In the last post, we made the move from focusing on the importance of employee retention to looking at recruitment and retention strategies. With that in mind, we can never really afford to take our eye off the ball with regards to creating the type of culture that keeps great people onboard and engaged!
I’ve seen organizations be incredibly hesitant to invest time and resources into intentionally building up the individuals on their team, then increasing their compensation accordingly, and having to fill entry level positions over and over and over again. I’ve also seen organizations that adhere to extremely stringent timelines and procedures before even considering a pay raise. Many times, the companies doing either (or both) of those things also struggle to attract solid candidates for the roles they need to fill. Sometimes a company may even offer crazy sign-on bonuses to reel candidates in, but the holes in their process for career growth keep those same candidates from ever becoming a real part of the team. Every now and then though, we see an organization that’s a true over-achiever; doing every single one of these things at the same time!
Several years ago as part of a LIVE2LEAD:Harrisonburg event that Cindy and I hosted, I heard Dave Ramsey refer to someone who had been on his sales team but struggled in the delivery by saying “they were catching them, they just couldn’t clean them.” Every time I think of that, I picture the scene from Office Space where the main character cleans a fish on his desk… I don’t think that was the picture Dave was trying to paint, but that’s where my mind went!
When it comes to recruiting talent, the best on the market or even a warm body to plug a hole, it’s really not that different from Ramsey’s issue with his salesman. Even if we’re consistently reeling in candidates that would be considered to be a great catch, things will start to stink if we can’t clean them; more specifically, if we don’t have a culture in place that they want to stay with more than just a short period of time. An amazing ad, a great recruiting pitch, or a big upfront bonus might get initial attention but none of those things carry much weight for long.
When we build a culture that our best team members appreciate and want to stick with over the long haul, we’ll also see it have a direct impact on our recruiting process! First and foremost, creating a good environment prevents a revolving door! That’s often as simple as providing fair wages, reasonable working conditions, and sharing a basic level of appreciation for the work that's being done. The best companies build on those things, but it all really begins there… When there’s no revolving door that’s spinning so fast that it’s throwing people out the other side, there’s far less pressure for heavy recruiting; the need for big sign-on bonuses goes away, the big bucks on ads eases up, and we just don’t need to promise the moon the fill a spot.
With solid employee retention strategies, we just don’t need to fill as many open positions! This even allows us to be more selective with who we place in a role rather than just checking their pulse. And as we continue building a culture that keeps great people engaged, some of them even help in the recruiting process! We’ll look at that next...
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