Five tips to get better recruitment and retention mileage

Posted on December 29, 2020


Posted By Tamara Shaw

Tamara Shaw // COVID-19 Business Recovery Recruiters, Work BC

Welcome to December, the fastest moving month in a really long year. We have experienced significant economic changes in such a short time frame. The changes are so large, it is difficult to remember what life was like pre-pandemic. Businesses have been looking for opportunities to streamline the way business is done; from evaluating services and products to assessing teams and roles to ensure the most efficient delivery of services is happening, while eliminating inefficiencies wherever possible.

We have been reminded over the past year that recruitment and retention is a significant cost of doing business. Once we have thinned every other aspect of doing business, we have the soft skill of evaluating people leading to the next greatest cost of business. When business does this right, the positive flow comes easily; when done wrong, the negative impact can last for ages. While we can’t eliminate all risk connected with recruitment and retention, we do know it is better when we stick to these 5 easy steps:

Clearly identify the tasks that need to be done

When we look at the actual work, we can reduce the number of uncontrollable variables in selecting people. The more we can qualify and quantify the tasks, the easier it is to directly match the skills of applicants to the type of tasks to meet the business need.

Look creatively at the role

As we are writing a job vacancy, we already have a picture in our minds of who our new team member is. It is someone who fits with our preconceived vision of our company and our team, who will think and act as we do. This is known as confirmation bias: a way we automatically think to ensure we are acting in a way that adheres to our morals. When we start looking differently at who we believe could fill a role, we are then open to infinite possibilities and may find someone we did not expect who will take the role to the next level with no additional investment other than the job.

Create an interview schedule

Yes, interviews take time. Yes, interviews are a long process and many of us know just by talking with someone whether they will work well for us or not. That approach continues to keep us in a cycle of transition, especially if we are known as a company that launches someone into an industry rather than stay. Do the interviews intentionally with candidates. Ask questions that explore what the candidates know and how they have applied this knowledge. Begin to question how the candidates will initiate positive activities in the business. Identify what responses you expect a candidate to offer without prompting to confirm they are already on the same wavelength as you and look for indicators the people are wanting to establish roots.

Use the probation period to your advantage

An interview is a snapshot of the best qualities of applicants. Everyone has strengths and areas of development. The three-month probation period shows how a person works, responds to pressure, builds relationships, and reveals character of the people you hire. If there are any concerns, address them immediately and watch to see how the employee responds. If there are examples of amazing work, highlight them and see how the positive impact spreads throughout your crew.

Develop company loyalty and appreciation

It can be challenging when, after the time and effort is spent training an employee, that employee jumps ship to a larger company with more resources to be paid a rate that small business cannot possibly match. One proven strategy to combat this is to develop employee loyalty and appreciation. Offer an extra hour off work. Provide a “come into work late with a poor excuse one time” pass. Bring fresh baking in for the team. Have a fun activity at work to generate positive competition between team members, such as sharing the funniest family photo or the best dad joke with a simple home-made trophy and bragging rights. People stay where they have fun while they are working.

Use these strategies to help launch you into a successful and promising 2021! Happy New Year!

About the author: An outspoken and driven advocate, Tamara is a passionate leader who looks for opportunities to connect people for mutual benefit. Tamara strategically engages key stakeholders at community and provincial levels to meet shared outcomes. An active member of local clubs and the online CoVid-19 Business Recovery Recruiters partnership, she seeks opportunities to help local communities thrive. Tamara’s love for travel has provided her entry to understanding and owning the lived experience of diverse worldviews. She enjoys finding opportunity for personal and professional development and strives to ensure others benefit from her efforts.

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