What Might You Do To Keep Your Talent

Businesses are always looking for ways to improve upon retention, regardless of how well the numbers appear. Have you, your HR organization, or individual managers reviewed ways to improve upon your retention figures?

One important note to begin, regardless of how desired your company is (like Google) that does not make every person a match for your company. some people just do not work out and that will happen forever.

So what are a few ideas your company may consider to improve retention? Below are 5 (five) ideas to get you thinking:

Manager Reviews
An important topic from 2 (two) perspectives. First, put the right people into management positions. Let’s face it, being a manager isn’t for everyone and there is nothing wrong with that! Managers need to be trained and provided with tools to allow them to be successful. But don’t put someone into this role who isn’t equipped to make others grow, succeed, learn and improve. Second, allow employees to provide candid feedback, a 360 is a nice tool to use. This review will answer two potential concerns; (1) how are managers effectiveness with their group and (2) are their areas of concern that arose from the team that could be a reason for them leaving. Get ahead of the curve and understand what is happening on a micro-level.

Corporate Culture
Culture is an important part of any company. Negative culture is sure to either chase or scare talent away. If your company is progressive that is an important consideration. What about intangibles such as team outings, company sponsored events, free coffee, on-site cafeteria, healthy living programs, and so many other avenues to think about. If employees enjoy coming to the office, enjoy who they work with (and for), and feel the company is there for them… there is still something to be said for these considerations.

In an age of benefit discussions, like Obama-care, benefits remain a selling point. Health care is a hot-button and is one topic that always is discussed in the hiring process. If your company has a strong healh plan, I bet it is easier to attract talent in the offer stages (presuming the company and work are interesting as well). But what if your company has a poor health plan? Do you find it something you have to sell around? I bet so. I also bet that strong health packages are an encouragement to retain employees as well.

Physical Work Environment
This overlaps the “company culture” topic a little. Do employees have a cube or an office? Is collaboration encouraged? Is your company in a desirable location? Minor enhancements to an office can make a huge impact on your employees.

Actual Work
Are your employees interested and challenged with their day-to-day activities. Do you hear excitement when they talk about their job? If any employee is not happy with what they are doing, that is a sure clue that talent may be leaving soon. Take a proactive approach to learning how motivated and interested your employees are, showing interest is just the starting point to being interested in your workforce.

Are all of these realistic for your company? Maybe, but as I said, these are just ideas to get you thinking.

The competition for talent will always be a priority for companies, and so will the challenge of retaining talent. How your company adapts will certainly be a part of this evolution and reflect into the metrics. Help make your company a company with a #winning retention mentality.

What’s Your Hardest Req

What a line, and what a sales pitch for 3rd party recruiters.  Yep, I’ve used it as well in a different place and a different time.sales-pitch

Why did this work so well?  Agencies and other 3rd party recruiters had access to the sites that a lot of companies didn’t have access to recruit talent.  This was in a time when posting your resume was step #1 in your job search.


 Today, posting your resume isn’t always on your list.  Sure there are circumstances when you want your resume out there for recruiters to grab quickly and it is still completely acceptable and legit.


 However, in today’s social networking climate, the chance that you post a resume is reducing immensely.  Why, you can let your network know your status (looking for my next gig in _____) and then work your network OR let your network work for you.  This is part of the value in having a strong and relevant network and having a relationship with your network.  But I digress from this tangent… another topic for another day.


Companies are not as eager to give agencies or 3rd party recruiters their reqs because the introduction and adoption of social media into HR and recruiting activity into the corporate environment is allowing corporate recruiters to be seen and heard regularly, either in conjunction with their company logo or separate from that logo.


The only catch with this is that corporate recruiters now need to figure out the best way for candidates to see them, or want to see them.


Again, it comes back to value.  If all you do is push jobs then you will be viewed as a bot and typically not followed.  Network with your target market and get savvy in this area, it is where the passive candidate even looks to see what is going on.

