According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employee attrition increased from 164,000 to 942,000 in June. And given the current hiring challenges that many businesses face, this concerns many small business owners and hiring managers who can’t easily start paying more and adding perks & benefits.
Believe it or not, you can survive this “Great Resignation” and actually attract, hire, and retain great employees. It just requires creativity and ownership on your part.
Build Your Employer Brand
In this environment, people feel perfectly comfortable bouncing around and looking for new opportunities – even if they like their current job. That’s just the current state of the job market. Opportunities to capture these seekers start with your online presence and word of mouth.
Candidates will vet you out before even applying or reaching out. They will check LinkedIn and read about you, look at who else works for you, and get a sense of the company “vibe” and energy. Consider asking current, happy employees to help you create and post a few testimonials (videos and/or written posts) to share on LinkedIn, other social media and your website.
Speaking of your website…. Do you have a section about why employees like to work for you, what a wonderful team you have, including pictures and profiles of the key players? If you looked at your website and LinkedIn and any other sources – would you want to work for your company?
An intentional focus on building your image as an employer-of-choice is a foundational step that will also help you identify gaps between your current reality versus the brand you’re building. Prepare to identify some opportunities to improve along the way.
Start by making sure your brand presents career growth and professional development opportunities, enabling you to attract candidates who want to grow along with you. Make highlights of your five-year plan visible – prospective employees need to see some meat on the bone.
Hire For Potential, Train For Greatness
Competitive pay and benefits, around 10% more than your competition, can surely attract quality candidates, especially if you have the patience to find this A+ employee. However, the current job market demands a streamlined and accelerated hiring process. You need to act quickly. If you take things slow, it may already be too late and someone else has hired that A+ employee for a higher salary.
Make your hiring process as smooth and quick as possible without letting things slip through the cracks. Develop a system and processes that help you quickly identify those few key behavioral competencies that are easier to hire for and harder to train for. Focus on identifying and hiring employees who have the drive and potential to acquire all the knowledge and other skills later. If they align with your culture, hire them now and then train them to be great.
We often hear about employers who fear that if they overtrain their employees, they will leave. What if you don’t train them and they stay?
The best companies put new employees through an organized onboarding program to both accelerate their ability to succeed and reassure them of the support you’ll provide as they grow . The first phase should be dedicated to 1) learning who you are as a company – history, culture, vision, and business model and 2) making strong connections with the people on your team.
Provide a nice mix of information-sharing and people-sharing by scheduling a mix of presenting information and creating those connections (scheduled 1on1 and group lunches/coffees, shadowing key employees, etc.)
Finally, you teach the skills. Remember, you likely won’t hire someone who has every skill you need.
Invest in your people, onboard them well, encourage and recognize their progress along the way, and watch them thrive.
Value Beyond The Paycheck
This starts by empowering people as soon as you hire them. What goals do they have, both personally and professionally? What do they value? If you can’t answer these questions about your employees, you need to ask. How can you expect to motivate them when you don’t know what drives them?
Tap into your employees’ “WHY.” This will give them that much more of a reason to stay when tempted with “bigger” and “better” offers. A lot of us know this from experience – many corporate companies don’t care as much about employee goals and values. Be different in this regard.
Second, help your team grow based on their goals and values.
Employees are a depreciating asset (and so are you!) if they are not learning. Sponsoring continuing education such as advanced certifications can help your employees feel fulfilled and appreciated by you and will incentivize them to stay with your company longer, if the agreement is structured well.
You should also want to do this anyway because employees who have the latest knowledge and skillsets will treat your customers better, who will treat the business better, which will TREAT YOU BETTER. Use this cycle to your advantage.
The point of all of this: The best leaders understand their “ideal” employees motivators and sculpt their jobs and hiring process to align these drivers with their vision.
Do you need guidance to attract, hire, and retain great employees? We cover these topics, including how to develop the systems we’ve mentioned, in many of our events.