The seven words most fatal to a business are "we’ve always done it that way before." In the competitive business world of today, many companies are "thinking outside of the box" when it comes to hiring the right talent while keeping their current employees happy and productive. Here are some great ideas and suggestions on how your company might improve upon your existing talent retention and acquisition strategies.
Avoiding the difficulties of a bad hire is important to your business. Just as important, however, is the necessity of keeping existing talent happy and well satisfied in a job they like and where they perform well.
Vistage International conducted a recent survey of over seven hundred companies. Almost sixty-seven percent of them were in need of skilled workers. Eighty Seven percent of them have stepped up their recruitment efforts. Practically sixty percent have increased their wages. Clearly, periods of “full employment” bring scarcity to the job market.
Talent Acquisition Suggestions:
Establish an internship program as a possibility for future employment. Smaller companies are forming or stepping up their college internship programs. Ruth Simon of the Wall Street Journal has reported that many companies are increasing their number of interns. She cites Spry Digital of St. Louis hiring three interns instead of one.
Job Shadowing is a possible on ramp for future employment. Many high schools offer these programs. Some companies are reaching back to high school students and inviting them on company tours and offering for credit classes in advanced manufacturing. One company, in partnership with two local high schools, developed a design and build competition for products that were then sold as part of a local fund raising effort.
One robotics and automation company on the east coast built their own training center on the company premises. In conjunction with a local college, they are able to offer up to ten credit hours of college credit. The same company has also developed an apprenticeship program that covers the cost of the four year education for someone who will work 40 hours a week while in school and then commit to stay for their fifth year upon graduation.
An advanced manufacturing company from the northeast has their summer interns share what they have learned at the end of the summer in the form of a competition.
Some companies find themselves in a more highly competitive environment than what they are used to, due to the economy. In the past, they may have been able to attract the best of the best of recent technical school graduates. As the employment rate has increased, they find themselves having to compete with many other companies. A lot of these companies have to settle for their second or third choice. In other words, businesses may not be getting their preferred candidate for a position. With the current employment dynamics, they are going back to their files and re-visiting/re-contacting earlier candidates, rather than letting the position go unfilled. In fact, according to Wall Street Journal reporter Vanessa Fuhrmans, in a recent survey by Jobvite Inc., 88% of respondents indicated they ended up not getting their number one choice and having to go for their number two choice.
Talent Retention Strategies:
Determine your employee turnover rate. Calculate how many people have left your employment each year in the past several years. Express the turnover as a percent of your total workforce. Determine if the rate is increasing, decreasing or staying the same.
Find out how your wages and benefits compare to your peers and the industry. Adjust your benefits and wages accordingly.
Humana Inc., the health insurer, conducted a recent survey that discovered those who had been passed over for a promotion, were more likely to quit. They instituted a program that helps employees develop in ways to eventually get some form of promotion by better matching their skill sets with their desire to be promoted. It has been reported the program found 30% of the employees in the program succeeded in finding that match. From a retention standpoint, that is 30% of the people who ended up staying instead of eventually leaving.
Potential employees don’t know what they don’t know, as the saying goes. The younger they are, the more appropriate the saying becomes. An important approach for employers who are looking to hire new staff is the consideration of exposing potential employees to various jobs. Trying some of these ideas and techniques can help your business grow.
Dan Arens is an Indiana-based business growth advisor.