Recruiting has drastically changed in the past decade. Businesses are rapidly growing their workforce in an increasingly competitive landscape, and in order to attract top talent, it’s pivotal to have social recruiting strategies in place.

The job market is changing. Not only are companies searching for new skill sets and talents, but the way that businesses find their ideal candidates has been turned on its head as well. In fact, 25% of all job seekers use social media to do more than just find and connect with friends—they use it to pinpoint their next career opportunities as well.

The question for modern organizations is: how can you use this social focus to work in your advantage? As new generations of digital natives enter the workforce and Millennials transition into leadership positions, social media will continue to be an employer’s most source for sourcing new talent.

This means that social media recruiting through employee advocacy and referrals could allow companies to tap into brand new spheres of talent—in fact, plenty of businesses have already gotten into the social recruiting game, with 9 out of 10 brands using some manner of social media to source, attract and engage their new recruits.

What is social recruiting & does it really work?

The simple answer here is yes, social recruiting works. Social recruiting can serve as a complement to traditional recruiting methods, although social recruiting is quickly taking over traditional recruitment as the norm.

Recruiters have found social media allows them to narrow the candidate pool more effectively and quickly find individuals who are qualified for the job.

When businesses implement social recruiting strategies correctly, they get their brand message across numerous social platforms while showing potential candidates an enticing picture of what their company culture is like. In fact:

  • 73% of 18-34 year-olds found their last job through social media. (Capterra)
  • 59% of recruiters rated candidates sourced through social media as “highest quality.” (Jobvite)
  • 21% of candidates said they found their dream job through social media (Jobvite)
  • 89% of recruiters say they have hired someone off of LinkedIn (Social Meep)
  • While 94% of recruiters use social media for their jobs, only 39% of all employers use social media for recruiting and hiring—up 37% from the year before. (CareerBuilder)
  • 83% of job seekers prefer Facebook over any other social network. (Jobvite)

Why traditional recruiting strategies are no longer enough

Businesses are slowly moving away from traditional recruiting strategies for a number of reasons. Traditional recruiting relied on finding prospective employees in a way that was time consuming and expensive, making them less efficient than social recruiting strategies. While these strategies are still in use, they come with significant disadvantages over a well-formed social recruiting strategy—primarily when it comes to cost.

For example, Indeed.com, a site with 140,000,000 monthly unique visitors, charges on a cost-per-click basis, and it can amount to anywhere between $0.25 – $1.50 per click. This may not seem like much, but if your job posting accumulates 2,000 clicks, the cost can add up very quickly, This traditional strategy is still effective, but can be very costly both in terms of money and labor.

The most effective social recruiting strategies

Social recruiting can be done in both a passive and active manner. It is important to formulate a concrete plan before posting job openings on social media—here are some social recruiting strategies to get you started.

Determine your goals

The path to success always starts by creating a solid foundation. It’s easy for companies to get tangled up in connecting with candidates through a variety of platforms as you work on your recruitment strategy, However, if you start dividing your attention between dozens of sites without any pre-set ambitions, you’ll be setting yourself up for unneeded struggle.

Today, 84% of companies are recruiting through social media. However, the way you use social media to inform your recruitment strategy can involve several different actions—actions such as:

  • Visiting LinkedIn to learn more about a candidate’s professional experience
  • Engaging candidates on Twitter to learn more about their interests and what they value—which also helps identify the right culture fits
  • Monitoring Facebook to get a glimpse into how candidates present themselves to strangers, friends and family
  • Using Pinterest and Instagram to get a sense of where candidates spend their free time or what they might be passionate about

Tap into the right platforms

Recruiters should be agile in where they plant their flag for finding the most talented and qualified candidates. Not only does social media have a more diverse collection of candidates to offer, but more than half of recruiters cite social media as the best source for high quality employees. However, in order to find these high-quality employees, it’s important to tap into the right platform given the role you’re trying to fill.

