Leslie Moody is the business development manager for Precision Staffing, Inc., a staffing and recruiting firm serving Central Kentucky for 40 years. She has also served on the board of directors for the Bluegrass Society of Human Resource Management for five years, including as the 2019 president. Here she offers insight into attracting and retaining talented employees. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more
From businesses small to large and industries from A to Z, all have felt the recruiting squeeze. We’ve entered the 23rd month in a row with unemployment below 4 percent—a 50-year low. With record-high job openings, there are more jobs available than job seekers in the United States. Herein lies the issue—people aren’t actively looking for a new job and companies are fighting to keep their best employees. So, how do you attract and retain talent in this historic job market?
Consider enlisting help with your listings
Long gone are the days when you can post an ad in the paper and receive hundreds of qualified applicants quickly. Now, options are splintered among countless job boards, social media, specialty groups, radio, TV, print—the list goes on. It can be confusing to determine the best bang for your buck. Consider working with a professional. A partnership with a recruiting and staffing agency ensures you can leverage their job-posting expertise, far-reaching network and extensive database of candidates. They also often have access to candidates who are too timid to apply online, for confidentiality reasons, and have inside information on a host of applicants.
Resist the laundry list approach
Don’t make your job description a list of functions and requirements. It should speak to the applicant and answer that all important question: “What’s in it for me? Why should I be interested?” Put yourself in a potential applicant’s shoes.
Safeguard your reputation
In this Google review world, when was the last time you made a big decision without doing your research first? Your company is no different. Reputation management is more important than ever, when all companies are competing for the top talent. Mind your social media and your Google reviews, and check sites like Indeed, Glassdoor and more for negative feedback. If you find it, address it. People appreciate seeing a company that owns any mistakes and works to make it right. Moreover, consider what you can do to boost your reputation, such as community service work and sponsoring community events. Employees value opportunities for volunteer work and it creates a more engaged workforce—a win-win for your reputation.
Talented people are often passed over because they lacked one skill that an employer was non-negotiable about. Keep in mind that hard skills can be taught. It’s the soft skills that training will have little to no effect on. Rather than try to make the person fit your exact job description, make the job fit the person. When you see talent, latch onto it and find a place for them within your workforce. Additionally, be mindful of alternative workforces. Many segments of population who have much to offer are often underutilized. Make it a point to be inclusive of veterans, seniors, persons with disabilities and others.
View onboarding as an ongoing process
Onboarding, often confused with orientation, involves the necessary paperwork to start someone at your workplace. Onboarding is a dynamic, interactive process that can go on for the first year. It includes opportunities to learn about your mission, vision and values; the company’s structure work processes; expectations; and opportunities for growth. It involves regular dialogue with your new hire to ensure they are happily assimilating.
Mind your managers
One of the top reasons employees leave a position is due to personal conflict with a manager. Ensure you are developing strong managers by offering ongoing training and development and conducting regular performance reviews. Just because someone is a top performer, doesn’t necessarily mean they have the people skills to make a top manager.