Be Positive in Social Networking

It is so much easier to be happy and positive than it is to be glum and down.  Seriously, it takes more muscles to make a frown as opposed to a smile.

What I have noticed on social networking, especially on Twitter, is that I enjoy following and engaging with positive people over someone who is negative.  I want to stop following and block that negative person so fast but I still give them another chance to redeem themselves… this is my being positive and maybe I can help them (wishful thinking).

If you are now disillusioned with your industry, profession or peers then this is not the place for you (or me) to listen to your negativity towards every generality you can think of to expose your soured soul on the rest of us.

I asked a 30-year HR professional why he is so negative and, amongst other information, he gave me a quote from General Patton basically stating that tough and direct communication is better than any other approach.  While this may work in the military, this does not work in business.  (THIS IS MEANT WITH THE ABSOLUTE RESPECT FOR THE MILITARY AND I LOVE WHAT YOU DO FOR ALL OF US EACH AND EVERY DAY !!!)  In the military, you are trained to listen to your superior to execute a plan and to successfully achieve and live to the result.  In business, you need to question others.  If you go with what has worked for 30 years then way too many people will pass you by as you stay rigid in your ways.  The world and business has changed extensively so get off your high horse of “I am holier than thou” or “know-it-all” mentality and accept that things are better… like it or not.

I have connected with so many positive people on Twitter that it is completely contagious and impossible to not be inspired throughout the day.  This is almost better than coffee (I’m still mentally debating this comment).

There are too many people to individually acknowledge for daily injecting positive, inspiring, thought provoking, inspirational, interesting and educated micro-blogs to me and the rest of the community who choose to follow them.

I learn every single day and thank each of you for your positive influences.

Some simple rules/guidelines for me to follow and interact with everyone:

  • Watch your language – is swearing really necessary and it may be more negatively received by your followers
  • Be positive – you will reap rewards more from a positive influence rather than showering negativity down on everyone
  • Follow @unmarketing advise – take 5 minutes to engage, re-tweet, reply and interact with others without doing anything self serving
  • Don’t inundate me with your product/solution – work it throughout the day but don’t make it every single post
  • Let people know if they impact you – a simple thank you or reply to a great post will get someone to smile and make their day… pay it forward

Keep it positive and let’s grow this puppy into something that others can only be jealous of… but remember to welcome them to the party as well.

Twitter Growth and Inspiration

Lots of great ideas floating around Twitter these days.  JobAngels (#jobangels or @jobangels) was one of the first great HR ideas I saw.  The whole premise is to have everyone help one person get a job.  Fantastic.  Straight forward and an awesome goal.  If you are/were unemployed, wouldn’t you want this?!

Hash-tags always have been a great way to follow a topic.  When people travel, they create a hash tag.  When people want to discuss a movie or TV show (such as Lost at #lost), anyone can follow along and join in.

Now, for the HR community, The Red Recruiter started #followHR for everyone to have the chance to connect with others and grow the Twitter HR community (check out the explanation here http://theredrecruiter.com/our-blog/bid/16746/FollowHR-Explained).

Let’s all jump in, connect, help each other and interact.  After all, isn’t that what social networking is all about.

Better yet, let’s all continue to work to uncover ways to make these experiences better each day and how you may add value and positively impact others in the process.

First Hello

HR in the office… professional advice

Need some HR help in your office to spice things up a bit?  Check this out and keep it professional!


Power of Relationships

As with anything in life, the relationship begins with first contact.  It is important to be professional in every step of business but especially in HR.  HR is most always that constant contact for every perspective employee to help guide them through an interview process and help to on-board properly.


Sometimes I have seen managers not have the same outlook.  Yes, everyone is busy as well they should be but that does not excuse you from being unresponsive.


Put yourself in the candidates shoes for a moment.  If a manager is unable to make time to meet with you, what will change when you are working under them?  Will they suddenly have time for you?  Will they completely change how they work?