While LinkedIn or Twitter might seem like the most obvious place to start your social media recruiting strategy, it’s important to profile your ideal candidate and consider where they’re most likely to spend their time on social. For instance, a graphic designer might spend more time on visual channels like Instagram or Pinterest, whereas a salesperson will probably be more active on platforms like LinkedIn.

Each platform you consider will require a slightly different approach for candidate sourcing. For example, on Twitter, you’ll want to incorporate hashtags to join the right conversations and make it easier for your team to reach out to possible referrals. Alternatively, on Facebook, it may be appropriate to visit careers pages and job groups to seek out potential employees.

Update your approach & make application easy

Social recruiting has emerged as a powerful solution for modern companies not just because it gives them access to a wider range of potential applicants, but also because it could potentially make the recruitment process easier too. In order to thrive, it’s important for businesses to monitor and update their strategies regularly.

Companies are beginning to recognize that strictly posting on job boards and nothing else probably won’t cut it anymore. A quarter of all job seekers (and 7 in 10 Millennials) are currently using social media as a primary tool for job searching—a number that will only continue to grow as more hyper-connected digital natives enter the workforce.

One particularly important factor to keep in mind is that your application process should be as simple as possible, with as few steps from the social recruiting page to the end state as necessary. This might sound obvious, but you may be surprised by how many companies have slow, buggy application processes, or full pages that haven’t been made mobile-friendly.

Ensure your online presence reflects your brand

The ability to create a work environment that’s both desirable and reflective of your company brand will continue to climb the ranks on your future candidates’ list of requirements. Seeing as 7 out of 10 recruiters agree that company culture is key to attracting talent, a strong reputation and positive online presence carries a lot of weight, especially with your passive candidates. A recent Glassdoor survey even found that 84% of participants would be willing to leave their current company for a company with a positive reputation.

In order to develop a more active and positive social media presence, think about your brand manifesto and how you can highlight the most valuable parts of your company through social media. For most companies, this will be about featuring current employees—after all, if you have a strong brand identity, they’ll be your biggest advocates. By allowing employees to share in your company voice, you give candidates insight into the behind-the-scenes element they’re seeking to learn more about.

Involve employee advocates

Social recruiting through employee advocacy automatically increases your reach when you begin the recruitment process. Just by sharing your job listings through their own social networks, your workforce exponentially boosts your ability to connect with new and diverse talent.

According to a recent study, the average employee advocate has approximately 400 LinkedIn contacts, 420 Facebook friends and 360 Twitter followers. On top of that, the content shared by your employees has an 8x higher engagement rate than the content shared by brand channels.

The easier it is for your employees to get involved with your social recruiting strategies, the more likely they are to naturally share content on behalf of your brand. After all, 98% of professionals already use at least one social media site, and 50% of those team members actively post about their company

True employee advocates will organically spread the word about your company culture and should be happy to post about a job opening on their own social networks. If your employees are posting and tweeting about how amazing it is to work for you, it will naturally draw a bigger audience to not only your recruitment efforts but also your overall presence online. Potential candidates want proof that people enjoy working for you. Your employees are the only ones who can do that.

Consistently engage your social audience

When it comes to social recruiting, it’s important not to lose sight of what this approach is at its core—social. This means that your conversations on social media should be a two-way street, and you should always be prepared to both ask and answer questions.

At the same time, make sure that you don’t focus exclusively on job postings. You should always strive to spark conversations that engage different groups of people, share helpful resources, and infuse your message with the tone of what your company brand strives to represent. As a result, talented individuals will engage with your brand even when job roles aren’t available, helping you create a pool of talent to dip into whenever you have an open role.

By being an active participant in Facebook or LinkedIn groups, you can get the word out that you’re hiring to a large group of individuals (depending on how many members are in the group.) You should be an active participant in groups before making a one-off post about a job opportunity as that will look very “promotional” and will be frowned upon. Engage with the communities you’re a part of and provide value to its members. If individuals already know you they will be much more likely to allow posts that promote job opportunities.

