How to Attract and Retain the Best Employees in 2016

As colleges crank out more graduates, our economy’s pool of potential employees grows. Selecting and enticing the right ones are going to be paramount to any business strategy in 2016, especially because the pool is diluted to the brim with mediocre to average prospective hires. Many business are going to need to brush up on hiring and retention strategies if they want to attract and retain the best employees in 2016.

Polish That Glass Door

It wasn’t long ago that employers began carefully scrutinizing their prospective employees Facebook profiles to determine more about them than they may be letting on in the first interview. It didn’t take long for potential hires to turn the tables. Websites like Glassdoor offer a place for employees around the world to review their places of work, list pro’s and con’s, and rate the company’s CEO. It’s basically like Yelp! for the job-seeking world. Building up your talent brand means ensuring that your organization is represented in the job market as the employer of choice via online profiles and employee reviews. This also includes social media, as sometimes Facebooking and Tweeting employees serve as your best talent brand ambassadors.

Prepare, and Be Snappy

You think you’re the only business looking to hire talent? Businesses are going to be competing for the best all throughout 2016, so make sure yours is snappy. Demonstrating that you respect their time and gather as much information as you can in a short amount of time via personality tests and video conferencing. On the flip side, if you are looking to get to know your employees a little better before you hire them full time, consider establishing internship programs. Not only does this gain you the ability to observe somebody’s work before hiring them, but it also gives you an edge with the first pick of the best college students before they even graduate.

Offer a Partnership Instead of a Job

Two-thirds of companies will face an internal skills shortage in the next three to five years, and only 30% of employees are satisfied with the future career opportunities within their organizations, according to Eremedia.The solution to this is not to offer “jobs” to candidates, but instead to offer a partnership, or a trade of sorts.

In return for their hard work (and their paycheck of course!), explain to your prospective hire what types of skills they will be learning that will make them more employable in the future, either for positions they may obtain via internal promotion, or at another company. It’s ok to recognize that your employee might not stay with you forever, and most potential hires will probably appreciate the honesty.

Recognize that no candidate is perfect, but that they can be trained to get pretty close. This type of flexibility and willingness to up-train a bit will also help fill the hard-to-hire positions left void by the STEM skills gap. Also, recognize that attitude and soft skills can be more important than having all of the hard skills. What is important is the career aspiration and that you have a candidate that’s looking toward their future. Those candidates are the ones that want to better themselves, which will, in turn, better your business.

Give Better Perks Than Coffee

Traditional benefits packages include health insurance, 401k, a of couple vacation hours, and probably free coffee on the jobsite–but traditional benefits packages aren’t enough to attract the best and brightest anymore. Millennials, the majority of your incoming workforce, are changing the way the workforce views perks. More laid back dress codes and flexible work hours fall in line with the new Generation’s valued self-expression. More flexible work hours and work-from-home options highlight your understanding that they place just as much importance on spending time with their families and their pursuing their passions as they do on working for your business and earning money. Make sure that your employee is happy, and your employee will make you happy.

Encourage Autonomy, Mastery, and Purpose

Business author Daniel Pink believes that all workers actually want only to be provided three things: the autonomy to do their jobs, however they have to, the opportunity to master their trade, and that purpose beyond earning a buck is inherent in their work. The workplace is changing to reflect these realities is apparent, as more people are being offered flexible scheduling, up-training, and the chance to work for companies that better the world and do more than just “make money.” Initiatives as simple as going green at the office can provide that purpose. These three principles show that even employees that don’t have all of the hard skills can be guided to learn them because inherently people want to be good at what they do. If you provide an environment in which an employee can excel by giving them those three basic things, they’ll better themselves, they’ll better your company, and they’ll stick with you for as long as they can.

By adhering to these principles and preparing for the new generation’s wants and needs, you’ll be attracting top talent throughout 2016. Miss any essential tips that I missed? Comment below.

photo credit: #1 via photopin (license)