employees in office

Employees: How to find and keep them

Always be on the lookout for great employees

We’ve all heard the sales phrase: “Always be closing.” When it comes to finding good people, the adage is similar: “Always be looking.” As the previous two and a half years have proven, employee turnover can happen when you least expect it. In addition to finding good employees, keeping them is also a challenge. The key to overcoming these problems is to be proactive. Start adopting new routines in how you actively look for and retain great help right now.

Employees working
Employees work better when there is a sense of community

Here are three (3) great ways to find good people:

  • Network with local schools
  • Ask existing employees for referrals
  • Write a job description that attracts the right candidate

Network with local schools and universities

Many educational institutions have job placement programs or an online job board. By networking with local schools and building relationships with the school and staff, you can get to the top of their list as a referred and great place to work. Start by calling your local university or high school district and asking which schools offer job placement programs and where you can post opportunities for multiple locations at once. Most schools also have Facebook pages that you can follow and engage with in order to build rapport.

Ask existing employees for referrals

Asking your current staff for employee recommendations could be a fast and cost-effective way to find new candidates. It could turn out to be a good fit since your current employee is already familiar with your company and can quickly determine if their referral is qualified for the role. Simply begin by inquiring among your employees if they know of a candidate who meets the job criteria. Try incorporating a hiring incentive program. Keep these programs easy to understand and manage. It can be as simple as offering the referring employee a cash reward or gift card if you hire their recommended candidate. 

Write an effective job description

Most job descriptions start by listing out tasks and responsibilities. Instead, start the job description by introducing your company. Continue with why your small business is such a great place to work or what your company mission and team motto are. For example, “We’re a tight-knit team of hard workers who love helping customers get what they need.” It’s a subtle difference that can provide improved results.

Hanging on to great employees

Once you find great employees, how do you keep them? According to CNBC online, record turnover is mostly attributed to low pay, poor working conditions, and/or better benefits. The competition to retain great people can be intense. Here are a few ideas for keeping outstanding employees:

  • Make employees feel like part of the big picture
  • Reward stellar performance 
  • Communicate and be a good listener

Make employees feel like part of the bigger picture

Including your employees in your company’s goals is arguably one of the most overlooked tactics in retaining great people. Every person has a natural human desire to be part of something bigger. Fill your employees in on both your short- and long-term business goals. If the plan is to expand your team, create new products/services, or even sell, talk about your strategy, ask for input, and listen to suggestions. You might be surprised at the feedback you receive, and how positively influential that conversation can be.

Reward stellar performance

Create an incentive program to show employee appreciation that not only incentivizes but also builds a sense of team. If you have a few employees working together on one project, challenge them to beat deadlines, and reward them when they do. If you have multiple locations, have each location try to outwit the other in sales or a specific metric that makes sense for your business. Keep the programs easy to understand and challenging, but also fun to win!

Communicate and be a good listener

Being an effective communicator goes beyond simple chatting. It’s important to communicate your expectations early on and often so the employee knows exactly what to do and where they stand. Equally as important is listening. When a situation arises that needs to be addressed, give your employee a chance to talk through their process and their results. The root of the problem could ironically be miscommunication. Remain unwavering in always making time to communicate.

To alleviate the challenges of finding and keeping great employees, start laying down a solid foundation using the above practices. You will reap the rewards for years to come.

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