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A woman giving two thumbs up with a brick wall in the background | candidate retention

It’s 2020, and employee retention is on every business owner’s mind. By now, most employers are well aware of the competitive market for talent that has resulted from record-low unemployment rates. But truth be told, finding top talent has never been an easy task, and the sell starts long before you post your open job. To be competitive, you must ensure you have compelling and authentic employer branding, which extends throughout all of your communications with potential candidates. If you don’t invest in your candidate retention efforts, you risk missing out on great new hires.

How can you improve your candidate retention rates? In working with thousands of candidates and small-to-mid-sized businesses, we have seen three key areas that are consistently rated as very important to address before and during the hiring process: benefits, professional development and employee recognition.

1. Benefits

Apart from salary, candidates also pay close attention to the benefits and perks that come with the job offer. Benefits like a generous paid time off program and quality health insurance are attractive standards for many employers. However, other perks such as fitness centers, subsidized commuting or parking fees and even a childcare assistance can make an offer more competitive. The trick is to know what types of perks resonate with your workforce.

If you are considering doing a complete benefits and compensation audit, a good place to start is with your current employees. Find out from them via a confidential survey about what they would really like in the workplace, why they came to work for you, and why they still do.

Need help with a benefits audit? Our expert consultants at RAI can help you update and create your benefit packages. Contact us to learn more.

2. Professional Development

There is an old story about a CFO who asks “What happens if we train them and they leave?” The CEO answers him, “What happens if we don’t and they stay?” This is a very relatable scenario for a lot of business owners. But since today many candidates can afford to be choosier than they might have been in previous years, not offering them development opportunities to grow professionally at your organization would be a mistake.

Candidates are looking to become employees for companies that provide chances to develop and grow their skill sets. Some employers offer certification classes or college reimbursement. A professional development plan can be quite attractive to candidates, and can come in many forms. When in-house, online or off-site programming and coursework are available, candidates can see themselves having a meaningful place within your organization. Investing in professional development opportunities is a win-win all the way around. because what’s good for candidate retention is also good for employee retention. It all ensures that your team is at the top of their game, which translates into better business outcomes—and a better bottom line.

Did you know that RAI Resources provide on-site professional development services? Get a free consultation to find out more. .

3. Employee Recognition

When employee morale is high, retention rates are usually high. Productivity usually improves too. One way to encourage all this is by providing employee recognition for outstanding work, employment anniversaries, birthdays and other meaningful milestones. Potential candidates see value in all this, and they see an employer who will value them. Even if these candidates don’t actually witness any of these celebrations, the ripple effect can still be very rewarding. It’s fodder for interview small talk and something that they can hear about on social media, in posted pictures and congratulatory stories. Or maybe they will hear about how much your company appreciates its workforce via good old-fashioned word-of-mouth.

Regardless of how they heard about your employee recognition events and accolades, keeping them authentic and respectful is the key to having them resonate with job candidates trying to decide if your workplace is right for them. Also keep in mind that the interview is a two-way street, as candidates will often be keen on knowing what you are offering them. Make sure you know enough about your recognition programs to talk them up upon request.

Is employee recognition part of your retention strategy? RAI Resources can help you develop a comprehensive and sustainable retention strategy.

Need Help Boosting Your Candidate Retention?

Getting and then retaining the ideal candidate can be difficult. RAI Resources is a premiere professional recruiting and HR consulting firm, and we provide tactical, practical employment assistance across a number of fields, including: manufacturing, construction, logistics, professional services and engineering. We provide support throughout the entire employee life cycle. Contact us today for your complimentary, no-obligation consult.