The Sizzling Labor Market; How to hold onto your employees and attract even more

Talent retention and recruitment are in overdrive for the last half of 2014.

doRecruitment Heats UpIt’s not the frenzy that it has been in the past (2006-2007) but the recruitment and selection process has certainly been heating up. If you’re a recruiter or hiring manager at any level you know first hand that candidates are a hot commodity right now. Just a a few years ago posting a job created an overwhelming sense of dread for a recruiter because of the vast number of applicants, phone calls and emails. This is no longer the case. Unemployment numbers came out October 1st and unemployment is at 5.3%. That’s low. The last time it was that low was in 2008 before the big crash according to The Bureau of Labor Statistics.

What can you do to prevent recruiters from stealing your best employees?

Employers who are riding the wave of the poor labor market of the past couple of years may be left empty handed with the increase in turnover. The underlying current where employees don’t have anywhere else to go so they aren’t going anywhere is just simply not the case anymore. Case and point; a colleague who has been fed up with his micro work environment for several years recently gave notice to move to a competitor. His employer wanted to do everything possible to keep him and jumped through several hoops including a raise in pay and a promotion. Whew! That was a close call. But, did it really take putting an employee through the process of finding a new job and resigning to take action to retain them? Get proactive in your workplace to retain your top talent or they will go somewhere else. In 2014 there are options.

Here are a few strategies to keep a retain your workforce:

Employee Engagement Survey’s – Ask your employees how things are going. What’s going well? What could be going better? This could be as simple as a Survey Monkey survey (yes, it’s that simple) to Gallup’s Q12 Survey. Show employees that you are interested in making the workplace even better to prevent them from thinking the grass is greener somewhere else. Take it a step further…conduct an employee engagement survey yearly and track benchmarks from year to year to dramatically improve your workplace.

Management 1:1’s  Make it a priority to meet with all of your direct reports weekly. Yes, I said weekly. This podcast from Manager Tools explains this perfectly.


What can you do to attract top talent to your organization?Recruitment

Passive tactics to recruit talented business professionals may not work as well as they have in the past. Posting a job on a job board (Indeed, LinkedIn, etc.) will not yield the same results as it once use to. So, what can you do to attract talent to that critical role you have on your team?

1. Use headhunter tactics – Tap into your vast network and ask key people (vendors, competitors, A+ players on your team) for referrals. Who do they know who would be great? Ask them to share this opening with their network as they see fit. Tell them candidates can reach out to you directly to take them out of the middle. This keeps it easier on your network and gets possible candidates to you directly.

2. Develop a career brand – Create attractive job announcements (not boring job descriptions), enhance your careers tab, develop a presence for your company on LinkedIn, enhance your recruitment process to appeal to and accommodate candidates. Check out this career page from Freshbooks.

I’m working now with a client on a search that 12 months ago would have been easier. We have a slate of passive and currently employed candidates and when we did our first round of interviews we tried to go above and beyond to highlight the positive things about the company and job itself. The GM put together a portfolio with work samples, photos of their work output, numbers, metrics and CD with work samples, etc. This impressed every candidate that received it and also helped my client provide a realistic preview of the job which will ultimately lead to better retention.

Recruitment Ideas3. Hire a recruiter/headhunter – If all else fails and you are struggling with your search hire someone to help. Sure, it’s expensive but let me tell you a little secret. You don’t have to repeatedly use headhunters to find talent for your business. Learn from them, what tactics are they using that are successful for your business? Can you implement those same tactics the next time you recruit for this position? Part of the benefit of using an outside recruitment agency/person is gaining an understanding of how they attract talent to your business and then replicate.


What have you done lately to retain or attract talent in this sizzling labor market?




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Amy McGeachy, HR ConsultantAmy McGeachy is an HR Consultant & Professional Development Coach in Portland Metro Area. Amy is a certified HR Professional (PHR) through the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM) and a Certified Coach through the Coach Training Alliance (CTA) and a member of the International Coaching Federation (ICF). Amy works with businesses in the areas of training, recruitment, employee relations and strategic HR. Contact Amy to learn more.

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