Use the social networks’ advanced search features

It is important to understand your target demographic on each network as they can vary greatly from platform to platform. Once you understand who is listening, you can tailor your message to reach the right individuals at the right time. Many people don’t realize this, but most of the major social networks have advanced search features built right into them. By using these advanced search features, you can actively target the types of individuals you are looking for and engage with them on a one-to-one basis.

Facebook Graph Search

Facebook allows you to search based various attributes of a user’s profile (Location, interests, pages liked, areas of study, etc.) You can also join queries to get a more refined result. Let’s say you were looking for people who work live in New York and study computer science: You also have the ability to perform queries like “People who are interested in Social Media and Computer Science and live in New York City.” With Facebook’s Graph search, you can single out individuals or groups of individuals who you think would be a good fit at your company based on interests, likes and a slew of other identifying information.

LinkedIn Advanced People Search

Because of the business-oriented nature of LinkedIn, their advanced search capabilities give recruiters significant advantages over other networks. While about half of their advanced search features are free to use, there are some that require a LinkedIn premium account. The free portion of their advanced search still provides a lot of flexibility and power for finding qualified individuals who you may be a good fit for the position at you’re hiring for.

Twitter Advanced Search

Twitter’s advanced search feature is more limited than Facebook’s and LinkedIn’s but still can be powerful if used correctly. As you probably know, tweets can only be 140 characters, so this search is better for finding individuals who are tweeting using a specific phrase or hashtag. Find what hashtags are used most in your line of work, use them in the advanced search, and narrow your results by geographic location.

Measure your results

As with any strategy, it’s important to establish some KPIs in order to gauge how well you are doing. To measure your social recruiting strategies, you should focus on the following:

  1. Traffic to your application page referred via social media: How many people are landing on your application page who were referred from social media? You can also dive into this a bit more and see what networks are driving the most traffic and focus your efforts on the ones that perform best.
  2. Number of conversions: How many applications were filled out and submitted? This number will allow you to calculate the ROI from your social recruiting efforts. If this number seems to be significantly lower than expected, re-visit your application process to see if you can improve it in any way.
  3. Number of likes/comments/shares: This number will allow you to A/B test your posts to see which types of posts are doing well and which are falling flat.

5 companies that have mastered the art of social recruiting

A significant 59% of companies are investing more in their employer brand compared to last year. This includes assigning dedicated employees to populate the company career page with entertaining, company culture-related content, as well as fast, thorough responses to all reviews and inquiries. It’s certainly an ambitious undertaking but these five companies are totally nailing it.

1. Marriott

Marriott’s career page has 1.2 million likes – 4x more than Facebook’s own. Its most notable feature is the “Career Chat.” Candidates can ask questions about working for Marriott and receive real-time answers from employees, identified by their first name to personalize the interaction. They also regularly highlight various employees’ personal achievements and success stories. These efforts help to humanize the process and provide job seekers with an insight into what it might be like to work for their organization.

Keys to success:

  • Create a level of honesty and transparency through Q&A
  • Personalize your candidate interaction
  • Regularly recognize employee achievements

2. Intel

Intel has suffered from a common challenge of large companies: appearing untouchable.

“What we found from candidates was that we were largely seen as a closed-off company,” recalls Sejal Patel (@smileysejalee), a social media strategist with the Santa Clara-based chipmaker. “Few people outside Intel knew what it was like to work here.”

In addition to developing a strong presence on social media across several platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn, they also aim to keep a steady, open dialogue with job seekers. They’ve even gone as far as implementing a “no comment left behind” policy that ensures recruiters are responding to every inquiry or question with a personal response.

Keys to success:

  • Maintain an approachable presence on social media
  • Create an open dialogue on your page
  • Respond to every candidate quickly and thoroughly

3. Sodexo

Despite being the world’s twentieth largest employer, Sodexo struggled with brand recognition. They looked to social media to help spread their company name and values, and to educate potential candidates on the wide range of available job positions.

