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Want to Keep Your Best Employees? 4 Strategies That Work

Want to Keep Your Best Employees? 4 Strategies That Work
Credit: racorn/Shutterstock

An improving job market is making it increasingly difficult for employers to find and retain top employees.

To prevent top talent from leaving, employers should make sure employees know how to move up the ladder, keep them engaged and provide a positive work-life balance, according to a new study from Randstad US.

To improve retention, employers must develop more structured and personalized career paths for their workers, especially the youngest ones, said Jim Link, chief human resources officer for Randstad North America.

"Transparent communication about how employees' contributions impact their career opportunities is especially important to millennials, because these individuals clearly want to know they are contributing to the company's bottom line and core business goals," Link said in a statement. "A little attention spent on defining career growth can go a long way for employers who want to keep their best talent on board for the longer term." [Clear Career Paths Keep Employees from Heading for the Hills ]

As part of the research, Randstad uncovered four key factors affecting employee attraction and retention:

  • Focus on career paths: While employers might think money is the deciding factor on whether employees leave for a new job, research shows otherwise. Of employees who have left their job in the past year, more employees cited a lack of career growth opportunities than low compensation as their reason for leaving. The study's authors said this finding highlights the need for retention strategies that include more customized career paths, because this type of personalization leads to more engaged workers who believe their employer is committed to their success.
  • Keep millennials engaged: Millennials are more likely any other generation to look for a new job if they don't feel engaged in their current position. The study revealed that 34 percent of millennials, compared to 24 percent of all workers, said a lack of interest in their current job was a factor in their decision of whether to change employers.
  • Provide a positive work-life balance: The No. 1 factor that motivates employees to stay with their current employer is a positive work-life balance. Overall, nearly half of those surveyed said work-life balance was the primary motivator for staying in their current role, while just 34 percent said having a competitive salary was most likely to keep them from changing jobs. The study's authors said that, with so many employees placing a high value on having time and relationships outside the office, employers that don't find a proper balance are likely to see an influx of workers leaving for new opportunities.
  • Know where to find new employees online: Facebook — not LinkedIn, as many people might expect — is the top social media outlet used when searching for new jobs. The research shows that 70 percent of workers use Facebook to look for new jobs, whereas just 49 percent use LinkedIn. The researchers said employers that maximize their use of Facebook to acquire new talent have the best chance of strengthening their online recruitment efforts.

The study was based on surveys of 10,878 potential employees ages 18 to 65.

Chad Brooks

Chad Brooks is a Chicago-based writer who has nearly 15 years' experience in the media business. A graduate of Indiana University, he spent nearly a decade as a staff reporter for the Daily Herald in suburban Chicago, covering a wide array of topics including, local and state government, crime, the legal system and education. Following his years at the newspaper Chad worked in public relations, helping promote small businesses throughout the U.S. Follow him on Twitter.