A Whole New World - The Essentials of Today’s Recruiting and Retaining Practices

February 28, 2019
MRA Edge
Recruiting & Hiring

Ten years ago, things were different. Recruiters had a sea of qualified candidates to choose from, many being the perfect match for the role they had available. The biggest dilemma was how to choose.

Not just a line from the wildly popular Disney movie Aladdin, this saying pretty much sums up the recruiting and retaining practices in today’s job market. The successful HR pro must be relationship savvy and well prepared during each step of the process in the current world of hiring.

Ten years ago, things were different. Recruiters had a sea of qualified candidates to choose from, many being the perfect match for the role they had available. The biggest dilemma was how to choose. Less effort was put into relationship building and the wooing of applicants because it wasn’t necessary. Times have certainly changed.

Now What?

Simply put, today HR needs to try harder. Impressing applicants with what’s being offered is on top of every recruiter’s to-do list. So what does a recruiter need to do to be successful?

  • Build a talent pipeline by nurturing your relationships. If you meet someone who is fantastic, but you don’t have a position for him or her at the moment, keep in touch. An occasional email to see what the person is up to keeps the door open. And when that job becomes available, you already have a relationship with the perfect candidate.
  • Be current with technology, but don’t forget about the art of conversation. Texting an applicant to schedule an interview online is not only super cool, it shows that technology plays a big role within the company. But don’t forget you need to have a balanced high-tech and high-touch approach. Technology is important but equally essential is person-to-person interaction.
  • Develop a personalized approach. Dig in and really get to know your candidates. Social media can be the perfect tool to help learn applicants’ interests and what is really important to them. Use this information in emails and conversations to build value into your relationship. Candidates who see that you are invested in learning about them and feel a connection will be more likely to take the position you are offering.
  • Don’t forget about your due diligence. Meet with hiring managers, understand what the company is really looking for in a candidate, learn the company’s culture, and really know the details of the job.

Recruiters who arm themselves with all the information on their current openings will have a better chance of selling the position. This is especially important because not many people are actively looking for a new job, but they are testing the waters on what could be, which is producing a lot of passive candidates. Today, the recruiter and the candidate must be real about what they have to offer to be a good fit. It simply must go both ways.

Recruiters need to remind themselves that technical skills are trainable. The goal is to find people who …

Openly communicate.

Have a genuine excitement and enthusiasm for what is being offered.

Are quick learners.

Possess a good-natured attitude.

Hired! Time to Retain

Spoiler Alert: Retaining starts at recruiting. If you didn’t take the right steps during the recruiting process, you’ve made retaining that new hire more difficult.

But if you have, good for you! Now it’s time to help your new hire connect with the company’s goals and culture. Feeling connected makes a world of difference in the life span of an employee. A major reason an employee leaves a position is because he or she doesn’t feel connected to the company and (or) the culture.

Continue maintaining strong communication, filling in the new hire on the next steps, like what the comprehensive onboarding process looks like. (If there’s not one in place, work with the hiring manager and create one.) A successful onboarding is vital for a new hire’s connection to his or her new job.

Tune Up Your Toolbox

Your arsenal of recruiting and retaining tools is not complete without these three things:

  • Paying (really) well. It should be obvious, but it’s never been more important to be very competitive with pay. Do the homework to make sure what you’re offering is on track with what the market is paying for that position. It’s an absolute must, and it helps with both recruiting and retaining.
  • Benefits. Benefits are evolving just like the recruiting process. Of course, there is health insurance, but encourage employers to think outside the box when it comes to benefits. Customize some perks that go hand-in-hand with the company’s culture. Does it make sense to let people bring their dog to work? Paid time off to volunteer in the community? Offer summer hours? Unique benefits can help make an applicant’s decision to come aboard.
  • Work-life balance. Another essential facet of retention is work-life balance (and flexibility, if possible). Understand that these necessary perks look different for everyone, so work with new hires to ensure they feel in control of their professional and personal lives.

Who would have thought 10 years ago that the rules for recruiting and retaining would have changed so drastically? But, here we are. The good news is that incorporating these steps into your process will help you attract and retain the quality new hires you’re looking for. If you can’t or won’t adapt, the currently complicated methods of recruiting and retaining will become even more challenging.

At MRA we have what it takes to recruit and retain employees for any position. Do you have specific questions about recruiting or retaining employees? Our HR Hotline is available to members 24/7. Just call 866-HR-HOTLINE (866.474.6854) or email infonow@mranet.org.

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