Sodexo reports that nearly half of their current employees used the company’s social platforms, which include a popular blog and mobile app, to either find their job or to prepare for their interview. The company credits the marked improvement in candidate quality and employee engagement to their increased social recruiting resources.

Keys to success:

  • Establish a candidate-focused approach
  • Use resources such as a blog to better educate and prepare candidates
  • Capitalize on mobile to meet talent where they are

4. Zappos

Back in 2014, Zappos made internet headlines when they decided to do away with job postings all together. Instead, they spent months building up a cross-platform social presence with their “Inside Zappos” pages. There they share information and news regarding company culture, campus, events and employees.

Interested job seekers are known as “Zappos Insiders” and can sign up to talk to recruiters in a more real, informal process. This allows both parties to get acquainted and evaluate each other for a potential fit.

According to Stacy Donovan Zapar, lead social recruiter for Zappos, “Instead of reviewing applications all day and sending countless sign-off emails, our recruiters are focusing on proactive sourcing, driving people to join our Insider program, having two-way conversations, meeting people, networking, chatting with Insiders, answering questions, engaging on social media, employer branding and proactive pipelining so that we know EXACTLY who we want to interview once a position becomes available.”

Keys to success:

  • Recruit proactively–don’t wait for top talent to come to you
  • Create a network of talent using relationship-based recruiting
  • Identify candidates with the company culture in mind, not just open positions

5. UPS

Named one of the Top 50 Recruiters on Twitter, UPS is considered one of the best in the business of social recruiting. The company’s career pages on Facebook and Twitter focus heavily on highlighting employee humanity and diversity with personal videos and stories. They also engage with their followers by posing daily questions and discussion topics, and are highly responsive.

Keys to success:

  • Storytelling & job postings
  • Lean on employees to showcase company culture
  • Engage with candidates on a daily basis

Using social recruiting to top up your talent

The key fact that companies have discovered is that using social media for recruiting isn’t just a useful way to expand the pool of applicants they gain access to, but it could also be the ideal way to find the best, most applicable candidates too. More than half of all recruiters surveyed by one study claimed that the employees hired from social media were of the “highest quality.”

For most businesses, social recruiting and employee advocacy are programs that naturally go hand-in-hand. When you focus on building a positive company culture, where employees can share their thoughts and feelings about their career in a focused and productive way, you get referral candidates for your key job roles that are more likely to be a perfect fit for your existing work environment.

Building an effective employee referral program

As several industries across the US continue to peg talent recruitment as one of the most difficult business needs to fulfill—many companies both domestically and abroad are starting to rethink their hiring solutions.

Employee referral programs are one result of this new approach to hiring. Companies can revitalize their recruitment strategies and enrich their talent acquisition programs as a whole. Not only does the right referral program improve the quality of the applicants you receive, but referred employees come with higher engagement levels and higher retention rates, among other benefits.

We’ll show you the necessary steps for creating an employee referral program that drives measurable value and yields actual results—for both your company culture and your bottom line.

Why you need an employee referral program

Not only is it increasingly difficult to find the right candidates for crucial roles, it’s also often a challenge to convince those people that your company can offer them what they’re looking for.

According to experts, the best referral program examples lead to significant results for growing companies, including:

  • A higher quality of applicants: Referral hires can be five times higher in quality than candidates sourced elsewhere. After all, your current employees are unlikely to put their job online for just anyone. They want recognition for an exceptional hire.
  • Better employee engagement: Employees referred by a friend have lower turnover rates and turn into better overall hires. In fact, 44.5% of people say they are more likely to apply for a job if they discovered it through a friend’s social feed vs. another medium. Yet only 9.4% of employers say they use social media to help their company with recruitment.
  • Time-saving for recruiters: With an employee referral program, you ask your employees to get involved with the hiring process, which reduces the cost in time and resources usually attributed to talent acquisition.

