Recruiting and retaining talented employees is an integral cornerstone of a business’s strategy. With unemployment falling as low as 3.9 percent in recent months, the job market is more competitive than it has been in nearly two decades. This means that employers must be proactive not only during the hiring process but in retention efforts as well.
Emerging technology solutions provide a competitive edge to HR professionals looking to keep rising stars from moving on to the next opportunity. Outlined below are some useful methods for strategic retention.
Find the right fit on the first try
On paper, it’s easy to embellish the details, and many job seekers often do. This can, however, present an obstacle for employers on the hunt for an individual with a set of skills to fill a specific role. The considerable expense in resources from time-to-hire to time-to-fill means that employers often can’t afford to take their time. Conversely, hiring unsuitable candidates ends up being incredibly costly.
One emerging technology offering an efficient solution to the manual recruiting process is hiring software with predictive analytics capacity. Predictive analytics, an offshoot of artificial intelligence (AI) uses historical data to predict future outcomes. Employers can expedite the screening process by offering questionnaires designed to isolate candidates with a set or subset of predetermined desired qualities. Recruiters are also using software applications to screen social media profiles and removing candidates from consideration whose preliminary qualifications or less-than-savory online presence don’t make the cut.
Offer flexible work arrangements
Over half of all businesses surveyed for the Society for Human Resource Management’s 2017 employee satisfaction report offered some form of telecommuting as part of their benefits package. Thirty-four percent of employees at those businesses stated flexible work arrangements (FWA) as the primary reason for remaining there.
As with any nontraditional arrangement, employers naturally might feel caught between pleasing employees and ensuring productivity. It’s important to note that, when used appropriately in conjunction with project management, collaborative software, and explicit guidelines for accountability, offering an FWA has improved productivity levels and overall employee satisfaction.
Offer opportunities for continuous professional development
Once employees are in the door and settled, many may look to their future within the organization. It’s not uncommon for mid-level employees dissatisfied with that trajectory to leave at the 3-5 year mark, a move that can cost employers up to 150 percent of their salary to replace them.
A stagnant workplace with no room for career advancement or professional development cannot effectively retain a workforce. It’s critical to provide employees with the tools and resources they need to become more well-rounded. It’s mutually beneficial in that way because higher levels of training and role specificity lead to more engaged employees that help drive a business further. This can take the form of virtual training programs, certification processes, and in the case of many larger organizations, support for continued schooling.
Provide clear channels of digital communication
Clear, concise communication helps employees feel connected and engaged, even if they work remotely or participate in an FWA. Company culture is an intangible aspect of retention that many HR administrators struggle to identify and act upon. Providing a shared online forum for employees to message one another, work on projects, post personal and professional news (for example, a new baby or a promotion), and even to wish someone well as they leave the company all work together to create a semblance of unity.
Ultimately, investing in the right technology can have far-reaching benefits for employers in today’s tight job market. Taking proactive steps to attract and retain satisfied, talented workers has a direct impact on future success.
This post is brought to you by our guest blogger, Sara Carter, who is the Co-Founder of the online technology magazine Enlightened-Digital.