'm motivated by money, and I've learned through painful experience that that's not the case."
HR professionals who don't know which workers want to advance and have higher salaries may not have the opportunities to keep these employees around. Recruiting is the perfect time for HR professionals to start understanding what will encourage staff members to remain at the company.
3. Make the Transition as Easy as Possible
An inefficient onboarding process benefits no one, and HR professionals need to have a grasp on what new hires will need to get started at the organization. Many require training and need to have one-on-one meetings with managers to gain a good handle on their jobs' responsibilities and what is expected from them. If workers have a bad experience their first few days or weeks on the job, they may develop a negative attitude or start to look at their other career options. HR professionals can't forget how important onboarding is to retention.
4. Anticipate the New Hire's Stressors
According to Forbes, one of the best ways to retain workers is to understand what may cause them stress when they are on the job. HR professionals can get a sense of what could drive new hires to experience job strain during the recruitment process by asking them questions about how they handle difficult situations and deadlines. The more knowledge HR professionals have about workers' needs, the better prepared they will be to keep those employees around. HR departments can establish wellness programs and other initiatives to ensure these staff members stay productive and at the organization.