How to Attract and Retain Qualified Workers

Finding talent is hard. Keeping quaified laborers might be even harder. Explore these steps for hiring and retaining qualified workers.

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Hiring qualified employees is challenging, but retaining qualified employees could be harder.

As much as 20% of turnover occurs in the first 45 days on the job, and 4% of new hires won’t come back for a second day of work if day one was disastrous.

It’s important for businesses to figure out how to keep good employees, if they want to optimize productivity. Over the next few weeks we will be featuring strategies and tactics that have been shown to boost retention rates, and curb quits.

But before we jump into retention strategies after an employee is hired, let’s back up one step to hiring.

Good hiring sets the stage for good retention. It’s no surprise then that 31% of recruiters list “the quality of the hire” as their measurement of their success, while 23% of recruiters consider the retention rate as their primary measurement.

Good hiring does not simply mean getting a butt into a seat (or feet on the floor), so to speak. Good hiring means finding appropriately skilled workers who share a vision or career path that your company provides. It means:

  • not hiring overqualified individuals who will leave as soon as a better opportunity presents itself,
  • being transparent and clear during the interview process about the job description and what success looks like,
  • and laying out clear expectations ahead of time.

Whether you’re in the restaurant business, hospitality, trades professions, healthcare, or business doesn’t matter. We all know what an A+ candidate looks like for our respective industries, the perfect hire. And while we may not be able to obtain that homerun every time, is essential to do the very best you can with the time you have to hire, to attract that perfect fit person.

In this article we explore strategies to attract the right person.

Strategies to attract qualified laborers

Though there are myriad strategies that could be deployed to attract top talent, the following are some age-old principles.

1. Create a place where you’d want to work

Establishing a place of work that is neither feared nor dreaded is crucial to happy, longstanding employees. How can you expect a potential employee to stay at your workplace if it isn’t even someplace you would want to work?

Establish work policies that result in work environment that:

  • Is fun or exciting to show up to
  • Encourages coworkers to appreciate one another
  • Feels safe and inclusive

2. Have a mission people can align themselves with

An often quoted definition of a mission statement goes like this: A mission statement is “a broadly defined but enduring statement of purpose that distinguishes the organization from others of its type and identifies the scope of its operations in product (service) and market terms,”’ according to this book and research on mission statements.

Creating a strong mission statement helps you naturally attract people who hold similar values, and connect with the younger workforce as well.

Millennials and Gen Zers are both considered conscious consumers who care about the impact our lives have on the planet and are willing to spend more money on “conscious” decisions. For instance, they’d prefer to work with a company whose values they align to, than taking a bigger paycheck.

With this in mind, companies can’t not spend time polishing a mission statement, and using it as a part of their recruiting efforts.

3. Be an active part of professional network

When it comes to actually being where the talent is, your network can be a great tool. As most hiring these days is done through LinkedIn, make connections with people in the talent pool you’re targeting, other industry pros, networking groups, local Chambers of Commerce, and university alliances all are powerful ways to find qualified individuals and also have your brand name be known among talent clusters in your local area. Marketing is a natural recruitment tool.

You want people to know your company’s name, even before you start recruiting.

Meetup.com hosts dozens of meetup groups specifically designed to broaden professional networks like this “From Invisible to Hired” meetup in Philadelphia. These groups are a great way for employers to meet and connect with job seekers, or even get a broad sense of the caliber of talent pools you have from which to pull.

4. Ask for recommendations

Finally, ask your current employees for recommendations on who they know that would make a great hire. Asking current employees is a great way to ensure that there would be a cultural fit between the new hire and your business, because current employees have a real sense of both their recommendation and the company. In addition, it’s an informal vote of confidence in the recommendation. This could speed up your interview process, and onboarding process, as the recommended individual may have already established trust and a working relationship with your existing staff.

Putting it all together

There’s no doubt that hiring in today’s market is touch. 72.8% of employers are having a difficult time finding skilled candidates and 45% of employers are concerned about finding employees with the necessary talents.

But we hope with these four simple steps, not only will your hiring process be improved, but your ability to retain top talent, as well. Retention is an extension of good hiring, so if you’re looking to improve your staff attrition, invest early by hiring well.

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