Lower Recruiting Costs with Employee Retention

There seems to be mass exodus into the job market.  If over 2.7 million people quit in July 2015, about double those numbers were hired that same month.  After years of a stagnant growth, it seems the economy is roaring back to life.  Hallelujah, there are jobs again!  But after so many years of a down economy, employers and employees learned to do without.  Employees learned to accept lower wages, grateful to have a job while many others did not.  And employers learned to hire top talent without having to break the bank to acquire them.  That has all changed.  Now, employees have their hand out.  They’re hitting the job market hoping for more money, better benefits, more responsibility and paths straight to the top.  Unfortunately, every time an employee leaves a company, it costs that business money.  There are costs to recruit new employees that include ad placement, interviewing costs, time and travel. In addition to that, training new employees, waiting for new employees to ramp up in their roles and experiencing lags in productivity all hit employers’ bottom line.  So how do you lower the high costs associated with recruiting?  Focus on employee retention.

It’s Time to Get Serious About Employee Retention

Employee retention is a lot more cost efficient than losing good employees.  The most common reasons employees leave is for more money, more opportunity, benefits, and for better corporate culture.  Statistics say anything over a 10% turnover rate is considered high for a company.  But if your company is watching talent walk out the door at a rapid rate, you’re at Defcon 5.  It’s time to get serious.  Try the following tools to enhance your employee retention:

  • Get flexible about the work environment. These days, employees want a healthy mix of work/ life balance.  It can be hard to commit yourself to family duties if you’re always in the office.  As a result, many employees prefer to seek out positions that can offer them flexible working arrangements.  Teleworking can be a great asset to the company as well.  This frees up valuable company space and resources to lower overhead costs.  And tools like video interview software can be used to keep costs down for private virtual meetings.
  • Incentivize workers to keep them feeling engaged and rewarded.  It can be difficult to engage workers and keep them feeling a part of the team.  But tools like workplace contests and incentives can help plug team members back in.  Employees like winning things, particularly if it’s a day off or a gift certificate.  These can give otherwise disengaged employees something to get excited about.  When employees feel valued, they tend to stick around longer.
  • Promote from within.  One of the most common reasons why employees leave their jobs is to gain a higher title or increased pay.  If employees don’t feel there’s a clear career path, they may feel like there’s no opportunity for them at your company.  Communicate with employees how they too can achieve promotions- title bumps and more pay.  This kind of positive career coaching can help encourage employees who otherwise may feel inclined to start looking at other jobs.
  • Develop employee training programs. A better educated workforce benefits your business and its customers. It also encourages employees who are eager to learn new skills.  Try introducing tuition reimbursement plans or training courses to encourage your employees to stay.  If a common reason employees leave is to gain new skills, you can offer them this ability in their current role.  Try pairing employees with an internal mentor to help guide the employee in their quest for new skills.
  • Offer merit based raises.  Employees always want a path towards more money.  But if your business is still only offering an annual 3% raise, you could be missing out on opportunities to reward your stand out employees.  If your business has been successful, spend some of the profits to reinvest in your employees.  This can encourage loyalty and longevity at a business.
  • Encourage interdepartmental teams. In some organizations, departments can be pitted against one another for resources.  Some businesses even have problem child departments who don’t seem to want to cooperate with everyone else.  If you’ve got a rogue department on your hand, it’s quite possible that employees across the organization are feeling the heat they’re giving off.  Encourage interdepartmental teams to build relations between your employees.  If the office climate feels like a scene straight out of “Mean Girls,” start building teams internally before your most talented performers jump ship.

It’s exciting to begin recruiting for open positions when a company grows.  But if your company is constantly hiring to refill the same position, you’re going to take a hit to the company’s bottom line.  Spend a little time investing in your employee retention efforts and save yourself the costs of losing good employees for no good reason.

Photo credit: Bigstock

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