How to Attract, Hire and Retain Employees – Part 1

Attracting, Hiring and Retaining Employees (Part 1)

With over 20 years of experience finding candidates, qualifying candidates and everything in between, I have gained a lot of knowledge about hiring practices, what motivates employees and how to keep turnover to a minimum.

Let’s start with hiring practices.

There are multiple ways that companies recruit employees:

  • Ads and online job boards
  • Social media (LinkedIn and Facebook)
  • Employee referral programs
  • Executive search firms
  • In-house recruiting department / human resources
  • Networking and referrals
  • Universities / technical schools

Whatever method you use – it should be a well thought out plan.  Think about this…. you’re determining the direction that you go in, in order to find an employee.  An employee who will represent your company, interact with your customers and ideally add value to your organization.  First, take the time to evaluate your current methods of finding employees.  Are those methods working for you?  Not only that but more importantly are you finding quality employees?

We all know that you can run an ad and be bombarded with hundreds of resumes of unqualified candidates.  However, people are the foundation of your business and you need talent, not just a warm body – but someone who will excel.  So, determining how you find your employees, maybe running an ad, may seem like a small task, but it’s really not.  You wouldn’t set out on a road trip without a map or plan – so think about planning your recruiting strategy the same way.  You know the destination: put thought into how you get there.

Where are the candidates?

I can tell you from experience, that you have to seek them out – don’t expect that they’ll come to you. What I have always believed is that the best candidates are probably not out there actively looking for a job, especially in today’s marketplace.  A good real estate or construction professional is probably working.  They may not be happy, but they may not have the time to be posting their resume online or searching for other opportunities.

Employers must be proactive when it comes to finding employees:

  • Network and stay connected, especially with anyone who you may ultimately want to hire.
  • Stay up-to-date on LinkedIn. LinkedIn is a great tool.  Make sure that you are connected to as many people as you can be and also join industry groups.  Pay attention to updates about contacts who have made job changes, updated their profile, posted a resume or stated that they are open to new opportunities.
  • Establish an employee referral program.
  • Recruit at job fairs and/or align your company with universities or technical schools (based upon your needs).
  • Don’t be afraid to reach out to people in the industry that you would be interested in considering for an open position. They may be interested or have a referral for you.
  • Consider engaging an executive search firm.

When you find a method that works and delivers results, then stick with that and build upon it.

Attracting employees:

 The other thing companies need to keep in mind is simple – why would someone want to work for you?  Let’s say you have a solid recruiting plan and you are connecting with talented professionals who are for, the most part, working somewhere else.  You may have to lure them away.  Maybe there is something that you can offer them that they don’t have.

Companies need to remember that in today’s competitive marketplace, most candidates (the best candidates) are interviewing you just as much as you are interviewing them.  If that same great candidate is actively seeking a new job, you need to expect that they have multiple interviews and will receive multiple offers.  To attract the best talent you need to set yourself apart from your competitors.

How do you do that?  Consider why employees leave:

  • There is no room for advancement or career growth
  • They are looking for an increase in earnings (Employers must pay competitively)
  • Flexibility (Do you allow employees time off to go to doctor’s appointments and activities for their children?)
  • A difficult supervisor
  • Lack of support / short-staffed
  • A better company culture (What kind of reputation does your company have? Do you have team-building events, tuition reimbursement, do you acknowledge achievements?)
  • A shorter commute / the ability to work remotely
  • They don’t have any decision making ability (Do you listen to new ideas? Do you provide your employees with autonomy?)

Now that you know the common reasons why employees leave, think about what you can do in order to make your company appealing to potential hires and also help to retain the employees that you have.

Lisa (Knupp) Shroyer is a partner and recruiter of a national executive search firm – Real8 Group.  She has been recruiting and placing real estate and construction professionals for over 20 years. Her experience in scheduling interviews, presenting offers, dealing with counter-offers, relocating candidates, dealing with turn-downs and successfully filling hundreds of positions has given Lisa a distinct advantage in learning how companies are structured, helping employers overcome challenges, advising clients in structuring compensation packages and in building successful teams.

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