Although buildings, warehouses, product inventory, and other assets may be essential to most businesses, the truth is that no business can survive without a strong workforce. Employees are an organization’s most important asset; and building a productive and engaged workforce is key to lasting success.
However, recruiting and retaining the right workers for your organizational culture is easier said than done. According to a study, 67% of hiring managers consider cultural fit as an important factor in choosing a candidate, and 90% have rejected candidates for a lack of cultural fit. A recent retention report also found that 64% of employees have one foot out the door, considering a career move. When building the best workforce, it is crucial for quality recruitment and strong retention to be a company’s central goal.
The most logical place to start when building a highly productive team is in the recruitment process. While there are many factors that go into hiring decisions, it can all boil down to three main qualities successful leaders search for: skills, experience, and cultural fit. All are important in attracting the best person for the position.
Skills and Experience
According to Small Biz Genius, a corporate job posting attracts on average 250 resumes, and yet, recruiters review each resume for about 10 seconds. It’s important to know exactly what you’re looking for in a candidate without settling. The resume is a great place to identify those who wouldn’t have the hard skills or experience necessary for being successful in a job role. And even if a candidate doesn’t seem to have exactly what you need, hard skills can be learned or developed; however, soft skills are a bit more difficult. In fact, according to a survey conducted by The Harris Poll on behalf of Express, 74% of U.S. hiring decision makers and 73% of Canadian decision makers agree that as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, their company values soft skills more than ever before when considering applicants to hire.
Beyond the hard skills and relevant expertise, dive deeper into the candidates’ volunteer work or relative experience for cues into their personality, values, and commitments. Sometimes, a recruiter can see if the candidate fits the company mold simply through their cover letter and volunteer service; however, successful hiring managers take it to the next level during the interview process to determine who’s the best cultural fit. Ensuring a candidate fits the company culture of an organization is the key to building engagement for both the new employee, and their new co-workers they will be working with every day.
After hiring quality employees and building up a strong workforce, it’s imperative to grow engagement and build morale to ensure a high percentage of employee retention. With 64% of employees open to leaving their job, maintaining a happy and engaged workforce starts with the onboarding process and continues through open communication and development.
Employee onboarding is the process a company takes a newly hired worker through during their first few weeks to months to set them up for success at the company. Most employees aren’t able to start at 100% on day one. Companies must first introduce them to the culture, develop their acumen for the business’ specific traits and values, and train them to reach their full potential within the system. According to Glassdoor, great employee onboarding can improve employee retention by 82%. However, Digitate found that a negative onboarding process can result in a new employee being twice as likely to search for a different job.
Communication and Recognition
According to a study by The Harris Poll, 91% of employees say communication is the number one crucial skill that their employers lack. The poll found that 57% of employees say they don’t receive clear instructions and 39% don’t receive constructive feedback. When leading a team, it is important to communicate clearly and develop employees. Without clear instruction, employees may be set up to fail. Likewise, without constructive feedback, employees are likely to fall into a state of arrested development.
In the same study, employees claimed that the top type of communication that most affected their employers’ leadership was in not recognizing employees’ achievements with 67% of employees agreeing. Employee recognition is a powerful tool to help build confidence, a culture of uplifting others, and strengthening morale, which are all key in maintaining high retention levels.
Recruit and Retain
Building a highly productive workforce is essential to maintain a competitive advantage and lasting success for your business. While it starts with hiring top talent, it continues through engagement and retention.
How has your company created a strong team? What specific areas of focus have helped you grow engagement and raise retention? Let us know in the comments section below!