Attracting top talent is a top priority for most businesses: after all, you need the right people in the right roles to really be successful. But businesses should make keeping the best individuals as much a priority as attracting them — you need to become a “destination employer,” a company where employees want to work for a long time.
Becoming a destination employer isn’t just beneficial to for your company’s image — it’s imperative for your bottom line. Losing and subsequently replacing a longtime employee can be expensive, costing up to twice that employee’s annual salary. And when employees leave, there can be serious workload gaps (not to mention lower morale). No company can afford to be known as one where employees are always leaving, so it’s important to hire employees who are in it for the long haul. Here are our tips for becoming a destination employer and turning talented candidates into long-term employees.
Ensure Accurate Job Postings
Think about retention long before an employee’s first day of work, before signing any contracts or making any offers. Start by examining your job postings, and make sure you’re publishing detailed, accurate descriptions of the roles you’re trying to fill. Job seekers deserve to know what the expect, and the best anticipate using and developing existing skills in addition to learning new ones. One of the easiest ways to alienate new hires is to hire them for a different role than they applied for, or to change the parameters of their role early into their tenure (especially without consulting them far in advance). Job descriptions that are unclear or misleading may lead to more mishires or poor fits, driving away employees who may potentially be talented in other roles.
Define and Project Company Culture
Postings and job descriptions are important, but if a candidate has decided to apply, they’ll likely have researched your company’s website, social media profiles, and any press you’ve received recently. As such, it’s important to make sure your online presence clearly reflects what your company stands for so that candidates with similar values will apply for open positions.
But it’s not enough to publish your company culture online: your current employees need to believe and practice it — otherwise, new hires will feel duped and be more likely to leave. A 2005 analysis revealed that employees who identified with the culture of their organization had greater job satisfaction, showed superior job performance, and were more likely to remain with their company.
Engage Employees in Your Search
Another tactic: share job descriptions and recent postings with current employees, and invite them to ask questions and submit referrals. Your employees know your company culture better than anyone, and they’re likely to know people in their networks who they think would be a good fit. This will add an additional layer to your screening process, and research shows referral hires are likelier to stay on board: about 46% of referrals stay at a company for longer than three years, compared to only 14% of those hired from job boards.
Invest in Your Interview Process
Interviews aren’t just your opportunity to determine if a candidate is an appropriate fit for a role — they’re also your best chance to see whether or not a potential hire’s goals and personality match your company’s culture and vision. Ask questions that will help you understand them as a person, and if possible, involve members of the team who will work directly with the new hire. Managers should be as hands-on as possible, too: nearly 20 percent of employees leave a job because they find the management style or work environment to be a poor fit. It’s worth taking the time to ensure people will work together, even if it makes the interview process a little longer.
With proper planning, attention to detail, and investment in hiring infrastructure, your company can become the destination employer everyone wants to work for. You’ll attract more top talent that will stay with your company for years to come.