Retention vs. Recruitment

Although some aspects of the pandemic appear to be settling, the impact to businesses is likely to be a much longer journey. The pandemic forced Companies to place higher importance on their people agenda. Anyone who has tried to recruit recently will resonate with the struggle that Companies are facing when trying to attract talent. 

In a labour market where Companies are significantly upping their wage bills, it has become an unfortunate norm that Companies across the board are rapidly losing talent and long-standing knowledge from their organisations, circumstances which have been coined ‘the Great Resignation’. We are clearly in a jobseeker’s market, giving our staff an advantage as their options, and earning potential, appears to be endless. However, salary, although important, isn’t everything. To mitigate against the risk of entering into the recruitment battle, it has become imperative for organisations to consider their approach to retention.

Understanding Priorities

Unfortunately, there is no ‘one size fits all’ approach to retention as a good strategy will need to be personalised to your workforce.

It’s not always easy deciding how you can collect and use feedback, but here are a couple of options:  

  • Exit interviews are key as they provide insight into what is working well, but also the areas of dissatisfaction. However, focusing solely on exit interview data means you only collect feedback from those who are, usually, already dissatisfied. 
  • Engagement surveys – don’t wait to be told what the problems are, be proactive so that you can take steps to rectify any issues before you start to lose people. The feedback can help you shape your agenda for the year ahead based on what your workforce actually wants.

The pandemic has changed priorities both personally and professionally for many of us. However, there are some general factors that are useful to consider when thinking about increasing retention. 

  • Line management: investing in management training equips your managers with the skills to effectively support their team 
  • Flexible working: consider your offerings for remote/home and part-time working 
  • Personal development: providing a clear route of progression or professional training opportunities demonstrates that you are willing to invest in your workforce
  • Meaningful work: understanding what your workforce are passionate about will help you to ensure they are in the right role 
  • Wellbeing: display the ways you are considerate of mental, physical and emotional wellbeing 
  • Social consciousness: corporate social responsibility initiatives are becoming increasingly attractive

A number of resignations will always be unavoidable. If you do need to recruit, how do you increase your chances of running a successful recruitment campaign?

Talent Pool

Appealing to the widest possible talent pool can be tricky, here are a couple of tips:

  • Don’t miss part-time employees. Even if you are recruiting for a full-time role, assess whether you may be able to split this into two part time roles and create a job share. If this is a possibility, advertise it!
  • Consider candidates of all ages, with varying levels of experience. The over 50’s employee pool is currently the fastest growing and this group carry extensive experience. At the other end of the spectrum, don’t forget apprentices – although their experience may not be as broad, they usually have a willing attitude and can be a great asset. 

Stay Connected

Employee ‘boomerangs’ are a thing – these are employees who leave a Company and return within a short period of time. Boomerangs are great for a couple of reasons:

  • They already know the business and its culture
  • They have existing relationships with colleagues 

To benefit from a ‘boomerang’, it is essential to provide a positive offboarding experience and keep the lines of communication open. By maintaining a good relationship with leavers, you are keeping the door open for their return. 

However, there are some considerations that need to be made. For example, why did that person leave in the first place? Are the reasons they left likely to have changed and no longer be an issue on their return? E.g., if they left because of a mismatch between the employee and the Company culture, will they be happy to return to the same culture? 

There are so many factors to consider when thinking about retention and recruitment, if you need any assistance with either, please get it touch to see how we can support you.