What’s your number?  If you’re thinking about retention in your organisation at the moment—making sure that magical turnover percentage doesn’t rise—you are not alone. The employment market is currently a highly challenging place for those seeking to hire new talent. Avoiding unnecessarily attrition if you can, makes sense.  The costs of turnover are well understood; losing employees is expensive and time consuming. Beyond the time and financial commitment it takes to hire and train a new employee and the pressure of attrition on existing team members  it’s about avoiding losing the value of what good employees produce for your business.

There are many factors that go into ensuring those great employees don’t quit during the natural lifecycle of their time with your business. However, one of the most important factors is putting adequate emphasis on retention before you even onboard a new employee. This means recruiting effectively, using a robust and thorough process, with the long term view of maintaining retention at the forefront of your activities. Knowing that bad hiring decisions are a big factor when it comes to employee turnover, what can you do to ensure you are hiring with a focus on retention?  

Here are five retention-focused factors you can add to your recruitment approach:
  1. An engaged workforce is a big contributor to retention, and therefore it’s key to find out what motivates each potential employee, right from the initial recruitment stages. Firstly, ensure your position descriptions are as up-to-date, authentic and accurate as they can be so that from the very start, applicants are self-matching because they believe they are right for the job.  Secondly, make sure you ask lots of the right questions to uncover what motivates your short-listed candidates.  Are they interested in flexibility in working hours, job security, the ability to work autonomously or to work predominantly as part of a team?  Whatever drives them, align candidate motivators with what the role and your organisation (honestly) offers to ensure a harmonious match that will build engagement.
  2. Hire for cultural fit. People can develop their skills and expertise, but making sure new hires are aligned with your company and cultural values, including style of work, is essential to building an engaged workforce. A person who is culturally aligned will blend with the existing team quicker, will feel more comfortable at work, and is likely to contribute faster.  Part of how you hire for cultural fit is to show applicants more about your business, which leads me to point 3:
  3. Think beyond standard behavioural-based interview questions. Focus a little more on showing potential new employees the ‘real you’ of your business. It’s better that candidates are able to self-select in (or out) before you hire them by providing a true understanding of what it’s like to work with you.  Allow a short-listed applicant to meet the team or to shadow a team member for a short period (virtually or physically. Also, an informal interview setting can help with calming nerves and getting a true sense of someone’s personality.
  4. Setting clear expectations, and transparency during the recruitment process is a big contributor to a positive onboarding process and early retention. Don’t over promise to get a candidate over the line, with a risk of under-delivering once they start. And on the topic of the recruitment process, remember that the process itself sets the scene for future engagement. Make sure it’s a well-communicated, positive experience.
  5. Invest in your potential new employee’s future from the start. You can even have those conversations during the hiring process “This is how we see this role developing in the future. Here are the avenues for progression you may consider. These are some of the training and development tools we can provide you with.”  Plan for and build a long term, positive commitment.

It’s always a good idea to recruit with intention, but it’s even more important in a candidate short market like we are experiencing in New Zealand at present.  It’s essential to design and run your recruitment processes well, to reap the retention benefits down the track.  How does your recruitment approach take retention into consideration? I’d love to hear from you if you have thoughts on this subject.

And of course, if you need recruitment assistance in whatever shape or form, we’re here to help. Feel free to get in touch—we can talk you through the ways we can partner with you to find your business the talent you need, and about our unique pricing model. Recruitment looks a little different around here, so you may be curious to hear more.

If you'd like to know more, phone us on +64 (9) 300 7224 or email hello@thepeopleplace.co.nz