Employee Recruitment and Retention in a Post Pandemic World

Paid sponsorship by Alternative HR, a YBA member company

Prior to the word COVID becoming part of our vernacular, our economy was performing at a level that made recruitment more challenging. 

The national unemployment rate was 3.5% before the pandemic hitting and that is fairly close to what most economists look at as being full employment which typically indicates that finding talent and hiring employees is more challenging.  

While the pandemic had a disastrous impact on several industry sectors, many were able to carry on, maintain and even increase their business output. 

Finding and Keeping Talent in the Post-Pandemic Landscape

However, the landscape has changed. Now that we live in a post-pandemic world, the demand for goods & services has dramatically increased and has left many employers wondering, where is the talent?

Many employers have asked us to assist with locating talent for their employment needs. Our response has been we will be happy to help in any way we can, but we also need to have a conversation about retention. The two R’s as I refer to them . . . Recruitment and Retention.

Retention. Focus on Existing Employees

Let’s begin by having a conversation around retention. What is your corporate culture like? What programs and initiatives have you put in place for performance management? Also, just so we are clear, performance management isn’t simply just doing an annual performance review; it is more holistic. How are you growing your talent and providing pathways for career growth and development? How are you providing programs and initiatives to ensure that health, safety, and wellness are part of your focus? Most importantly, how are you ensuring that your employees feel valued? 

Studies show that the number one reason employees leave is not feeling valued by their direct manager. 

Have you provided leadership training to your managers at all levels?

Simply put, a conversation around retention always begins with ensuring that your culture is one of both successes and also one that is built around showing your employees that you value them. After all, the best way to minimize your recruitment efforts is to focus on your existing employees.  

Develop an Employee Recruitment Plan

Let’s shift to a conversation about recruitment. The best tool for recruitment is your current employees. 

Have you thought about referral bonuses? 

After all, who can best tell your story than your employees? If you have been able to drive a culture that is attractive for your current employees, that will carry through in your messaging and be an excellent foundation for attracting talent. But it does go deeper than that. Are you an organization that values diversity and inclusion? Is it a part of your DNA or just a wish list? The reality is that our population is growing slower than at any time in our nation’s history, and this is especially true in our region. But the face of our country is changing and growing and is much more diverse. 

Organizations that ignore this reality are missing out on the fastest-growing labor pools in the market. 

Many organizations focus too much on spending all their recruitment dollars on the same advertising they have always utilized. If you have not been getting the desired result, it is time to switch it up. Ask yourself a question. Who locally can help connect me with a talent pool that I might be missing? Do you know what diverse local chambers exist? Are you a member of any local industry-based membership organizations? If not, it is time to connect with them. An annual membership in the most diverse chamber organizations will still cost you less than one job posting on the national job boards.

It is important not to rush into recruitment. Before advertising for a new role or a role that you are replacing someone in, make sure you have done a job analysis. Have you revised the job description to reflect the role as it exists today? What skill sets do you need today, and what skills are you willing to train on? 

What transferable skills might you consider when hiring? Keep in mind that the pandemic has decimated several industry sectors, and there is talent that exists that wants to work and find a job. How flexible are you? 

Can the work be performed remotely? 

If so, that opens the door to what geography you need to recruit within. Have you evaluated the compensation for the role you are recruiting for? If so, are you paying a living wage? If you are not, your biggest obstacle to retaining talent will be tied directly to wages.  

Don’t Overlook the Interviewing and Onboarding Process

Once you have developed a recruitment plan, make sure that you have created an interview process that provides an authentic look at your organization and one that does not drag on. If you have connected with a candidate you are interested in, don’t drag out the process or accept another role. Make sure you follow your process and check off all the necessary boxes, but do not make the candidate wait too long before making a decision. With the market what it is, you cannot afford to wait.  

Lastly, the key to establishing a long-term relationship with a new employee is to ensure that you conduct an efficient and detailed onboarding with the new employee. Make sure you have allowed for enough training to get the new employee acquainted with the role they were hired to do and connect them with the right teammates who will ensure their success.

This may scratch the surface, and there is often so much more to think about. 

Alternative HR is here to help with internal culture, employee recruitment and retention, and all your Human Resource needs. Contact us today to find out more about how we may help your organization grow and maintain talent. Learn more.