5 Ways to Hire Staff that Stick

There are loads of articles out there offering advice to businesses on how to reduce the cost of recruiting. The advice can include such strategies as greater and more effective use of social media, the use of employee referral schemes, more effective management of a preferred supplier list of recruiting agents or bringing the process in-house with an internal recruitment team. All have their merits.

But without doubt the best method for reducing your yearly spend on recruiting is to make sure that the staff you hire stick around and thus nullify the need to continually go out to market.

Just this morning I spoke to a potential client that had hired 6 people into the same post in 3 years! Can you begin to imagine how much time, money and disruption that must have caused?

So here are my top tips on how to hire staff that stick:

#1 Get the job description and person specification right before you start

A hiring company should take their time in crafting and honing their understanding of what the job “actually” is, getting that down on paper, discussing this with stakeholders within the business, then create a Person Specification in the same way. This can often lead to a “wish list” of the perfect job and the perfect candidate. So take a step back, reflect if the JD & PS is realistic and perhaps speak to some recruiters who know that market and ask if what you’ve created can not only be found but more importantly hired

#2 Set the remuneration correctly and beware the salary fixated applicants

Companies that try and skimp on salary because say times are hard in the job market and they might get a bargain always pay a price when the tables turn. Pay a fair wage for a fair job, review regularly and market test often. You might also like to consider additional non-monetary benefits such as childcare provision, flexible work arrangements, employee discount schemes etc that have a good effect in making employees feel they get more than just a salary from their employer

#3 Avoid the job hoppers

I have no doubt people can have one or two “blips” on their CVs. Jobs which didn’t quite work out and fell apart quite quickly. One or maybe two on a CV I can understand but a series of hops from one employer to another rings alarms bells in my recruiting brain. I would think very hard before taking a risk with these types.

#4 Focus on company culture

Company or team culture is very hard to define and it can be an ever changing thing dependent upon so many factors. However, I think a hiring manager does need to take some time to consider what he or she perceives the culture to broadly be within the team before bringing in new people. Talk to team members for their input. Perhaps consider an anonymous staff survey so people can be really open and honest. Once you think you have a handle on what your culture is then during the hire process ask the interviewees about the company cultures they’ve experienced and which suited them best. The key message here is not to hire on technical skills alone but all consider how they’ll “fit” into the team

#5 Create some career headroom

It will come as no surprise to most people that one of the most common reasons cited by job seekers for wishing to change jobs is a lack of promotional or development opportunity. All too often companies hire someone and then sit back and think “well that’s that sorted, lets get on with our work” and never again stop and think what that newly appointed employee might need as “headroom” in 1, 2 or 5 years time. During the hiring process explore what ambitions the applicants have and what their envisioned career paths might be. Ensure that these needs can be realistically met by the business before taking them on. Taking time to explore this can actually be a great way of engaging with and locking in talent; what better bait and hook to catch a star employee can there be than a potential employer discussing with them what they might want to be in 2 or 5 years time?

Photo credit: cartoon by Nick Maher. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.