The U.S. job market has drastically changed in the last decade. We’ve gone from a 10% unemployment rate in October of 2009 to a 3.6% unemployment rate in April of 2019. With more jobs than people to fill them, businesses are struggling to hire. In fact, 36% of small businesses couldn’t fill their open positions as of June of 2018.
Now that it’s a candidate’s job market, it’s time for recruiters and HR departments to change the way they approach hiring. If your business isn’t creating a positive, streamlined, and modern experience for candidates, you will miss out on quality hires.
In order to attract the best candidates, you need to reinvent your hiring strategy and ditch outdated recruiting practices. That’s why we created a list of the top 5 recruiting strategies that need to go—and what you should replace them with.
1.Cold Emailing Cold emailing is one of the most outdated recruiting practices you can use. Emails have a low average open rate of 20% and a response rate of a mere 6%. In today’s job market, when professionals regularly receive unsolicited communications, they are even less likely to open your emails.
Instead of sending cold emails, ask your business’s employees to refer and connect you with prospective candidates. Candidates are more likely to respond after a personal introduction.
2. Focusing On GPA When businesses evaluate younger members of the workforce, they often look at their GPAs. In 2013, 67% of companies reported that they screen candidates this way. However, GPAs don’t measure professional experience and aren’t accurate indicators of professional success.
Instead of focusing on candidate GPAs, review critical candidate skills, such as written, oral, organizational, and any other role-specific skills your open job calls for.
3. Geographically Restricted Candidate Searches In today’s cosmopolitan business environment, geographically restricted searches are one of the most egregious outdated recruiting practices. A majority of recruiters (67%) say their biggest challenge is a lack of skilled, high-quality candidates. Searching for candidates only located within your geographic area drastically limits your search—especially if you’re looking for higher-level employees.
Unless your business is on a tight budget, you should be searching for candidates across the country. Video calls and Skype have made it easier to reach these long-distance candidates.
4. One-Way Conversations Eighty-three percent of professionals say a negative interview experience can change their minds about a role or company they once liked. Interviews can feel like trials to employees—so be sure to avoid suffocating atmospheres, rude or pertinent questions, or intimidating two-on-one setups.
Instead of providing an unnerving experience, give your interviewees a chance to respond, engage in conversation, and ask questions. Smiles don’t hurt, either.
5. Scripted Conversations The majority (90%) of millennials, who are the largest generation in the U.S. labor force, say brand authenticity is important. They feel the same about the companies they work for, too. Scripts can make an interviewer seem inauthentic and a company seem robotic—the opposite of what millennials want to experience at work.
Instead of using a script, try to make candidate conversations as real as possible. Go off script, be yourself, and have fun getting to know another professional.
Overview Many outdated recruiting practices are designated as such because of today’s new workplace standards of authenticity and positivity. In general, your business should be systematically humanizing the recruiting process to catch up with modern candidate wants and needs.
Ditching outdated recruiting practices, from cold emailing to scripts, will improve your candidate experience, widen your candidate pool, and help you fill your empty roles with high-quality talent.
About the Author Tim Schumm is the founder/CEO of Lucas James Talent Partners. Lucas James Talent Partners provides small and medium-sized businesses with a high-quality, cost-effective, and flexible talent acquisition solution through RPO (recruitment process outsourcing). Please visit https://lucasjamestalent.com/ to learn more.
There are many reasons why employee retention is one of the
most important considerations for your organization. Among these reasons, which
include employee satisfaction and team morale, the biggest reason—or at least
the easiest to measure—is cost.
And these costs also include the knowledge and experience
that an employee gained while at the company; a loss that will turn into a several
month-long learning curve for whoever replaces them.
Other reasons that employee retention should be carefully
considered are that the organization’s performance and reputation could suffer
with a lot of turnover, and that competition to hang on to top talent is
heating up in a country with the lowest unemployment rate in decades.
So how many people are actually leaving their jobs, and why?
What are the turnover costs for companies? And what can you do to revamp your
Here’s what you need to know about why employee retention is
your best weapon in the war for talent.
