In the final instalment of this two part blog series, James Payne, Head of Business Development, Bond International Software will discuss a number of practical strategies that agencies within the industry can implement to boost staff retention, through methods such as career path development, flexible working and open manager-employee communication.
So what is the best way to ensure your recruiters are on the right career path and remain on track?
Steps to retention success
The first step is to make sure that their route is clear and they can see the different levels to which they could potentially progress. For example, a seasoned recruiter may begin as a senior recruiter for a year, then move to a team leader position after the second year, and finally become a branch or office manager after five years with an agency. The second step is to conduct frequent reviews that allows discussion on the progress of the recruiter and highlight gaps in knowledge or experience that need to be addressed before promotion can be considered. The final step is to create strong training and education programmes that will include professional recruitment and HR qualification opportunities, as well as ad hoc courses such as client communication or dispute management.
Keeping staff happy
In order to keep employees happy, agencies now need to work towards providing psychological and cultural benefits that will result in a working environment that boosts loyalty, and this can only be done by learning and adapting to the way in which recruiters prefer to work. Flexible working through mobile enabled technologies allow recruiters to operate outside the standard nine to five – but it will be essential to define an individual’s preferences regarding flexible working or a work from home scenario. With the right strategy, agencies can gain and retain comfortable, happy and efficient employees.
Tuning in to employee needs, highlighting company goals and objectives and promoting commitment benefit packages all play major roles in strong employee retention. Managers need to make the effort to adopt an open door policy to ensure employees feel confident to voice both concerns and ideas, as well as shine a light on company growth rather than individual targets. Offering long term, family friendly benefit packages such as critical illness cover, health insurance and payment protection, acts as another method of staff retention. Ensuring your managers have the right skills and attitudes towards their respective teams is also a key aspect of strong retention.
Take a look at our useful best practice guide to staff retention to discover new ways to motivate and retain your employees
Now the question lies in how agencies can protect staff from external “influences”. There is no doubt that employees are going to be tempted elsewhere either by a desire to run their own agencies or by head hunters. So the responsibility rests with managers to find innovative ways to minimise employee turnover and reduce the risk of losing key members of the team. Open communication and a shared understanding with your employees of the likelihood of being approached can encourage staff to be honest about their experiences and reduce the temptation to move elsewhere. Managers should also find new, non-financial incentives to offer employees to improve motivation both within teams and the overall working environment. In addition, agencies should consider education reimbursements, such as contributions towards student loans, to demonstrate both employee development investment and a real commitment to building long term loyalty.
Pressing the “Stop” button on employee turnover
Whilst the recruitment industry continues to rely on financial benefits as a primary basis for employee motivation, the concept of loyalty is likely to be considered more as an ideal rather than a reality. However in most professions, job satisfaction is the key to employee retention. By offering career development schemes, flexible working, “pro-employee” environments and innovative incentives amongst other tactics, the recruitment industry has a real opportunity to improve overall satisfaction, resulting not only in financial improvements but also in successful staff retention.
To download the staff retention eBook please click here.