Reports suggest that employee referral programs are simply more effective. One in seven referral hires lead to a job offer, compared to one in one hundred general applicants. So, how can you create a program that works for your business?

Create an environment employees are proud of

Any exceptional process begins by designing a work culture that has a positive impact on your employees. In other words, you need to create an environment that people actually want to refer their friends to.

This means the foundation of any successful referral program is an exceptional company culture. You need to cultivate a positive environment that encourages strong internal communication and healthy employee engagement. Ensure that your company is worth recommending by communicating with staff, rewarding hard work and providing opportunity for growth. Without these areas in check first and foremost, no amount of effort will prompt workers to refer your brand to others.

Paying attention to little things in daily employee interactions or identifying impactful ways to recognize key contributions can be a great deliver stronger relationships with employees. Those relationships are the pillars on which you’ll build your employee referral program.

Develop clear messaging for referral

A disjointed message can be a threat to even the best referral programs. When you’re leveraging employees as an extension of your hiring team, it’s important to make sure that everyone is on the same page about company goals, motivations and aspirations.

One way to achieve this is by creating an employee referral program outline (along with referral program examples) to help guide the process. Detail exactly how you want employees to describe your company and its culture, as well as more practical details like:

  • How employees can make referrals (e.g. with links, social media posts, emails, etc.)
  • What types of people referrals should be made to (who is your ideal candidate, which characteristics do you want to avoid?)
  • How employees will know when job roles become available
  • How employees will learn if their referral is hired

It may also be helpful to educate employees on the value of an employee referral program. This will enable them to understand what they’re giving back to the company and may make them think more carefully about the suggestions they make.

By outlining statistics such as “47% of referrals stay with companies for more than 3 years” or “60% of employers consider referrals to be a better fit to company culture,” you’ll show employees the value of their networks and the opportunity they have to make your business a better, more successful place to work.

Utilize a platform to support your referral program

43% of companies find their best candidates through an employee referral program. If you want to get your hands on those kinds of results, you need to be sure that you develop a strong, foundational framework for employees to use and build off of.

User-friendly application processes are essential to not only convincing new candidates to apply, but also encouraging existing employees to get involved with your program. If your referral process is lengthy or complicated, you’ll probably struggle with adoption. In fact, one-third of the companies with an employee referral program leverage software.

By leaning on technology, you enable recruiters and hiring managers to quickly (and easily) send out referral requests for specific positions—keeping everything within a centralized platform. Additionally, employees are empowered with on-brand and consistent messaging in order to attract the right kind of candidate to join your team.

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Celebrate employee engagement

Any new employee sourced from a referral program produces 25% more profit for a company than hires from external sources. This clearly shows how important it is to show employees that you appreciate their contributions. Just as employee engagement programs are improved with regular rewards and acknowledgements, referral programs can benefit from incentives simple as celebrating employee engagement.

Employees are more motivated to refer hires if they know there’s an opportunity in it for them to gain something. Though there isn’t necessarily a list of hard and fast rules to follow when deciding which incentives to offer or what kind of achievements to recognize, a good first step is making sure that you’re actually acknowledge staff participation as it stands today.

Although candidates accessed through an employee referral program don’t have to be an instant hire, it’s important to make sure that you at least offer them an interview and communicate quickly and effectively. By providing referral candidates with a strong hiring experience, you’ll reduce the risk of tainting the relationship between you and current employees.

You can also establish a feedback system for referrals to improve employee engagement. By doing this, you let employees know that you truly value their suggestions and establish a benchmark for future referrals employees might send over. Feedback options will help to cultivate a higher quality of referrals, who are better suited for your company.

Set & track the right goals for your referral program

The benefits of understanding employee referral program best practices speak for themselves. Referral programs can save you $3,000 per hire, but it’s equally as important to make sure your strategy includes the right results for your brand.

