Finding and keeping the right people is not easy, especially in the competitive job market we’re in today. Not only hiring managers are facing the challenge of attracting new talent, but they are also dealing with the difficulties of retaining the existing ones. How can you overcome this challenge and build a strong and loyal workforce? Let’s explore six effective recruiting and retention strategies that can help you rise above and ensure successful hires and retention.
The Importance of Employee Engagement and Retention Strategies
Employee engagement and retention are closely related concepts that refer to the degree of commitment, satisfaction, and loyalty that employees have toward their employer. Engaged and retained employees are those who are passionate about their work, aligned with the organization’s vision and values, and willing to stay and grow with the company.
Why are employee engagement and retention important for hiring managers? Here are some of the benefits:
- Engaged and retained employees are more productive, creative, and innovative. They perform better, deliver higher quality work, and contribute more to the organization’s goals. According to a study by Forbes, highly engaged teams show 21% higher profitability, 17% higher productivity, and 10% higher customer ratings than disengaged teams. 
- Engaged and retained employees are more satisfied and happier. They have higher levels of well-being, motivation, and morale. They also experience less stress, burnout, and turnover.
- Engaged and retained employees are more loyal and supportive. They have a stronger sense of belonging, trust, and respect for their employer. They also act as advocates and ambassadors for the company, promoting its brand and reputation.
Employee engagement and retention are crucial for the success of any organization. They can help you attract, develop, and retain the best talent, as well as improve your performance, culture, and image.
Best Recruiting and Retention Strategies
1. Understanding the Job Market
The first step to creating a successful recruiting and retention strategy is to understand the current trends and dynamics of the job market. This will help you identify the needs, preferences, and expectations of your target candidates and employees, as well as the opportunities and challenges that you face.
Some of the factors that you should consider are:
- The supply and demand of talent: How many qualified candidates are available for your open positions? How many competitors are vying for the same talent? How can you differentiate yourself from them and stand out?
- The skills and competencies required: What are the essential skills and competencies that you need for your current and future roles? How can you assess and verify them? How can you develop and update them?
- The diversity and inclusion of talent: How diverse and inclusive is your workforce? How can you attract and retain talent from different backgrounds, perspectives, and experiences? How can you foster a culture of respect, equity, and belonging?
- The technology and innovation of talent: How technologically savvy and innovative is your workforce? How can you leverage the latest tools and platforms to enhance your recruiting and retention processes? How can you encourage a culture of learning, experimentation, and adaptation?
By understanding the job market, you can tailor your recruiting and retention strategy to match the needs and wants of your talent pool, as well as the demands and changes of your industry.
2. Creating an Attractive Company Culture
Company culture influences every aspect of your business, from your vision and mission to your policies and practices, to your environment and atmosphere. It also affects how candidates and employees perceive and experience your organization. A positive and appealing company culture can boost your employee engagement and retention strategies by showcasing your identity and purpose, providing a supportive and collaborative environment, and offering a flexible and fun workplace.
Tips for creating an attractive company culture:
- Define and communicate your company culture: Start by identifying and articulating your core values, beliefs, and behaviors that make up your company culture. Then, communicate them clearly and consistently to your candidates and employees, through your website, social media, job descriptions, interviews, orientations, trainings, meetings, and events. Make sure that your company culture is aligned with your brand and strategy, and that it is authentic and distinctive.
- Involve and empower your employees: Your company culture is not something that you can impose or dictate from the top. It is something that you need to co-create and sustain with your employees. So, involve and empower your employees in shaping and enhancing your company culture, by soliciting their feedback, suggestions, and ideas, and by giving them autonomy, responsibility, and ownership. Also, make your employees feel valued and appreciated, and celebrate their achievements and contributions.
- Lead by example: Company culture is something that you need to model and demonstrate through your actions and behaviors. It is a good idea to lead by example, by embodying and living your company culture, and by inspiring and influencing others to do the same. Make sure that your managers and leaders are aligned and consistent with your company culture, and that they are accountable and transparent.
3. Employee Engagement and Satisfaction
Employee engagement and satisfaction refer to the degree of enthusiasm, passion, and happiness that employees have towards their work and their employer. Engaged and satisfied employees are those who are motivated, committed, and loyal to their organization, and who enjoy and take pride in their work.
Here are some strategies to improve your employee engagement and satisfaction:
- Provide meaningful and challenging work: One of the main drivers of employee engagement and satisfaction is the nature and quality of the work itself. Employees want to have work that is meaningful and challenging, that aligns with their values and interests, and that allows them to use and develop their skills and competencies. Provide your employees with work that is relevant and impactful, that offers variety and complexity, and that enables them to grow and learn.
- Set clear and realistic goals and expectations: Employees want to have goals and expectations that are clear and specific, that are aligned with the organization’s vision and strategy, and that are attainable and measurable. So, set clear and realistic goals and expectations for your employees, that are based on their roles and responsibilities, that are agreed upon and communicated, and that are monitored and evaluated.
- Give frequent and constructive feedback and recognition: Employees also desire to have feedback and recognition that are frequent and timely, that are constructive and actionable, and that are positive and appreciative. You should give frequent and constructive feedback and recognition to your employees, that are based on their performance and achievements, that are tailored and personalized, and that are sincere and genuine.