Unfortunately the answer is no.  Hiring a new employee does take time but if you vest your time correctly then it is an easy process to engage.  Don’t rely on HR to magically make things happen if you are not around.  Candidates want to be woo’ed in some fashion.  Are you friendly, engaging and easy to speak with?  Are you providing a good team atmosphere?  Have you set reasonable or stretch expectations?  Did you allow adequate time for questions?  Are you being honest?


All are critical to candidates to feel wanted.  They want to know what to expect and what they will be responsible for on the team.

Make the time to make it happen professionally!

Employee Responsibility

What is the responsibility of an employee when branding their employer?  Obviously there is a need for every employee to brand their company especially if you are in a client facing which includes HR.  HR is always the face of the company when recruiting new employees, bottom line.  Just as important for your sales team to provide a strong company brand, it is equally important for each and every employee to have the same goal and objective.

Personal branding is the new buzz and everyone need to incorporate how to include this as part of their activities.  A consistent message, either for you personally or for your company is very important.

Send that message.  Make yourself seen.  Make your company seen.  Let it grow and stay in control.  Be responsive.  Be engaging.  Make it happen.

Recruiting Agencies vs. Corporate Recruiters/HR

This topic has been going on forever and I am not sure if it will ever stop.  Having sat on both sides of the table I wanted to add my two cents to the conversation.


Today’s economic market is obviously vastly different from the past few years where everything seemingly flourished.  Companies were hiring in waves and the candidate market was a tighter than it is now.


Now we have fewer openings and more candidates which also leads to companies wanting to do more internally.  It also puts a lot of pressure on the Agency to bring in more business.


What hasn’t changed, in general, is the agency approach.


Stop calling strictly for business.  This is the time to truly partner with your clients and add value.  Sure, it was easy when they called you with their reqs and you filled them.  Get a req, fill a req – I can hear that mantra being repeated now.


But the calls still come in from the agency and they are not always tactful, they are more in a self serving manner to them rather than to me.  I do like some agencies and see the value they provide.  I like the personal touch some of them try to perform.


This is the time to better understand your customer, their needs, and understand their demand plan timeline.  It is time for those tough meetings to find out what you did well and where you may improve, where you will add value to each individual and how to better partner with both the businesses and the HR community.


Yes, HR.  Stop fighting with or trying to avoid HR and embrace the partnership, they are your customer as well.  HR wants you to succeed as much as you do.  After all, if they give you a req there is a reason for that!


This may not change your business or current openings, or maybe it will.  Maybe you will find yourself in a stronger position with your customers than you were before.  Examine your approach and try to understand the impact you are conveying to each customer.


Now is a time for everyone to work together.

The New Facebook

OK, as you most likely heard by now, Facebook has updated their terms of service.  Good for them, bad for everyone else.


To summarize, Facebook owns anything and everything you put on their site.  Pictures, comments, applications, contact information, anything.  This exposes you more than ever as a user.


My reaction, I need to change how I use Facebook.  At first, and still, I use Facebook as a recruiting tool to find potential contacts within the industry for a particular search and to link to my open requirements.  As you would expect it also expanded into social networking and reconnecting with past friends and acquaintances.


Great, but what does this mean for my company.  Since I post a job to my corporate web site and then copy to Facebook, is Facebook now able to sweep in for action?  Is Facebook going to act as a medium for all companies?  This opens a Pandora’s Box of possibilities and an HR nightmare.  Companies will need to not only review and reconsider their social networking conduct but also make more specific note for this type of potential action.


In addition, I wrote in a previous blog about watching what you put on your Facebook page as companies do look at these pages for potential employment.  Now, you are more exposed than you were under the prior terms of use.  Will Facebook open itself up and partner with background checking companies for any questionable comments or pictures?


Lastly, as you may become concerned with this action, you need to not only watch what you do but what your friend’s post concerning you or linking you.  The ramifications long-term have now entered a very unstable point for Facebook.


Think before you act.