When implementing an employee referral program, remember to consider what kind of long and short-term goals you, your team and company at large want to achieve. This will help to clearly identify which metrics should be used as benchmarks on the track to success. For instance, your goals might include:

  • Improving the quality of job applicants
  • Increasing employee retention
  • Boosting employee satisfaction
  • Fostering alignment with company culture

There are various ways that you can track each outcome—from measuring costs of employee recruiting against traditional hiring practices, to considering the amount of time saved by your referral program. You can even look at productivity and production levels of new employees to determine whether referral candidates yield a better outcome than external applicants.

Building the right employee referral program

The right employee referral program can do wonders for helping a talent acquisition team to better source and track down candidates within the right employee networks, streamline the hiring process and reducing cost-per-hire.

The Yello Recruiting study found that 94% of employees would refer their current company to a friend. That means that these programs can work and surface better candidates, delivered by people who are familiar with the characteristics and skills most essential for your company.

Once you’ve identified excellent new hires from social recruiting and employee referrals, make sure the rest of your onboarding and training flow is equally streamlined and reflective of your culture to improve employee retention.

Successful onboarding leads to improved productivity

Bringing on new talent takes significant time and money. While the true cost of hiring new employees has been long debated, a recent report from the Centre for Economics and Business Research found the average cost for hiring a new employee was $41,165. To replace an entry-level employee it costs roughly 30-50% of the person’s annual salary. It also could cost 150-400% to replace mid and senior-level employees.

Non-tangible costs associated with employee turnover exist as well. When employees leave, workplace morale and productivity tend to suffer. Remaining employees will have to take on additional duties to cover for the individual who departed. Your other employees may become insecure about their own positions. When employees feel insecure about their job, morale declines.

Furthermore, employee turnover has a direct impact on productivity. Since there is a linear correlation between employee morale and productivity, when morale drops, productivity drops. With the high tangible and intangible costs of hiring four employees, it is crucial that your HR department focus on employee retention. This starts with a strategic use of onboarding.

Effective onboarding has a significant impact on job performance, employee engagement, satisfaction and organizational commitment. Studies show that burnout and emotional exhaustion can occur if employees go through a poor organizational socialization process. Because new hires decide whether they will stay with a company long-term within the first six months, it’s critical to make a great first impression.

By welcoming in new employees with a comprehensive onboarding strategy, you ensure your new employees completely understand their new roles and responsibilities. You also introduce them to your company culture, boost their confidence level and usher them in as welcome participants into your organization. A thought-out onboarding plan leads to higher engagement. And higher engagement leads to connection with the rest of the organization. Once there’s a connection, you’ll see employee commitment.

Ease onboarding with Bambu

Not only can Bambu help you hiring process through social recruiting and lower your cost per hire, but it can also better your onboarding process.

Bambu makes the onboarding process more efficient and much simpler for everyone involved. When new employees come on board, it’s expected to read an employee handbook. Instead of having to share a few copies, you can upload the handbook into Bambu as an internal story and direct the new employees there. This same technique can be used with corporate guidelines, company policies and benefits and wage information.

Bambu can also be a great way to show new hires about the company culture and get them engaged with others in the company. With content curation tools from Bambu, new hires can read and share their peer’s content online. This gets new employees engaged directly from the first day, which leads to happier and more productive people.

How to create a great onboarding plan

Onboarding plans have many facets. Each one will be different depending on your company. Although everyone’s plan will differ slightly, each onboarding plan needs to accomplish a few common goals.

It’s extremely important to create an onboarding plan methodically and with purpose. Organizations potentially lose tens of thousands of dollars on ineffective onboarding. Most failed onboarding plans revolve around a sink or swim approach where new employees get thrown directly into the thick of it. Another poor onboarding process is an excessive hand-holding approach with new hires watched over without any room for independent growth.

We’ve put together a list of five onboarding best practices to help you avoid the pitfalls welcoming new employees:

1. Have an organized process

While it may seem like a no-brainer, it’s important to make a plan. You’d be surprised at how many businesses don’t put a lot of time and effort for a new employee to come on board.