A BambooHR onboarding survey, which surveyed over 1,000 U.S.
employees, showed that 31%
of workers have left a job within the first
six months, and 68% of those workers have left within three. And data from the
Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) shows that since January 2019, every month
million employees have left their jobs voluntary. BLS
data from 2018 showed workers had been with their current employer for an average of
The BLS also reported that workers in the baby boom
generation were found to hold an average of just under 12 jobs throughout his or her
lifetime, between ages 18 and 50. However, nearly half of the 12
jobs were held between ages 18 and 24. This means that younger workers are more
likely to shift more often, and so retention strategies should put emphasis on
what would appeal to this younger population.
do employees leave?
It’s no surprise, really, that modern workers are hard to
retain. It’s easier now than it’s ever been to research a new company or
refresh a job board each and every day. With the endless resource that is the
Internet, workers are learning more about what’s fair and what isn’t, what they
could be getting paid versus what they are making.
But, the reason for the two-weeks’ notice has to stem from
something specific and not so broad as “I wanted something better.” So what
drives employees to leave?
The BambooHR survey mentioned above also reported the top
three reasons that surveyed employees left their positions within the first six
They were no longer interested in
the work (28%)
Their jobs were not what they had
expected in the interview (26%)
They didn’t like their boss (23%)
This feedback shows that an important part of a new job is
transparency: if the work was nothing like what was described, employees aren’t
going to feel great about that. If they deal with a rude manager, that’s
another red flag. And when it’s only been a few months, they may feel less
inclined to stick it out—they are less attached or invested in the company at
this point than they would be years in.
points out, other reasons that employees leave are because they found a better,
more competitive alternative (perhaps a company that provides more benefits or
higher salaries); they had a “predetermined plan” to quit because of life
circumstances, such as going to get a degree or having a family; or they had a
frustrating experience that led them to act on impulse. An example of the
latter could be that they didn’t receive a promotion or raise when they thought
they deserved it.
addition, a survey from America’s Health Insurance Plan (AHIP) showed that 56%
said health coverage was a key factor in whether or not they stayed at their
current job. According to a SHRM survey, 92% of employees said that benefits remain
important to their job satisfaction, and that 29% of employees cited their
benefits package as one of the top reasons to look for another position within
the next year.
The cost of turnover
average cost per hire is over $4,000, according to a study from the
SHRM, and it takes 42 days on average to fill a given position. Whether or not
that number would be much higher or lower for your company, there’s no arguing
that costs are substantial. In addition to these financial setbacks, there’s no
one in the role doing the work, putting strain on your other employees.
in mind that those covering the work while a position is being filled may
expect to be compensated for the extra work, adding to the costs even more. So
needless to say, turnover is not only frustrating, reputation-hurting, and
time-consuming, it’s also expensive.
How to revamp your employee
To win the
war for talent that’s currently going on in the U.S., it’s time to revamp your
retention strategy. Based on the common reasons people leave their jobs above,
consider these methods:
1. Clearly communicate job duties
mentioned, it can be upsetting or surprising to a new hire if the duties
discussed in the interview were not accurate to the job they suddenly find
themselves in. This is why it’s not always enough for an HR rep to do the
interview and why a manager or colleague who will have similar duties should be
engaged in the candidate-seeking process.
2. Update your benefits package
workers hold health and other benefits as a top priority in their decision to
stay at their jobs, 85% of HR professionals say that they use benefits as a
strategic tool to positively impact recruitment and retention, according to an
SHRM benefits survey. For example, new trends include updates to parental
benefits, such as maternity and paternity leave and adoption leave.
another part of updating your employee benefits is about work-life balance.
Modern employees look for jobs with flexibility offerings, such as working from
home or different working hours. These considerations are especially important
when catering to the younger generations, who value workplace culture and
to the Deloitte Global Millennial Survey
2019, half of
millennials surveyed said that they would consider working in the gig economy.
This lifestyle appealed to them because of the chance to earn more money (58%),
to work their own hours (41%) or to achieve better work/life balance (37%).
3. Encourage position transfers
within the company
smart move to better retain and satisfy employees is to discuss their end goals
and their satisfaction in their current roles, and encourage them to look into
other departments if they’re not happy. Some companies are implementing this
idea into their policies and procedures, so employees can easily look at their
handbook and find out if this is an option.
