With The Great Resignation looming, organizations can avoid losing talent by following these best practices.
By Karen Crone
Recruiting and retaining the best employees are two sides of the same coin. In today’s post-pandemic workplace, where millions are quitting their jobs amidst The Great Resignation, it’s more critical than ever for business leaders to retain their top talent. It’s well-known that the cost of acquiring a new customer is up to five times more than retaining an existing customer. The same premise applies to the workplace. Today’s employees seek meaningful work, growth opportunities, and most importantly, a sense of being appreciated. Re-recruiting is the vital link between attracting and maintaining talent, and if an organization doesn’t have a proactive approach, it has a major risk of losing top employees.
Re-Recruiting: What It Means
An employee’s first day on the job can mean swag gifts, friendly greetings, special training sessions, and plenty of excitement about upcoming projects. Of course, all of this can come after that employee was courted for—and then accepted—a specific position. How can employers help workers sustain this feeling? Re-recruiting, or performing some of these original recruiting approaches for an already tenured employee, will help deepen an employee’s connection with their manager and the company. HR plays a critical role in ensuring this is done successfully. When employees understand the culture and inner workings of the organization, there is more invested in the overall relationship. Re-recruiting serves to cement the contract between the employee and the business, ensuring the organization continues to derive value from each employee.
Re-Recruit Rather than Replace
The pandemic has not only changed our physical workspace; it has also forced the hand of HR leaders to uncover new ways to conduct performance discussions and drive the employee career development process. As has been widely reported, the virtual office is not going anywhere, a recent Pew Research cites more than half (54%) of currently remote professionals now prefer to continue to work from home.
Clearly, the employer-employee contract—what the employer gives and the employee gets— has changed. Employees are no longer traveling to the office daily, managers are no longer having face-to-face meetings with employees, and even the traditional onboarding process has become virtual. Given these workplace transformations, forward-looking companies must update their relationship with their employees. Every organization has people who are its future leaders, and those people are in demand more now than ever before. Organizations never want to find themselves in a position to save employees from leaving; top performers should already know they are valued.
Consider this: The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) reported that on average it costs a company between six and nine months of an employee’s salary to replace him or her. For each employee lost, the cost to the company could be between 50% and 250% of his/her annual salary. The Great Resignation has underscored the scarcity of talent available to organizations, and there’s now overinflation in the labor force. It’s an employee’s market: Employees have more choices than ever when it comes to the salary they command or where they live as the remote workplace removed the location barrier.
Re-Recruiting in Action: What Have You Done for Me Lately?
How can organizations re-recruit top employees? First, look for “hot spots” or departments where you notice more turnover. Test for “weak spots” by having regular conversations with employees. Is an employee struggling with project overload? Not challenged? Are employer and employee expectations in balance?
Also, pay attention when a “beacon” person resigns. This employee is often considered a change agent or high performer, meaning that when they leave, others will wonder if they should follow suit. Then, think about ways current and long-time employees are being recognized.
Here are other best practices to take to re-recruit and retain.
- Facilitate targeted retention conversations with follow-up actions.
- Provide personalized recognition, including investing in skills and career development.
- Provide stretch assignments for employees that will inspire and challenge them, while helping them plan a targeted career road map.
- Identify and remove obstacles that an employee may encounter. What can empower them to best contribute to the organization?
HR: An Integral Part of the Re-Recruitment Process
HR can help facilitate the aforementioned steps while holding up a mirror to managers. Are they accessible to their people? HR can coach managers about who the potential flight risks may be. HR can also help coach leadership about identifying critical talent as well as promotions and compensation guidelines. A study of more than 400,000 people published in Harvard Business Review discovered that when employees believe promotions are managed effectively, employee turnover rates are half that of other companies in the same industry. And while money matters, there are intangibles that are equally important: Are people connected to their work? Are they invested in the company?
Re-recruiting is not a new concept. An employee should always be able to answer why they work there they work. The choice is simple: Re-recruit now or recruit, interview, and hire when someone resigns. Re-recruiting puts organizations in a proactive rather than reactive stance, and there’s no time not to do it. This is a viable way to prevent The Great Resignation from landing at the office door.
Karen Crone is CHRO of Paycor