I can’t remember a time when a client ever said to me that they were simply not spending enough on recruitment. Clearly not being able to pay the right salary levels to be competitive in the market is one thing but when you constantly seem to be paying fee after fee to ensure you can deliver your company goals, the overall budget of your long term projects can be effected by a huge margin.
When learning to drive my instructor (an ex Police and Military instructor) asked me what I thought the best method of slowing down is. I went through all the usual answers….apply the brakes, use the gears….until we eventually got the answer he was looking for (even driving instructors can have great spin skills)…which was simply to take your foot off the accelerator pedal. Such simple answer always ring the most true and that can be said of the issue regarding reducing your recruitment budget…..simply put more of that budget into retention.
It would be easy to argue that all you are doing is moving a cost from one pot to another but the difficult to equate, non tangible benefits are much more fruitful. People will always move on in their careers and whilst it would be great to have a long length of service across your business it is inevitable that good and not so productive employees will move on for varying reasons. The trick therefore is to ensure they go once the business has achieved the goals it has for the individual and there is enough ROI for the business to be able to wave them off with a heavy heart but a heartfelt thank you.
So, how is this achieved.
- Start with the end in mind….ensure you are hiring them properly. Don’t set unrealistic expectations at interview. Ensure they have all the facts before they join you (the warts and all picture) and also ensure they are joining for the right reasons. Confirm why they are joining and understand what they want from an employer at this stage in their career. Whatever you do….don’t ever lie to them to get them signed on the dotted line….this is one of the biggest ‘reason for leaving’ answers we get from candidates registering soon after starting in a new role.
- Engage with them….communicate not only about every day matters but ensure if they have a plan for themselves, that you understand it and work with them to achieve this. A motivated employee typically feels they are in a ‘win-win’ status.
- Development is crucial, wether this be in skills, position, responsibility etc. The biggest reason we get from candidates moving on is that they are not progressing. Sometimes the individual doesn’t even know what progression looks like, they just have a general feeling of stagnation and their only way of dealing with this securely is to look external to the problem. It is not good enough anymore to have a set of standard tools across the business for employees to dip into….they need to feel like their individual needs are being championed.
- Communication, communication, communication. When a candidate registers with us approximately 8-9 out of 10 have not had a discussion with their employer about the reasons they would potentially move on. Don’t be afraid to ask the question. You are likely to be able to manage the response and in a lot of cases manage this to a positive outcome. This might not keep the employee with the business forever but that extra 6-12 months service might help your project get delivered on time and pushes the retention rates up.
- Manage conflict. Don’t shy away from getting conflict dealt with. It’s better dealt with calmly but ASAP. Ensure you have right mechanisms for those wanting to deal with difficult conversations without conflict but try to foster an open culture where nobody is afraid to put their hand up and say what’s needed.
Doing all these things at exit interview point will only ever come across as ‘shutting the gate once the horse has already bolted’. The ‘buy back’, regardless of this being an actual money offer, will always be seen as cheap no matter how well you dress it up.
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If you would like to engage with Interface to discuss how we try to reduce recruitment costs for our clients and how we integrate into employee retention programmes please contact us at https://www.interfacerecruitment.co.uk/interface-recruitment-contact-us/
or to see this work in practice register a vacancy at https://www.interfacerecruitment.co.uk/register-vacancy/