Undercover Recruiter: Employee Retention Strategies to Boost Your Recruiting Efforts

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Employee retention plays a big part in how recruiting, and sourcing strategies are created and executed. That’s a given. However, there’s a lot of conversation and noise in the industry about how everyone wants to find and hire top talent, while the retention aspect often gets assimilated or assumed as part of that process and forgotten.  Having highly engaged employees also leads to employee referrals. While referrals might be the smallest population of candidates, they are much more likely to be hired and fit the company culture.  The reality of the recruiting and sourcing industry is retention is the foundation recruiting, and sourcing are built on – we all want to add the best people to our teams and keep them active, productive and satisfied in their space, but we need to have a mindful and proactive strategy in place to retain them so they will stay with our organization in the long run.

However, employee retention and candidate engagement aren’t just items to cross off at the end of your recruiting and sourcing to-do’s – it’s how your employees and their unique personalities fit into your strategy. The truth lies in your employee and candidate voice. Here are some ways to better get to know your team, empower their employee voice and boost your retention strategies:

Advocate for your team

Employee engagement is the most significant hurdle that can make or break your hiring strategies, but it’s the underlying foundation for building a strong relationship with your candidates. It’s the culmination of all the hard work you’ve accomplished throughout your hiring efforts. You’ve developed all these relationships with candidates, but how can you know whether your efforts are having a substantial impact on whether the candidate stays in your organization longer than a year, three years, or even five years and beyond?

That’s where culture and calibration come into the engagement process. You can’t expect to keep top-performing employees in a single role or position forever. If you aren’t actively helping them find ways to grow and develop, they’ll do so on their own – and likely look for opportunities outside of your business. You need to help your team build their careers if you want them to place increasing value on their position with your organization.

Invest in your team

Investment is more than just throwing money at development programs or the latest and greatest technology. Companies spend more than $750 million a year in attempts to boost employee engagement, but 1 in 3 American workers are engaged in their jobs. Due to this fact, US businesses report $450 billion to $550 billion in lost productivity each year.

One solution to this issue is employee empowerment:

  • Employees are 26% more satisfied with their work when they have an element of authority and/or autonomy in their position.
  • 70% of employees rank empowerment as an essential element of their engagement.
  • Highly empowered employees showed engagement levels in the 79th percentile, whereas disempowered workers rated in the 24th percentile for engagement.

Going beyond making your team feel important and valuable in their roles, making your team feel critical to your company culture is a great way to invest in your employees. They’re more than just workers – they’re team members, i.e., your friends and work family.

“One way we empower employees at IQTalent Partners is by allowing them to own and lead in areas where they have a personal passion.  Our team members initiate our quarterly corporate community outreach programs. They evaluate nonprofits within the Nashville community and then become a part of the process in deciding which charity will receive our firm’s financial and volunteer support.” –

Kendra Deas, Director of Human Resources, IQTalent Partners, Inc.

While empowerment is very much related to engagement, it’s crucial to acknowledge that they are also separate retention strategies. After all, it’s entirely possible for employees to be engaged without being empowered. If your focus is retention, you want your team to know they can speak up when they feel disengaged and burned-out, but more importantly, you want them to trust that you will do something about it to meet their needs. The idea with empowerment is to tackle employee issues like frustration, burnout, disengagement, low productivity, and even attrition at their roots and give employees the means to overcome these issues. Empowered employees are 67% more willing to put in extra effort on the job, meaning these are the people your team needs. Why? Because they take creative risks, driving business growth that results in higher revenue gains. They’re your “go-getter” rockstar employees.

So how can hiring managers, recruiting and sourcing teams, and HR executives empower within their organizations? Grant employees autonomy over their work. When employees are allowed to make decisions on their own, it enables them to perform their best, unhindered work. Delegating authority to your team members shows them they are trusted.  We trust them to make decisions and let them know that it’s OK to make mistakes, as long as they are learning and don’t repeat the same ones again and again. Part of empowering your team is giving them the ability to solve their problems. We can be there as a resource, but they are the decision makers.

Have your team’s back

Arguably the most crucial retention strategy you can incorporate into your recruiting and sourcing strategies is relationship building. It’s the vital trust that lets employees know that you always have their best interest in mind. Hiring and onboarding processes can be a whirlwind, so it’s essential to devote a good chunk of your interactions with your team to get to know them in and out of your recruiting and sourcing strategies.

Different personality types have different work styles, and you’re bound to have some combination of introverts and extroverts on your team. Empowering your team by giving them importance and autonomy in their roles enables them to decide how to go about meeting goals and benchmarks. This helps foster a positive and inclusive work environment for your company culture while allowing your team to unleash their creativity and unique ideas.

The overarching theme here is the employees’ needs matter. As hiring managers and leaders, we can use our influence and reach to empower them. An investment in employee retention will pay dividends in the long run. Building relationships, strengthening trust, and engaging employees in ways that cater to their unique lifestyles and personalities will create team members who become long-term, valuable employees for the future.