Filling an open position in your organization is a lot like dating: Once you find the right match, you want to do everything in your power to keep that person around. And just like in the dating world, your perfect candidate has the right to walk away if he or she isn't satisfied with what your company has to offer.
A few years ago, when unemployment was high and job opportunities were scarce, a company didn't have to work as hard to retain its best employees. But the tides have shifted as the economy continues to improve, and employers now must vie for the attention of today's top professionals.
"Qualified candidates are often inundated with multiple job offers," said Edward Fleischman, CEO of recruitment firm Execu|Search. "As a result, they can be more selective and are more comfortable waiting for an offer that meets their specific criteria — and job hopping when another offer comes in." [How to Recruit the Best Talent]
Gus Pena, managing partner of staffing firm Ascendo Resources, believes that high turnover rates within a company stem from crucial mistakes during the hiring process.
"It starts with buy-in and attention paid to hiring new employees," Pena told Business News Daily. "If the hiring team doesn't put the right amount of time into hiring, companies may be forced to take less-than-ideal candidates, because the best options will be snapped up by the competitors."
If you want to hold onto your new hires for more than a few months, follow these five employee retention tips:
Consider a test drive. Giving a candidate a sample assignment before hiring can be a great way to see if he or she is the right person for the job. Test projects and 'working interviews' give both the employer and candidate an opportunity to see if the hire will work, Pena said.
- Offer fair market value. As the economy rebounds, employers should offer fair market value for potential employees, as compensation is a major reason candidates may not want to work for you, Pena said. If you can't match a candidate's desired salary, at least consider offering the opportunity for a performance-based raise after a certain period of time.
Help new employees get adjusted. Ensure that new hires feel involved and comfortable in their new roles, Fleischman said. Hiring managers should make sure an employee's first days and weeks include a healthy balance of training, meeting new colleagues and learning about the job's responsibilities. This will help the new worker acclimate to the position in a way that isn't too harrowing or discouraging.
Discuss the new hire's career path at your company. Fleischman advised discussing advancement opportunities as soon as possible, and providing continuing education services to help employees get there. But don't make promises you can't keep: Pena noted that both employers and candidates are known for over-promising, which can lead to issues later on when one or both parties fail to live up to expectations.
- Check in frequently, and react quickly. Once a new employee has settled in, check in regularly to make sure he or she is still happy with the workload and environment. Identifying issues and taking immediate action to correct them will boost employee engagement and keep good employees from leaving.
Originally published on Business News Daily.