4. Talk about pay equality and
equality and diversity are two hot topics in today’s workplace culture. Young
employees want to know that they’re being compensated for their hard work and
dedication, and it will be easy for them to tell if decisions like wage range
is based on discriminatory factors.
hasn’t been a focus yet for your company, start by offering trainings or
seminars where employees can learn or share. Express your commitment to these
issues so that employees know you’re thinking about it.
5. Ask for feedback
tried-and-true way to get inside the heads of your employees is to simply ask
them. Don’t try to guess how happy they are or how satisfied they are with
their work or department. Implement employee surveys that are anonymous so they
feel comfortable sharing. Hold discussions where employees can provide their
opinions, thoughts, and feelings about the company and what could be improved.
can’t hurt to introduce new perks in the office, like a Friday lunchtime game
or regular outings after work. These opportunities for interaction can help
leaders become aware of issues or successes.
is key with the current dips in the unemployment rate, which are only getting
lower. You need to create a retention plan that addresses real concerns that
your employees are having.
communicate expectations during interviews and throughout the candidate-seeking
your benefits package (including work-life balance and flexibility benefits)
regularly, based on what your workforce cares about.
position transfers within the company.
and address pay equality and diversity concerns that arise all the time in
employees in decision-making so that you can take their feedback into account.
These strategies will help you to stand out from competitors and retain quality talent. Make sure you give these considerations due care, and your overall workplace environment will improve (not to mention you’ll save on the high costs of filling positions that experience turnover regularly).
The unemployment rate has now fallen to 3.6%, according to recent data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. While American workers welcome the news, it can be a challenge in this climate for hiring managers to stand out and continue attracting the best talent out there.
business is struggling to fill open positions, and you’re not receiving the
quality applicants that you’d hoped for, take a look at your benefits package.
When was the last time you updated it?
The 2018 Employee Benefits Survey from the Society of Human
Resources Management (SHRM) showed that 34% of organizations beefed up their
benefits packages within the last year, and 72% said that retention was a
reason they did so. Over half cited attracting top talent as a main part of
current “war for talent” climate, creating a benefits package that can sell
itself to candidates will ensure you’re attracting that top talent. In fact,
your benefits package could be the differentiator that will give you the timely
competitive advantage you need. A CareerBuilder survey revealed that 32% of workers will be looking for a new job in
2019, 15% of whom cited lack of benefits or low compensation as the reason.
to create a high-impact benefits package that will help your business both
attract and retain top talent.
Understanding What’s Hot
what’s most important to the top talent you’re looking for will depend on your
industry. For instance, not every job can offer remote work benefits—some
require a worker’s presence in the office.
there are general trends as far as benefits go. The same SHRM survey mentioned
earlier also showed that benefits for parents have been increased in the last
few years, including paid maternity and paternity leave and adoption, foster
child, and surrogacy benefits.
to Jobvite’s 2018 Recruiter Nation
say that the most effective benefits to attracting top talent are medical and
dental benefits (67%), followed by 401(k) benefits (55%).
and dental benefits may seem like a given, but making these benefits
competitive in themselves can upgrade your overall package. This is why it’s
important to shop around for the best price on packages that offer the
comprehensive care that your employees need. For retirement, many workplaces
offer a company-matching benefit that top talent will look for when considering
most important benefit offering discussed in the Jobvite survey was
work-from-home benefits. As mentioned above, this benefit may or may not be
possible for your given industry. However, with our current everything-digital
work culture, it’s worth considering making it happen, as 43% of recruiters
said this was the most effective benefit offering to attract and retain talent.
flexible work arrangement or flexible schedule shows employees that their
work-life balance matters, and that the company wants to support them in
managing family obligations and other priorities outside of work.
three benefits listed as top attractions in the Jobvite survey were casual
dress (36%), continuing education reimbursement (31%), and a signing bonus (28%).
Paid vacation is still considered a top benefit, and many top candidates will
negotiate the amount of days off they receive with the rest of their offer.
hot topic in the benefits world is student loan help. According to data from
the Harvard Business Review, 48% of job seekers said that student loan assistance
would be taken into account when considering a job offer.
now owe around $1.57 trillion in college debt, as USA Today reported, yet only
one in 10 companies surveyed by the Employee Benefit Research Institute offer student loan repayment
consolidation or refinancing services for employees. This means that employers
willing to make this a priority will be ahead of their competitors when
attracting top talent.
examples show how any organization can construct a benefits package that checks
off the list of what the modern candidate is looking for.
