Another Way Employee Retention Impacts Recruiting

Once we’ve invested the time and energy into building a culture that our best team members are proud to be a part of and rarely choose to leave, the costs we incur in the recruiting process drops just because we’re not constantly chasing another warm body to fill a hole. But this is also when we start seeing something else that has a tremendous impact on the effort we have to put into our recruiting process!

When we’ve built a culture that team members buy into, we show them genuine appreciation for what they contribute, and we provide them with competitive wages for the service they deliver, they’re almost always excited to share that story with the best people they know. Think about it, how many times have you been with a friend you respect and heard them share some sort of frustration about the organization they’re working for? Isn’t it natural to want to help them out if we can, especially if we know they’re a good person with a strong work ethic who would be a good fit?

Now think about this from a recruiting perspective… The hiring process is tough! Anyone who says otherwise would likely lie to us about other stuff too. The time we have to make a decision as to whether or not a candidate has the skill set we need and would be a good fit for our culture is pretty limited. And even then, there’s just going to be cases where the person we hire doesn’t even resemble the person we interviewed.

When we’re fortunate enough to get a solid referral from a current employee who’s already earned our trust, how much more confidence do we typically have as we go through the hiring process with the candidate they referred? Yep, that’s absolutely rhetorical… A referral takes quite a bit of stress out of the process!

But a referral brings something else too… Think of a time where a friend has introduced you to a new business contact. Out of appreciation for our friend sticking their neck out on our behalf, don’t we usually go out of our way to make sure we honor that introduction? When our best team members refer candidates they know and trust, those candidates (almost always) want to do right by their friend. It’s kinda like peer pressure but in a good way!!!

A solid referral pipeline can have some challenges too, like having more great candidates than we have open positions, but that’s usually easier to deal with than struggling to find someone with a pulse who may or may not pass a drug test. The one real issue we need to be alert to when we have a great referral process is maintaining the kind of diversity we need to have to be a world class organization. I realize diversity and inclusion are hot media topics today. I’m not talking about checking boxes; I’m talking about the kind of diversity that truly drives continuous improvement and best-in-class thinking. (We cover this in detail in the third lesson of our Recruitment, Retention, & Culture course in a way that most people have never considered!)

When great people want to stay with us AND they actively recruit the best people they know to join our team, we start to see a third thing impacting our recruitment process! We’ll look at that next… Until then, let me stress one final thing: notice I didn’t mention ANYTHING about referral bonuses. While I’m not suggesting those are completely evil, I truly believe that building a culture that people are proud to be part of and refer their friends to provides them far more value than throwing a few bucks at them for talking someone into applying...

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