How To Recruit And Maintain Top Talent For Your Business, Even During A Pandemic

How To Recruit And Maintain Top Talent For Your Business, Even During A Pandemic

Employee retention is a hot-button issue as companies compete for talent in a tight economy and grapple with an evolving “new normal” due to Covid-19. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the U.S. saw a yearly turnover rate of 44.3% in 2019. Losing one employee can can cost a company, on average, 21% of the employee’s salary. That doesn’t even include the cost of time and tools to onboard new employees (now primarily done virtually) and hunting to refill a position.

At our company, we pride ourselves on employee retention. In fact, 35% of our 600-plus-member team has been with us for more than five years. So, how do you find the best fit for your company, especially in the recent climate? And more importantly, how do you keep them around? Here are some best practices we’ve relied on to find and maintain our talented employees.

Your Current Employees Are The Biggest Champions For Recruiting Success

The best talent values your corporate image, your company culture and the experience you’re able to deliver employees. Recruiting talent has become increasingly difficult during this time, so keeping current employees content is a large factor in overall company success. When employees are excited about their jobs, they will willingly refer great talent. At our company, 30% of our new hires still come from employee referrals, even without having a formal employee reference program.

Employee-voted awards are also worth the hype. Nothing portrays the values of a company more than an award it receives on behalf of its employees. Seek out the opportunity to apply for awards in which employees can anonymously give feedback. Not only do you have the chance to win the accolade, but you’ll gain essential insights from the data collected: Usually, these awards provide feedback to help you with your culture.

Finally, communication is the root of many employee frustrations. Ensure your business is creating an open dialogue for conversations and feedback — and have a plan in place to take comments and implement change. For example, we provide a direct line to C-level management with regular all-hands online meetings hosted by our CEO and a co-founder. In these sessions, they provide company updates, discuss current dynamics and address questions or concerns.

Provide And Offer The Right Benefits

Many companies provide generous benefits for their employees. However, benefits can go far beyond paid time off and sick leave. To celebrate loyalty within a company, consider additional benefits, such as extra paid time off or even sabbaticals, when employee milestones are met.  

The well-being of an employee can contribute to the overall innovation and creative process. Consider offering mental health webinars with a coach or provide employees with the opportunity to book a session with a certified psychologist. In these confidential sessions, employees can talk about work or non-work-related stressors. 

Right now, many companies are deciding on their plans for resuming office hours. While some employees may be ready to go back to work, others may be apprehensive, which adds to their overall work stress. That can be alleviated with open conversations and flexibility, such as offering the option to continue to work from home as needed, or starting off with one to two days a week in the office with strict social distancing measures to assess how everyone is feeling.

Overall, one of the best ways to help your current talent grow is to understand their needs and invest in their futures. Offering stipends for professional development, classes and creative extracurriculars can go a long way.

Make Workplace Culture About More Than Just Free Lunches

When we discuss workplace culture, we often talk about “perks.” We’ve all seen multistory slides, table tennis and free lunches that fall into this category. But we’ve also noticed that no amount of perks make it worth working for a company that has no real grasp on work-life balance.

Consider offering flexibility around the standard workday. While remote working is currently the new normal, more and more companies are providing flextime for employees to find a better balance with their families and personal lives. 

Highlight the social impact your company can achieve together. Employees are looking for more than a paycheck; they want to work for an organization that has defined values and can make a difference. Promote a company match program to encourage monetary donations to important causes. Offer time off for volunteer efforts or host environmental challenges and learn the small but mighty ways your company can make a difference. 

Most importantly, look at your current employees for ideas on how to boost your culture. You’re likely to find endless suggestions and exciting ideas on ways to celebrate your culture. My company normally has its own festival every year — complete with a company band — which was all created by our employees and their vision. Even though festivals and outings are limited this year, think through creative ways for employees to bond with each other at home — perhaps a weekly video chat that includes fun trivia may be a great way to cap off a busy week.

Recently we implemented a “Call an HR” policy where we encourage employees to schedule a call with the HR team to share ideas on how to make their work even more comfortable.

Lastly, give employees opportunities to praise each other. It can be as simple as an online portal where people can shout out their appreciation to each other, or something larger-scale, like a quarterly award ceremony. Encouragement can come from anywhere.

The right talent can be the most crucial factor within your company — nothing is more critical to an organization than its people. Hiring the best fit will propel your success and, in turn, serve as your best marketing tool for future prospects.

Source: Harvard Business Review

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