Recruiting and Retention: Finding New Employees While Keeping the Current Ones Happy
Once, not long ago, the job market was an employer’s dream. Plenty of qualified candidates, with reasonable expectations. Applicants were practically jumping up and down shouting “ME! ME! PICK ME!” as though they were at a basketball game and someone just broke out the t-shirt cannon.
Times have changed, of course, and slowly but surely, the job market has changed too. Today, finding the right person can sometimes requires more effort not less – due to Technological, Market and Demographic dynamics. Recruiting takes brains, energy and hard work, but that’s just half the battle. Keeping those people around once they’ve been hired is every bit as important as finding them in the first place. So how do you do that?
The easy answer to finding good people is to offer more money. And let’s face it; the size of the compensation package definitely matters. Whether as a base salary or a bonus, Cash Money can go a long way toward getting attention. But money alone doesn’t secure loyalty.
Another drawback is when your current employees find out that you’re paying new employees more money, they will inevitably start to wonder how much they could get if they were a new employee. At a new company. That isn’t your company. See where this is going?
Money doesn’t buy loyalty and alone it won’t help to keep your staff satisfied and engaged. No, you can’t just open the wallet and start throwing out cash. You need to find a way to increase happiness and job satisfaction while not breaking the bank. A cost-effective way to do that is to change the way your employees work.
Think Outside the Cubicle
As professionals, we sometimes get bogged down with the idea of how business is supposed to operate. We KNOW that work always happens at the office, Monday through Friday, from 8:00 AM until 6:00 PM, forever and ever. So, traditionally we expect people to be at work during the work day, which is fine for most people most of the time. Except when it’s not.
Experts estimate that nearly 30% of work absences are not related to illness or vacation. Sometimes people are out of the office for a doctor’s appointment, sometimes it’s to go to the mechanic or meet with their real estate agent, who knows? Whatever the reason, we build these expectations into our policies and our projections, and we work around them. But what if we didn’t have to do that?
The Flex Schedule:
One of the most effective, simplest, and least expensive ways to make your company more attractive to new hires and keep your current people happy is to allow people the freedom to work according to their own schedule. Think about it – you have a major presentation due on Friday, but you have to meet the cable guy on Tuesday morning. What difference would it make if you came into work at noon on Tuesday and stayed until 8 PM, just so long as the work gets done on time and accurately? Or to be even more contemporary – shared work documents and team roles can also be completed online in many different platforms. Your cable gets fixed, your part of the project gets done, and the presentation goes off without a hitch. It’s a win-win for everybody.
There will be restrictions, of course. Management has to decide what is acceptable attendance. Projects have to be completed, deadlines have to be met. A great way to do this is to empower your employees to take an active role in work planning. Meet with them about upcoming projects and have them police themselves on setting and meeting goals. If you present this in the right way, they will see it as an equitable power share. And when employees are happy, they are less likely to look at other jobs, and they’re also more likely to work harder at the one they already have. Another win-win.
Ultimately, it really doesn’t matter when, or where, most work is done, as long as it’s complete and accurate. There are some jobs that have to be done at the office or during a strictly defined work day, but in many employers are capable of greater flexibility in their work schedule. And having an open approach to employee time management is a great way to increase the satisfaction rate of your current employees and attract new employees. After all, nothing brings in new people like a happy team, right?