How employers and employees think about attracting and retaining staff

Many of the books that talk about employee involvement refer to a famous example: Asked by Kennedy what he was doing, a NASA clean-up employee might have said: "Helping to send a man on the moon." Any manager wants such people in the team, but it's a long way to talking about engagement; companies must first solve two other problems: staff fluctuations and talent crisis. How do we attract and keep, then, the best employees?

Attracting talent - a global problem

Every company wants to attract and retain high-performing employees. Not all of them do, however, to the same extent. Responses should be sought in the way each organization manages to build its own culture and image as top employer. The fact that this has become a constant concern for a large number of companies is proven by the more specific demands that branding consultants, employees build, or at least sketch, the employer brand.   Employers are in a real competition to attract staff, analysts are talking about a global talent crisis that will increase by 2020. A study by Oxford Economics from 2014, along with SAP, with more than 5,400 employees from 27 countries in operational and executive positions, shows that many companies have problems in recruiting and retaining valuable employees. The reason? They lack the structure, strategies, organizational culture and resources.  

What do the best candidates expect from the future employer?

There are many studies on this topic, more recent data leading to the following interesting conclusions: the best-prepared candidates have a well-defined set of expectations, they are informed and follow the surveys referring to the best employers in the market, and the recruitment process should be based on personalized approach.   Here are some of the aspects that top employees consider important when looking for a new job:  
  • They do not want to compromise their values, so they will always look for an employer who follows the same principles;
  • They are looking for challenges and want to contribute to changing the society through their work ;
  • They are interested in the status of the company within the industry in which it operates, but also in its reputation as an employer;
  • They appreciate extra-wage benefits (flexible work schedule, subscriptions to medical clinics, vouchers, training programs, recreation facilities);
  Among the factors that a candidate consider is, of course, the offered salary based on performance, the convenience of the location for the headquarters, the opportunities for advancement and the financial health of the company.  

What does an effective recruitment mean?

The main risks that employers may face in the recruitment process are mistaken identification of needs for a particular position, an incorrect estimate of the costs involved in recruiting and hiring people who subsequently do not meet the required performance level.  

How do companies recruit, in 2018

What does an effective recruitment mean in order to achieve the desired results?   For many companies, most of the process takes place online, an approach that comes with its own advantages and disadvantages, but it is no longer an option. According to, about 60% of employees say they chose to work for their current employer due to online presence (more specifically, in their social media), and 94% of recruiters use the online environment to post job ads and check candidate profiles.   It is possible that the online environment is, indeed, the best option. One reason is that much of the skills that an employer needs is represented by passive candidates who are not actively seeking a job but are present on professional social networks, such as LinkedIn. However, recruitment managers say that job seekers are more likely to succeed compared to passive candidates found through professional networks.   A successful recruitment process means more than just the online presence of the employer. Here are some of the recruiters' tips, if you use social networks in search of the best candidates:
  • Use a hashtag inside the job ads you post on Twitter to help your candidates identify your messages more easily. Together with the marketing team look for an attractive, potentially viral-like hashtag;
  • Do not post at random at any time, but at times when most users are online. You can use Buffer, a tool that helps you identify your hourly slots with the best audience;
  • Optimize and maintain the company's LinkedIn page;
  • Do not forget that the best ambassadors of a company are the employees. To avoid "disasters" when the name of the company is mentioned, a set of rules of conduct in social media could be useful to every employee;

Why staff retention is important

Personnel fluctuation is one of the biggest (and more expensive) problems faced by employers, which is true even for companies that provide some of the best working conditions.  

The main reasons why a performing employee changes work

So then, what makes employees quit? In the opinion of David Sturt and Todd Nordstrom, authors and management consultants, when the best employees leave a well-rated company, they do it because their needs are simply not understood.   More specifically, the most important reasons would be the following:  
  • Lack of professional challenges and a sense of stagnation;
  • A bad relationship with managers or colleagues;
  • The feeling that their work is not appreciated;
  • A disproportionate ratio between performance and reward;
  • A low level of autonomy, or, on the contrary, little feedback;
  • Excessive workload;
  • A stressful working environment;

What is the retention rate and what are the costs of personnel fluctuation

Employee retention is understood to mean the retention rate (the figure indicating the percentage of employees remaining in the company at a given time), as well as the efforts the organization makes to prevent staff fluctuations.   When your good employees leave, it's obvious why it's not good news. However, this fluctuation  has other drawbacks, in addition to the loss of key people, namely the high costs it brings. The cost of replacing an employee is equivalent to the salary for about 6 months, but other interesting figures are worth mentioning: according to the Life Work Solutions consulting company quoted in an article on hr.blr. com, more than half of employees leave the company within two years of employment, and over 50% of companies have employee retention problems.  

What companies can do to keep their employees

Different authors believe that employees actually leave their managers, not the company (Victor Lipman, in The Type B Manager), or that the real motives of resignation rarely relate to salary and rather to other aspects. The best ways to keep performing employees are, therefore, the development opportunities, such as training programs and recruiting people from within; transparent communication; a healthy organizational culture, based on honesty and excellence; offering extra-wage benefits; reducing stress and encouraging a balanced lifestyle that leaves room for personal projects.   A study by OwlLabs in 2017 also shows another interesting thing: companies that allow employees to work from home, partially or full time, have a much better retention rate.  

What are the most appreciated benefits for employees?

Benefits to employees are one of the most effective ways companies can reduce staff fluctuation and remain competitive on the market. According to a survey made by Glassdoor in the United States, 35% of employees say they are ready to leave their jobs for another position if they do not receive a salary increase in the next 12 months. Extra-wage benefits may even more weight in their decision: the most appreciated of these are professional development programs, value vouchers, private medical services, flexible schedules, sports and relaxation subscriptions, and travel expenses. Value vouchers come with benefits for the employer, but also for the labor market, the industries where such benefits are offered to employees knowing an increase in productivity.