How to Recruit for Retention

New employee shaking hands

Recruiting a new employee is a time consuming and important process. It’s also an expensive one. HR professionals estimate recruitment can rack up costs equalling between 15% to 30% of a position’s future salary. With the average hiring period lasting 10 to 12 weeks, and possible temporary staff having to be hired in the interim, recruitment is ideally something you only do once.

If you recruit the best candidate, they’re more likely to stay with your company longer, and that’s positive for your finances. A report from Oxford Economics found it costs more than $39,800 USD to replace a staff member once they’re hired.

The bottom line is this: make efforts to recruit for retention, otherwise your company risks hemorrhaging talent and capital.

What to Look for in an Employee Recruit

There are a number of ways to tell whether a candidate would be interested in staying with your company in the long run.

First, find recruits with a positive attitude. Look at the team you’re hiring for and whether the person’s personality and skillset would complement and fit within that team. It doesn’t matter how much experience someone has — if they clash with other employees, they’re less likely to adapt well to their role.

If you’re hiring for specialist positions, recruit in the realms where these candidates operate. Witnessing someone already doing similar projects can be an excellent way to learn that they are capable and passionate about that work.

Selling Your Company During Recruitment

Encouraging retention isn’t all about the characteristics and passions of a potential employee.  Recruitment for retention also hinges on how your company presents itself during this crucial period.

No matter the candidate, there are certain elements of a workplace that will appeal to them. Hiring is generational, so know what a recruit may want given their age. If your company can offer these benefits, this should be emphasized during the recruitment process. These elements include the opportunity for professional development, regular progress check-ins, and a flexible work schedule. Let the candidate know what comes next, too. Many are encouraged to hear about a standard onboarding process, and companies with formal processes are 50% more likely to retain new employees.

If your recruitment department operates separately from the team hiring, ensure recruiters know exactly what the job entails and how to describe it to candidates. Positions can be misrepresented by recruiters who have not been well briefed. Candidates then have a skewed impression of what the job involves, and can be taken aback when the hired role is dramatically different.

Good and frequent communication during the recruitment process can also say a lot to a potential hire about the level of communication they can expect as an employee. Nothing impacts a recruit’s enthusiasm for a position like waiting forever to hear if they’ve moved on to the next round of an interview process.

Finally, have your existing staff members refer new recruits. Employee referral programs work, and asking an employee to recommend a friend or acquaintance is much less expensive than outsourcing recruitment to an agency. During the recruitment process the candidate has someone they can speak to about the role and company culture. This means they’re more comfortable from day one.

Recruitment is just the first step in a new employee’s journey. Read more about the three things that may be missing from your onboarding process — and how that can have a make-or-break effect on new employees.