Employee Recruiting and Retention Strategies

Employees leave their organizations for a variety of reasons. In many cases, the reason is unknown to the employer. It’s the job of the employer to listen to the needs of their workforce and take action on retention strategies to ensure their employees feel valued – this will ultimately improve your chances of retaining their services for the long-term.

The following retention methods can have a massive impact on an organization’s turnover rate. Let’s take a look at some of these tried and tested strategies.

1) Redesign jobs

If your organization is struggling with filling a particular position, consider redesigning the job role. You can offer training, modify the work hours, or even convert one full-time position into two part-time positions.

Approaching this issue with a simple solution can allow you to qualify a higher number of candidates and may even provide cost savings for your organization (lower starting salary for example).

employee recruiting and retention strategies

2) Search for in-house talent

Companies tend to look outside of their own organization when it comes time to hire new talent. When this occurs, qualified employees are overlooked which can often send the wrong message. Hiring in-house communicates to your employees that they have ample promotion opportunities which could ultimately aid your retention efforts.

3) Utilize marketing departments or firms

For the past decade marketing, especially digital marketing, has dominated the way organizations recruit. Many firms have turned to their in-house marketing teams to bolster their marketing efforts.

However, when in-house teams lack the skill set needed to perform a specific task, organizations often reach out to outside agencies that specialize in marketing to develop effective campaigns and strategies designed to draw in ideal candidates.

4) Use retention and recruiting metrics

Businesses use metrics to perform actions such as planning strategies and driving recruiting and retention efforts. Metrics are vital because without them it would be extremely difficult to create a meaningful or effective strategy. It’s vital that you find the metrics that are meaningful to your business and start measuring them today.

5) Tap hidden talent

Try looking at other companies who are similarly situated to your own to see what they may be doing differently. Also, consider tapping into “hidden” talent sources such as disabled workers, past employees, and older or retired workers.

You can learn to utilize the best practices of your industry by reaching out to resources such as AARP, your local chamber of commerce, Business Week’s listing, and much more.

6) Provide a benefits package that stands out from the competition

One truly effective way to attract and retain employees is to provide company benefits that are above industry standards. As time goes on you can also add on more benefits (budget willing).

Take the time to educate your employees about the true value of your benefits package so they can appreciate the fact that you’re looking out for their best interests. Be mindful that employees are picky when it comes to the type of benefits they want to see from employers.

“Good” benefit packages often include retirement, medical insurance, and dental insurance. Employees have grown accustomed to a la carte style benefit packages. Many enjoy picking and choosing the packages that are best suited for their situation.

7) Conduct a background check

It’s common practice for applicants to exaggerate their backgrounds so that they appear more qualified in the eyes of an interviewer. A number of industry studies support this claim – nearly one-third of job applicants lie (to some extent) about their backgrounds.

Conducting a background check will ensure that job applicants are telling the complete truth. Even if you’re only capable of digging up basic information about the applicant in question, it may reveal the information needed to uncover any inconsistencies or minor gaps in the information provided by the individual.

8) Harness the power of the internet

Looking to the web can provide the edge companies need to find the talent they’re looking for when they need to fill a particular position. Many organizations have turned to online job boards such as indeed.com and upwork.comamongst other sites to find qualified applicants. Be mindful that while this may be one of the most useful tools in your arsenal, you will likely be inundated with a barrage of resumes..

Don’t forget about your own website. Job searchers often visit company websites when they’re interested in working for a particular business. To avoid discouraging job hunters ensure that your site is easy to navigate.

9) Enhance referral programs

One underutilized recruiting tool that organizations often overlook is their current workforce. Current employees already understand the rigors of the job and, as a result, are the most qualified to recommend new candidates.

Current employees are also qualified to aid in the interview process to ensure the new candidate is “fit” for the position. They can also help by sorting through resumes to ensure you pick the best person for the job. Allowing employees to aid in the selection process of a new hire will greatly improve the chances of that employee working to ensure the applicant succeeds at their new job.

10) Build a reputation as a great place to work

Building a reputation as a great place to work is one of the best ways to draw in and retain new employees. If your employees make it a habit of bragging about how great their work environment is they’ll draw in candidates through word of mouth – a far more effective strategy than simply handing out company literature.

11) Examine resumes in teams

Practice reading a resume with a team, and you’ll find that different people will focus on different aspects of the resume. For example, a bilingual employee may see value in the fact that an applicant can speak multiple languages. Someone else may spot gaps in employment history. Examining a resume with a team not only provides multiple insights and perspectives, but it also speeds up the evaluation process.

12) Offer telecommuting and flexible work scheduling

An increasing number of organizations are offering telecommuting and flexible work schedules to discover “hidden talent.” Adopting such a strategy can provide employees with numerous advantages such as savings on transportation costs, a less stressful work life, more flexibility to meet the needs of family and much more.

Some of the potential disadvantages includes the fact that employees may begin to feel they’re becoming more disconnected from the organization, a lack of face-to-face interaction with fellow employees, a lack of discipline needed to work efficiently when distracted by the comforts of the home environment and the difficulty to draw lines between work and home life.

For employers, potential advantages include reduced overhead expenses, expanded recruiting areas, reductions in sick time expenses, and enhanced worker efficiency. Potential disadvantages include the fact that some tasks are difficult to complete virtually, the fact that employers must still comply with regulatory requirements that govern telecommuter offices, the potential for increased employee burnout as many employees are more likely to work longer hours than a typical workday when working from home, and the possibility for employees to be less efficient.

13) Interview using behavioral-based techniques

Many interviewers can probably admit to the fact they hired a candidate at one point or another due to their ability to interview well. However, good interviewing skills doesn’t always equate to being able to handle the responsibilities of a particular job role.

Candidates often practice their interviewing skills which are reflected during the actual interviewing process. However, this can lull unsuspecting interviewers into a false sense of security, and they may end up hiring a candidate who’s not entirely qualified for the position.

The best way to approach hiring a candidate is by looking into their past to learn how they performed in situations that most closely resemble your current work environment.

Just as importantly, ensure that the candidate can acclimate to the culture of your organization. Many interviewers are often blinded by a candidate’s education and experience. However, if the candidate can’t conform to the culture of the company than the likelihood of their leaving the organization will increase exponentially.

Therefore, if your work environment is carefree and easygoing, but the candidate comes from a bureaucratic background filled with rules, regulations, and structure than that individual may not be a good fit culturally for your organization.

It’s important that you identify the type of organization that the candidate prefers to work in. This will minimize the possibility of that individual leaving your organization due to an inability to conform to your company culture.


This list is by no means all-inclusive. Other methods to recruit and retain employees include internships, sign-on bonuses, clothing allowances, career development opportunities and much more.

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