4. Career Development Opportunities
Career development opportunities refer to the programs and initiatives that help employees advance and progress in their careers, within or outside the organization. Career development opportunities can include training, coaching, mentoring, shadowing, rotation, assignment, or project opportunities, and career planning, counseling, or guidance services. They help employees enhance their skills, competencies, and knowledge, as well as explore their interests, passions, and aspirations.
Let’s take a look at some real-life examples of career development programs:
- Mentoring programs: Mentoring programs pair experienced employees with less experienced ones to provide guidance, feedback, and support. Mentoring can help employees learn new skills, gain insights, and build relationships. For example, Abbott Laboratories offers a mentoring program that matches employees with mentors based on their career interests and development needs. 
- Upskilling: Upskilling is the process of teaching employees new skills or enhancing their existing ones to meet the changing demands of their roles or the market. It can help employees adapt to new technologies, processes, or challenges. Amazon embraced this program by investing $700 million to upskill 100,000 of its employees by 2025 through various programs, such as Machine Learning University, Amazon Technical Academy, and Career Choice. 
- Employee resources groups: Employee resources groups or ERGs are voluntary, employee-led groups that foster a diverse, inclusive, and supportive workplace. ERGs can help employees connect with others who share similar backgrounds, identities, or interests, and provide opportunities for personal and professional development. Infosys Limited, USA, a digital service consulting firm has several ERGs, such as Women in Leadership, Pride@Infosys, and Veterans@Infosys, that offer mentoring, networking, and learning events for their members. 
- Personalized learning and development: Personalized learning and development is the practice of tailoring learning opportunities to the individual needs, preferences, and goals of each employee. Personalized learning and development can help employees learn at their own pace, in their preferred format, and on topics that are relevant to them. Take an example from Google, which has a platform called Googler to Googler, where employees can create and deliver courses on any topic they are passionate about, such as mindfulness, public speaking, or coding. 
5. Competitive Compensation and Benefits
Compensation and benefits refer to the monetary and non-monetary rewards that employees receive for their work and employment. Compensation includes salary, wages, bonuses, commissions, incentives, and stock options, while benefits include health insurance, retirement plans, paid leave, flexible work arrangements, wellness programs, and other perks and privileges. Compensation and benefits are important for employee engagement and retention, as they affect how employees value and appreciate their work and their employer.
Here’s how you can offer competitive compensation and benefits to your employees:
- Conduct market research and benchmarking: Conduct market research and benchmarking, to understand the current trends and standards of pay and perks in your industry, function, or role. You can use various sources and methods, such as surveys, reports, databases, websites, or consultants, to gather and analyze data and information on the compensation and benefits practices and policies of your competitors and peers. You can also solicit feedback and input from your candidates and employees, to understand their expectations and preferences regarding pay and perks.
- Design and communicate your compensation and benefits package: The next step is to design and communicate your compensation and benefits package to align it with your organization’s vision and strategy, as well as with your candidates’ and employees’ needs and wants. You can design and communicate your compensation and benefits package with tools and frameworks like job analysis, job evaluation, pay structure, pay scale, pay grade, pay range, pay mix, or pay philosophy. During the designing process, it’s a good idea to consider various factors, such as your budget, objectives, values, culture, and legal requirements, when designing and communicating your compensation and benefits package.
- Review and update your compensation and benefits package: Ensure that your compensation and benefits package is relevant and effective by reviewing and updating it. You should regularly monitor and evaluate your compensation and benefits package, by using various indicators and measures, such as employee satisfaction, retention, performance, productivity, or profitability, to assess its impact and outcomes. You should also solicit feedback and suggestions from your candidates and employees, to identify and address any issues or gaps in your compensation and benefits package.
6. Effective Communication
Last but not least, it comes down to effective communication. This refers to the process and skill of exchanging and sharing information, ideas, and emotions, in a clear, concise, and respectful manner, using various channels and modes, such as verbal, written, visual, or non-verbal. Effective communication is essential for any organization, as it influences every aspect of its operations and interactions.
Effective communication affects how employees understand and experience their work and their employer. It can help you attract and retain talent by providing clear and consistent information and direction, encouraging feedback and dialogue, and building and strengthening relationships.
Here are some tips to build effective communication with employees:
- Choose the appropriate channel and mode: Depending on the purpose, context, and audience of your message, you can communicate through channels and methods like face-to-face, phone, email, chat, video, or social media, to communicate with your employees. Consider the advantages and disadvantages of each channel and mode, such as their speed, reach, cost, convenience, and impact, and select the one that best suits your communication needs and goals.
- Use clear and concise language: Use simple and direct words and sentences, that are relevant and accurate. Avoid jargon, slang, or ambiguity. You should use proper grammar, spelling, and punctuation, to ensure no errors and confusion. Also, use polite and respectful language, that is appropriate and professional. Keep away from using offensive or insensitive words or expressions.
- Use active listening and feedback skills: It’s important to use active listening skills, such as eye contact, nodding, paraphrasing, or asking questions, to show that you are interested and engaged in what your employees are saying, and to clarify and confirm their message. You should also use feedback skills, such as acknowledging, praising, or criticizing, to show that you are appreciative and constructive in what your employees are doing, and to provide them with guidance and support.
Employee engagement and retention are vital for any organization, as they can help you attract, develop, and retain the best talent, as well as improve your performance, culture, and image. By following these strategies, it’s safe to say that you’ll be able to create and sustain a strong and loyal workforce, that can help you achieve your organizational goals and objectives. We encourage you to invest in the areas and aspects discussed above and to make employee engagement and retention a priority for your organization.