In today’s tight employment market, nurture your best talent pool.
Here in the United States, we’re enjoying more than a decade of economic growth, with the most rapid wage gain rate since 2009 and historically low unemployment rates. Long-term low unemployment is, especially, cause for celebration. It means that just about everyone who needs work has work.
So I admit, it seems downright petty to complain …
But when unemployment remains below 4% for an extended period of time, the truth is, it paints a far less rosy picture on the employer side.
If you’re trying to hire people, you’re living that distinctly unrosy reality right now. Call this a labor shortage, a candidate-driven market or, what it really is: an increasingly brutal battle for talent.
Whatever you call it, just remember that, while you’re out there, trying to recruit and hire new people, don’t forget to pay extra attention to your most valuable talent pool: your current employees.
You know the numbers. Multiple studies over many years have proven that, no matter the role or compensation level, losing and replacing employees is far more costly than retaining the ones you have. That’s not only because of the repeat recruiting costs, lost productivity, or the impact to team morale. It’s also because people leave for a reason. And today, they’re able to document and broadcast those reasons for any new job seeker to read, via sites like glassdoor.com. The more hits your reputation takes, the tougher it becomes to attract great candidates.
In this market, you can’t afford not to nurture and protect your team. This is especially true for remote teams. Check out these 3 best practices to help keep your current team and recruit them in your ongoing recruiting efforts.
- Communicate on Multiple Levels, in Multiple Ways, Continuously
How are your employees feeling about your company, their jobs, their team, and the work climate? Ask them, in multiple ways and venues, including surveys, informal group get-togethers, and on-on-one conversations. Then be sure you take 3 more steps:
• Listen to their responses.
• Decide how you will use and act on what you learn.
• Share those thoughts – both formally and informally, in person and online, verbally, in writing, and on video.
When you follow these steps well, you’ll get more feedback, generate further discussion and end up creating a communication cycle. One of the most powerful outcomes of this kind of in-depth, multilateral, mixed media communication is the message your team receives from you: they’re valued, they’re included, and they’re part of building a great organization.
- Reward Brand Evangelists
As you communicate with team members, be sure you’re listening for what they do love about working for your company. Always thank them for sharing their thoughts and for being a positive influence on their team. Then take every opportunity to recognize and magnify their positive comments. Encourage them to share their impressions on social media, networking sites, and employer review sites like glassdoor.com. All of this creates a new layer of responsibility for you or someone senior enough – and skilled enough – to keep an eye on the messages that are flowing online about your organization. More on that below.
- Never Ignore the Feedback on Employer Review Sites
This is a tough one, especially if your retention performance has been hitting a rough patch. But hiding from, dismissing, or getting defensive about negative reviews on sites like Glassdoor, only compounds your problem. When you ignore feedback from people who took the time to tell you and the rest of the world about your shortcomings, the rest of the world notices you ignoring that feedback. You miss an opportunity to address misunderstandings. Worse, you – and your organization – come off as incredibly arrogant. Increasingly, job seekers are paying close attention to reviews, both positive and negative. Often, they cite online employer reviews as reasons for accepting or declining interviews. But, according to glassdoor, 62% of U.S. job seekers say their impressions of a company improve after seeing an employer respond to reviews.
Still, responding can be difficult. You need to be timely – but allow yourself enough time to respond graciously, thoughtfully, authentically, non-defensively, and non-robotically. It’s an art that is sometimes best delegated to an individual or team with both HR and marketing communications skills.
by Bobby Matthews
Senior Vice President, Sales and Marketing
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