Building a Comprehensive Package
you’re aware of what candidates want, how do you begin the reconstruction
1. Research the competition
the trends within your industry. Start by researching the job ads that
competitors are posting, or use a tool like Glassdoor to view salary trends for
a given job title or company. Understanding what your competitors are offering
is crucial to creating a competitive advantage.
also learn about other company’s benefits through interviews with top-level
candidates. They may ask for a certain amount of vacation days, a salary level,
or 401(k) contribution because they’re receiving it in their current position.
ApplicantPro points out, your top recruiting competition may not be the same as your
business competition. Companies hiring individuals with the same qualifications,
and not necessarily a company offering the same services as yours, may be more
of your hiring rival.
2. Use data in strategic planning
to increase ROI
Keep up on
the latest research about what employees want, in addition to what competitors
are providing. Each year, human resources organizations release surveys that
reflect the latest trends, such as the surveys mentioned in this article from
the SHRM and the Employee Benefit Research Institute.
to the SHRM, planning benefits strategically
based on specific data
can help your company receive the greatest return on investment. This is
important, because benefits aren’t cheap—they make up about a third of
compensation costs (32%). When companies strategically plan benefits for
recruitment and retention, the overall performance of the company is above
average at 58%, versus 34% from organizations that don’t plan strategically.
3. Understand what drives
are more likely to feel motivated and satisfied by
their work if
they’re fully supported with adequate pay and benefits. This means making
enough money, but it also means being able to receive high-quality healthcare
services and to take time away from work to relieve stress and enjoy their
why it’s also smart to offer a comprehensive wellness program that offers
discounted gym memberships, for example, or mental health services, along with
a good healthcare package. Over half of employees surveyed by the SHRM said
that healthcare, paid leave, and flexible benefits were very important to job
to approach the construction of your benefits package with people in mind, not
just the bottom line.
4. Ask your employees for feedback
To better understand
what would entice employees to stay at your company, why not ask them?
some kind of survey system can be instrumental in building a benefits plan that
meets the expectations of employees. Just the gesture alone can show workers
that you are considering their needs and desires, which can lead to greater
feelings of satisfaction and recognition.
holding discussions about benefits where employees can make comments and ask
questions, and invite them to offer their opinions about their current package.
5. Continue adapting
interviews with top candidates, one strategy that could help you succeed is
being open to what they’re looking for, and asking them what their expectations
are. This can not only open your eyes to what top talent is looking for, but it
can also help you revamp your benefits offerings for your current
your benefits package is not likely to be something you can do once and be done
with. Preferences change year over year in the realm of recruitment, as new
technologies are introduced or new working trends pick up, so remember that
your benefits plan needs to be revisited and adapted regularly. For example,
the gig economy and the surge of freelancing has made flexibility and remote
work more popular and desirable for employees across industries.
6. Embrace new technologies
Finally, recruiters and hiring managers should embrace new
technologies that can help them create a strategic benefits plan for
recruitment and retention.
According to the Jobvite survey mentioned above, almost half
of recruiters say that artificial intelligence (AI) and automaton will improve
their jobs and will allow them to focus more on strategy. Streamlining tasks
can open up a lot of time that can be used on research and data analyzation
that will lead to better benefits planning that’s focused around attracting
Using an online benefits portal is another way to increase
employee satisfaction and streamline the benefits process. According to the
SHRM, 32% of HR professionals say that an online portal is very effective as a
communication method with employees. A portal can help the HR team deliver
messages while emphasizing the value of benefits to employees.
Winning the war for top talent takes research, planning, and
strategizing, and may not happen overnight. But it’s more important than ever
to focus on benefits offerings as the unemployment rate continues to drop and
the recruitment competition heats up. Remember to:
Stay abreast on what’s hot in the
world of HR and recruiting
Research your competition
Base benefits planning decisions on
specific data to ensure Return on Investment
Think about what drives employee
motivation and satisfaction
Survey employees and candidates to
find out what would excite them beyond a high base salary
Continue to adapt your plan
Integrate new tools and platforms
that will streamline processes for both you and employees
If you show both top candidates and current employees that benefits are important to the organization and do the research to offer what they really want, you’ll be well on your way to creating a high-impact benefits package that will set you apart from competitors.
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