In today's job market, employers are receiving hundreds more resumes than they have openings to fill. This makes the entire hiring process stressful for both the employers and the job seekers. If you are the person in charge of finding and keeping good employees, it can be difficult to not feel overwhelmed by the options. Capable employees are the backbone of any office, so choosing the right person is important.
Once you have narrowed down your list of applicants, conducted interviews and found the person you want to add to your team, you have still only won half of the battle. The other half is making sure that they will stay with your company. Training a new employee, no matter how experienced they are, can be a time consuming and expensive undertaking. If you are lacking a clear plan on how to keep your best employees from leaving as soon as they get a better job offer, then you are setting yourself up to keep repeating this cycle.
Here are some tip for finding and keeping good employees:
- Try to attract a better qualified group of applicants- By instituting some sort of reward program for current employees who recommend qualified candidates, you can limit the amount of resumes you will need to sift through. Anytime a job opening is posted, invariably about 2/3rds of the resumes you receive will be from applicants who aren't at all qualified for the position, are very over qualified or maybe they have had long standing careers in completely unrelated fields or are just looking for temporary work until they finish school or are able to find a suitable job in their preferred field. These are not applicants that you need to seriously consider. Be careful about hiring someone who is very over-qualified even if they tell you that they will be happy working in a lesser skilled job. Very often, once the reality of doing a job that is not challenging sets in, they start to become very unhappy and begin to look for a job that better suits their skill sets.
- Be honest about what the job will involve- It is tempting to try to “sell the job” to the candidate you like the best, but it will do you and them a huge disservice. Be honest when you describe the position. Let the applicant know what sorts of challenges they will face in the job. If you prepare the new employee ahead of time, you have better odds that they will be able to deal with the initial frustrations without getting discouraged.
- Look at things other than job experience- Think about who the person is and how they will fit in with your corporate culture. Every company and every office is different, the job seeker who is the most capable and the most qualified, may be the worst fit for your office. If you hire them in spite of it, they will probably not be happy at your company for long and will be leaving your employ as soon as they are able to secure a job in a company that is a better fit for their goals and personality type.
- Develop a plan on how to integrate the new employee into the company- When planning out new employee training, be sure to set realistic goals for different milestones. For example, if you have a one week goal, one month goal, three month goal and finally a six month goal for total integration into the office, you will give the new employee a clear idea of what is expected. You will be giving them a blueprint of what they will be responsible for doing independently by what time. The lack of a formal training plan is one of the most common reason employees give when they leave a job within the first year.
- If you have to discipline an employee or let them know that they are under-performing- This is a difficult position for any employer. It is always hard to know that you are going to have to deliver bad news and possibly hurt someone's feelings. It is a good idea to write out what you want to say and memorize it. This will prevent you from backing out. If you think that the employee is saveable, offer additional training, the option of working with a mentor or even listen to suggestions the employee may have about changes that could be made in order to make them more productive. Whatever you chose to do, if you aren't letting them go, be sure to make a clear timeline for what sort of improvement you are expecting to see and by when. Be sure to plan and schedule feedback sessions at regular intervals during the allotted time. This will allow the employee to be updated on what progress (or lack thereof) is being made. It is always better to try to work with them as an ally, rather than just being the person who is judging them. Giving them the tools, help and encouragement they need to succeed will make them even more loyal to you and the company.
- Try to foster an attitude of fun in the workplace- Many companies try to do this, but most of them fail miserably. Having a wacky shirt day once every quarter does nothing to make the office a more enjoyable place. Try greeting employees with a smile each day and attempt to keep the energy in the office upbeat and motivated with a focus on reaching the company's goals. If you foster an atmosphere of fun and success, your employees are less likely to adopt negative attitudes and habits. Negativity can spread through an office fast, and before you know it, many of your best employees are considering jumping ship.
As an employer, when you make a clear plan for employee retention and hiring, you raise your odds of keeping your best employees. Well trained, successful employees are the backbone of any office's culture. When you bring in a new hire trainee, you want them to work with and get to know your most productive, experienced and upbeat staff. Positive peer pressure works wonders. So, before you hire the next addition to your office staff, make sure that you have considered these things. This way you can find, and more importantly, keep the best employees. Because without them, you can't succeed.
What challenges have you faced when trying to retain employees? If you aren't an employer, what problems have you faced when trying to assimilate to a new office environment? Are there some mistake that you have seen employers make that causes new hires to leave the company after just a short time? Let me know in the comments.
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By Melissa Kennedy- Melissa is a 9 year blog veteran and a freelance writer, along with helping others find the job of their dreams, she enjoys computer geekery, raising a teenager, supporting her local library, writing about herself in the third person and working on her next novel.