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10 Strategies for Hiring and Retaining New Employees

Make your business stand out to job candidates with a sound strategy for hiring and retaining top-tier talent.

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In a competitive job market, employee retention is everything. Long-term business success can be attributed to employees who feel like their efforts are acknowledged and that they're contributing to their organization's goals. Hiring and training new people can be costly, so prioritizing retention can save you a lot of money, foster a winning office culture, and encourage innovative thinking.

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It's important to keep in mind that job candidates are evaluating your organization just as much as you're interviewing them for a role. Keeping applicants engaged during the interview process can make all the difference when recruiting the people your business depends on. If they don't feel valued during the hiring process, why would they think they'd be valued as an employee?

Here are 10 strategies for hiring the right talent and limiting turnover so your business can thrive.

1. Simplify the hiring process.

Having plenty of qualified applicants is great, but make sure you're not losing the right person because your hiring process is inefficient or unclear. This is the first impression you'll give a potential employee, so be sure to present a positive image of your company by using a hiring platform like ZipRecruiter. It's arguably one of the best, cost-effective services for streamlining the hiring process. ZipRecruiter even syncs to your Applicant Tracking System (ATS) to optimize your application flow and can help you discover new hires.

2. Find the right employees.

Consider the values you're looking for out of a new hire. Aside from technical capability, ask interview questions that help you understand what motivates a candidate and how they interact in a group setting. Phone screenings, pre-employment behavioral assessments and time-saving screening questions effectively determine if someone would be a good fit before investing valuable resources into further recruitment.

3. Play to your strengths.

Though every employer should offer competitive compensation, you can still find and retain quality people by playing to your strengths. Do you have a strong company culture? Offer an employee discount? Is your business involved in the community? Offer unlimited PTO? Not everyone is purely motivated by salary. Some people may simply believe in your company—and that's someone you want on your team.

4. Personalize communications with applicants.

Sometimes submitting a job application feels like throwing your resume into a black hole. Even with an automated response, knowing your application will be reviewed by a human can make all the difference. As it turns out, you can hire faster and send personalized messages to job seekers through ZipRecruiter. It's an opportunity to keep applicants engaged in the hiring process with a professional experience.

5. Be transparent.

Hiring has a lot of moving parts, and things don't always go as planned. Maybe a project you were hiring for fell through or isn't happening as soon as anticipated. Perhaps someone wasn't the perfect fit for a specific role, but you know they'd be a contributor in a different position. Hiring can be a long-term game, so stay organized and be honest every step of the way. Communicate a transparent process for applicants to keep in mind and answer their questions to the best of your ability. You never know when you'll cross paths again.

6. Prioritize the onboarding experience.

Set your employees up for success from the beginning with a winning onboarding and orientation process. By investing time in developing onboarding materials, you'll get your new hires up to speed faster. They'll feel like they know the organization better and can contribute to their new role sooner. Company swag and personalized welcome emails from coworkers are also simple ways to make someone feel part of the team.

7. Provide a clear path for advancement.

Along the lines of transparency, don't push talent away because of stagnation in career growth, salary, or skill development. Offer employees a roadmap for promotions and what qualifies them for a merit increase. Mentorship opportunities for new and existing staff can develop new leaders while giving insight into the promotion process. Your employees will deliver their best work when they know they're working toward something.

8. Create an environment of open communication.

Keep lines of communication open between employees and leadership. This gives employees a voice and can lead to positive changes in the organization. Consider conducting regular employee engagement surveys that allow staff to provide feedback on career satisfaction, office culture, business outlook and career development. Acting on the results from the surveys and using that data to improve the employee experience can lead to improvements across your organization. 

9. Place emphasis on employee wellness.

In a world where working from home has become the norm, job flexibility is highly relevant. People are more likely to do their best work when their company understands they have lives outside of their 9-5. Offer simple perks like flexibility with leaving early to take care of family members or summer Fridays. Encourage personal wellbeing with healthy snacks in the office, physical fitness stipends and mental health resources.

10. Give employees recognition.

Employees need to feel appreciated, and there are plenty of inexpensive methods to do so. Acknowledgment of their accomplishments goes a long way, especially when it's coming from leadership. Create opportunities for employees to get recognition from their peers with regular work share-outs, office emails highlighting big wins and awards.

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