Why Retention is as Important as Recruitment
16 May 2017 at 8:00 am
With all the work that goes into getting new recruits on board, through the door, and starting in a role, many organisations can fail to dedicate the right amount of time to also ensuring they retain their best, existing talent, according to reference checking, HR and technology experts Xref.
The consequence of this is the very real risk that dedicated staff are lost to a competitor, because HR efforts were spent looking for the next best thing. While introducing new skills and faces to a team is important, it’s largely pointless if staff tenure is low due to a lack of commitment to employee engagement and retention.
While it’s easy to assume retention is solely about keeping good staff, it’s important to recognise its role in also reducing the possibility of hiring bad ones, by benchmarking the qualities, values and performance of those that choose to stay. An inability to keep high-performing individuals in an organisation, limits the access to this data and insight.
Once similarly promising candidates have been identified, it’s undoubtedly important to get them on board as quickly as possible. However, the skills shortage, high competition and heightened regulations of the not-for-profit sector can cause delays in the recruitment process. It’s vital that the urgency to recruit coupled with the frustration of delays doesn’t lead to fast tracking, corner cutting and bad hiring decisions being made.
Ensuring all Identification and Retention Steps are Taken
The following Xref eight-step guide covers the phases of employee identification and retention that can lead to successful and long-term hires.
- Search – Shortlisting candidates can be arduous task. As a starting point recruiters should form a list of “must have” skills and attributes candidates must possess to succeed in the role.
- Screen – Pre-screening shortlisted candidates and ensuring they have experience and expertise your organisation requires, can save significant delays in the recruitment process, down the track.
- Interview – Meeting candidates, discussing the job description and understanding if they will be a good cultural fit for the organisation is critical in any hiring decision.
- Test – For roles that require specific skills, a “test” phase can ensure candidates are appropriately capable and qualified to progress.
- Check – Reference checking candidates is a crucial element of the hiring journey. Validating skills, experience and attributes with an impartial third party account, helps protect organisations against fraudulent candidates and provides insightful data to assist hiring decisions.
- Offer – Once a decision has been made, offering a candidate the position immediately limits the possibility of them taking a job elsewhere, since they are highly likely to have applied for more than one role.
- Onboard – A dedicated on-boarding period and process helps to introduce new staff to team members and immerse them in the organisational culture, before they become deeply involved in the day-to-day role.
- Engage – Employee satisfaction doesn’t stop when they’re in and performing well. The final stage that many fail to address is engagement and it must continue throughout their tenure.
The value of technology to recruitment and retention
The suitability of a candidate goes beyond their skills and experience, particularly in the NFP sector where integrity and commitment to an organisation and its goals must be a priority.
Not-for-profit organisations are often working with sensitive information and people, so they must have confidence that each employee has a strong connection with the organisation’s culture and values. Identifying those that align with the organisation during the recruitment period, aids long-term retention once they are in the role. Which is why it’s important that each employee is thoroughly reference checked prior to hiring.
However, traditional recruitment processes are unreliable and inefficient. Currently across Australia, hiring managers and recruiters are making important hiring decisions based on scribbled notes and gut feelings. With the technology available to today’s HR professionals, these decisions should be informed by data gained throughout the recruitment process.
Engaging to retain
By far the greatest retention tool is employee engagement and, although not-for-profit budgets are continually under scrutiny, it is far more cost effective to put the measures in place to retain great staff, than have to keep sourcing, recruiting and training new team members.
Keeping employees engaged and ensuring they feel individually valued is key to morale and ultimately staff tenure. And it’s important to bear in mind that great workplace culture will do more than just retain staff, it will help to do the job that such a great proportion of time and resources have been spent on previously at the cost of retention – attracting a strong talent pipeline for the future.
Find out more about Xref here.