This step includes logistical items like making sure their workspace is set up, they have access to the building, have the necessary logins and accounts and access to things like your company intranet. It’s a good idea to have some sort of employee welcome packet. It should introduce new hires to your company culture, provide information about your onboarding plan and details on what to expect over the coming months.

2. Explain high-level culture and vision

Every new hire needs to be informed about your company vision and goals. This will help them better understand the direction of your organization as a whole. You also can explain how the new hire specifically fits into the bigger picture of your organization. This will give new employees an idea of corporate culture and ultimately foster employee engagement as early as possible.

Getting new employees in touch with the bigger picture is important for empowering your team, sharing core values and helping them assimilate into the company. Have new hires schedule meetings with each relevant department to better understand how each facet of your business works towards your company mission

3. Clearly define expectations

You should be very clear with new hires and outline goals and expectations. New employees need to know what success looks like at your organization. Set aside time to explain the team metrics for success. When you’re transparent with your expectations from the start, it’s easier for new hires to stay positive and productive.

4. Identify a go-to person

Giving new hire’s a peer sponsor or a “buddy” helps them feel like they’re in a safe space to ask any questions. You should choose a mentor who interacts with them on an equal level, like a member of their department, but not a manager.

5. Build out an extended onboarding schedule

It takes an average of eight months for a new employee to become fully productive. Having an onboarding plan that lasts 30-90 days will give new hires the time to learn the tools, processes and responsibilities in their new roles. By having an extended onboarding process, you allow new employees to lay the fundamental groundwork for success. Here is what a typical 90-day onboarding process for new employees would look like.

  • By 30 days: Your new hires will be introduced and start learning the software they’ll be using. You should set small goals and have them start working on entry projects. One of the most important things for them to do within the first month is to get acclimated to the company culture. At the end of this period, they should have a solid understanding of their responsibilities, their role and expectations.
  • By 60 days: During this period, employees should take on bigger responsibilities. The bulk of training should be done by now and the focus should be placed on what they do. They should be collaborating with other team members in different departments and getting used to being involved with larger projects.
  • By 90 days: New employees should essentially be on their own during these last 30 days. They should accomplish bigger tasks and take on more responsibilities. This is the period where they’re able to complete tasks with limited guidance from you or others and become more accountable for their own work.

Retention strategies to improve company culture

According to Gallup, 51% of employees are looking for a new job and 34% of employees hope to leave their current role within a year. The statistics tell us that if businesses want to not only hire the best talent for their organization, but keep that talent around for the long-term, they need more effective employee retention strategies.

Employee retention is all about holding on to the people that you’ve worked hard to recruit into your network. This might seem like an obvious factor for companies to consider, but Watson Wyatt recently revealed that more than 50% of employers have no strategy for maintaining their employee retention rate.

With 27% of employees changing job each year, 46% passively looking for new careers and 17% actively job-hunting, retention is more important than ever before. The key thing to remember is that employee retention rate isn’t exclusively based on compensation issues. Instead, it often hinges on the ability to keep employees satisfied with tactics for growth, security and appreciation.

Why is your employee retention rate suffering?

To ensure an effective employee retention strategy, businesses need to listen to the needs of their employees and implement strategies for success all the way from onboarding to exit interviews.

Approximately 88% of employees leave their roles for reasons other than pay, but 70% of managers think that employees leave entirely for salary-related reasons – clearly, there’s a disconnect here.

Rather than assuming you know what’s going on in your workforce, a good employee retention strategy should begin with a solution for measuring metrics and information that shows why you’re losing your employees. Common reasons for this turnover often includes:

  • Mismatched company culture
  • Not enough feedback
  • Limited growth and advancement opportunities
  • Lack of recognition or work/life balance
  • Loss of trust or confidence in senior staff

By developing an employee retention strategy that measures reasons behind turnover, employee engagement and other essential elements, you can reduce cost-per-hire significantly. Here are some best practices for your retention strategy.

