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attracting a candidate for the long haul

According to new research, recruiting and hiring while the nation struggles to recover from

the coronavirus pandemic is HR professionals' top concern in 2021.

Talent acquisition professionals have their hands full, as unemployment is expected to remain high and a majority of people in the labor force expect to look for a new job despite, or possibly due to, the economic uncertainty caused by COVID-19.

Online HR resource site XpertHR asked 563 U.S. employers in September 2020 to rate expected workplace challenges in 2021 and found that recruiting and hiring sits at the top of the list, followed by workforce planning and workplace health and safety.

"The survey found that roughly one-half of responding employers expect to increase their workforce [in 2021]," said Andrew Hellwege, surveys editor for XpertHR. "After COVID-19 rocked the economy in 2020, employers won't want to miss out on the potential recovery in 2021 … and recruiting and hiring efforts will be key for attracting talent and ramping up operations."

Solving this pain point starts in a different area, however. Take a look below for some Smithsons everyday solutions to retain employment and in turn, attract quality candidates.


where to start to address the problem

what you need to know when building an employee retention strategy:

listen before you talk

The first step in building an employee retention strategy is listening to employees who are leaving. Even if you aren't facing crisis-level turnover at the moment, it's still wise to conduct exit interviews with departing employees to find out why they're resigning— and what you might've been able to do to make them stay.

You should encourage your employees to be as candid as possible, and remind them that their feedback won't lead to a negative reference or any other type of punitive action down the line. Make it clear that you'll use this feedback to address issues and make life easier for their former colleagues. Also, it's best to keep their managers out of the equation. The exit interview should be administered by a neutral HR person and done so in a private setting. Some questions to consider asking include:

  • What factors contributed to your decision to leave?

  • Is there anything the company or your supervisor could have done differently?

  • Do you feel you had a clear career path in this organization?

  • Did you feel challenged in your day-to-day role?

  • Do you feel as though you were compensated appropriately relative to your skills and experience?

  • What would you change about the company's culture if you had the opportunity?

These aren't all the questions you should ask, of course. But asking questions like these can

help you gain vital information and curb retention going forward.

leverage what you learned

Gathering all the feedback is the first step. The second? Actually using it. That's where many organizations fall short — they know what their problem areas are, but they have no plan for addressing them. So take what you've learned from your exit interviews and use it to craft a plan.

Was compensation a common factor? If so, consider reevaluating your compensation and benefits packages, and find out if what you're paying is comparable to the competition. (Actually, you should do that anyway — and do so regularly.)

understanding (and communicating) the role

Someone with the right skills and experience for the role — nothing could be more elementary when you're looking to make a new hire. But believe it or not, things go awry in this department all of the time.

When you partner with Smithsons, we get to know you and your business. That means undertaking an in-depth discovery process so that we can understand your culture, your business model, and both your short- and long-term goals — all of which inform our approach to hiring. Based on our findings, we'll reach out to candidates from our nationwide network of qualified, pre-vetted talent. We'll also leverage the experience of our staffing experts to write job descriptions that deliver results.

Think job descriptions are essentially laundry lists of day-to-day duties? Think again. We'll help you frame the role and responsibilities in ways that will motivate and incentivize the right kinds of candidates to respond.

identify the requirements for a successful engagement

We get it — you're looking for qualified candidates who can contribute value to your business. But there are so many other factors to consider, like choosing the right hiring model and understanding the trade-offs between short- and long-term goals when it comes to making the right hire. When your priorities are clear, your workers will feel better connected to their goals and be more invested in attaining them.

Working collaboratively, we'll be able to answer questions like:

  • How does the scope of the project you're hiring for, relate to big-picture goals?

  • How long will it take to complete the project — and what kind of resources will you need to deliver on that timeline?

  • What are the pros and cons of various hiring models in terms of budget and goals?

  • Would all talent be brought on board using the same hiring model, or does it make more sense to use a mix of different models?

Answering these and other questions will ensure the right resources are on-hand to support your project goals at every phase, from start to finish.

But you don't have to go it alone. Click here to find out how the right partner can help solve your retention woes so you can focus on helping move your business forward.

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