1. Use metrics to provide feedback & motivation

Many employee retention strategies focus on the benefits of encouraging employees with feedback. While positive feedback can motivate employees into doing their best work, constructive criticism can help to rectify issues in the workplace. Both forms of feedback boost engagement, which is key in a world where 51% of the workforce is disengaged – costing businesses up to $550 billion each year.

People have a desire to feel they’re succeeding in their goals, and vague feedback isn’t always enough. Find a way to share key metrics like profit and loss, customer engagement, and brand growth with your employees through your business intranet. This will help to not only engage your employees, but establish pride in your company culture.

As engagement begins to increase in your company, you’ll find that productivity starts to grow. Measure the speed at which projects are completed in your company and whether your business becomes more efficient over time. You can also conduct surveys and polls to ask your employees whether they feel they’re getting the right information with which to measure their performance.

2. Encourage work/life balance

If you want to ensure that your employees continue to stay motivated and work efficiently, it’s important for you to be an advocate for good work/life balance.

Since today’s workers are more concerned about flexibility than high wages, work/life balance solutions such as opportunities for remote working or support for good health can help to make your business more appealing to job candidates. Discuss the idea of work/life balance with people in your company and find out what appeals to them most.

3. Create & emphasize opportunities to grow

Though Millennials are some of the most notorious job-hoppers in the current market, 90% claim that they would happily stay in a job for the next decade if they knew they’d be rewarded with upward career mobility and annual raises.

Providing opportunities for your employees to grow and evolve in their roles not only helps to improve retention, but it also significantly reduces cost-per-hire. After all, the more you use in-house training solutions to boost your employee retention rate, the more you develop highly-skilled staff members who can naturally take over when new positions open up. By implementing training programs and promoting from within, you create powerful incentives for team members to stick with your company.

Employee satisfaction is a good metric to measure when it comes to figuring out if your growth and training opportunities are working. Aside from a positive impact on the business overall, employees consider training solutions to be an investment in their future, which creates a stronger level of loyalty and trust in you as their employer.

4. Empower your team

Today’s employees want to work for a company that understands, trusts and respects them. In fact, 59% of business staff say that the thing they like most about their employer is their ability to create a pleasant working environment.

Empowering your team at work is essential to improving your employee retention rate and minimizing cost-per-hire. By empowering your team, you allow each member of staff to take full responsibility of their position within the workforce. This means that you’re not micro-managing and you enable your company network to innovate, create and take chances where necessary.

One of the simplest ways to empower your team is to give them guidelines providing insight into which circumstances they can make decisions on without seeking help from senior staff. You can also encourage a complete culture of feedback, where leaders make it clear they’re open to receiving input about their teams’ priorities and organization.

Another solution is to enhance your employee advocacy programs and incorporate social recruiting strategies. Asking your employees to seek out future team members on your behalf is a wonderful way to reduce the price of searching for new talent, maintain a strong company culture and show your team that you value their opinion.

As you incorporate new empowerment solutions into your workplace, you should see that your retention rates continue to grow, while turnover starts to drop. Examine your employee retention strategies and figure out how many of your new hires come from social recruiting strategies. Try to measure how much you spend on those strategies, compared with traditional recruiting methods.

Conclusion

From recruiting to retention, ensuring your employees are engaged at every step of the way helps create a highly productive work culture. Social recruiting is a great match for the needs of today’s job seekers, but to create a consistent culture, employers need to follow up a streamlined recruiting process with meaningful onboarding and a developed retention strategy.

The value of a well-designed strategy that goes from recruitment all the way through retention might not be immediately obvious, but it’s something that companies need to consider if they want to stay ahead of the competition. It’s hard to implement new framework for promotion and growth if you’re constantly spending more on new hires or fixing the productivity and morale problems that come with frequent turnover.

Ultimately, it’s not the salary or bonuses that matter most in your culture, recruiting and retention – it’s the ability to engage your employees in an atmosphere that offers respect, room for growth and empowerment.