Experts agree that the economic outlook is sunny, and 2018 is shaping up to be a stellar year for job growth. According to the latest U.S. jobs report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the nation added 228,000 jobs in November 2017; unemployment is at its lowest since 2000, and employers have added jobs every month for more than seven years — for the first time since records of such things have been kept.
This is, of course, fantastic news for recruitment agency owners. A strong economy means more hiring, and more hiring means more business and increased profits for your firm.
Are you prepared for such growth? As the economy continues to flourish and people have more job options, employers across all industries are reporting major challenges in finding and retaining skilled employees. In fact, 87 percent of hiring managers named retention a critical or high priority, according to a recent report from Kronos and Future Workplace.
Start preparing now for the growth of your team and your firm. Here are five ways to attract and retain top talent for your recruiting agency in 2018.
1. Pay them fairly & pay them well
This one makes sense. People want to earn good pay, and when responsibilities are similar, they want to be paid the same. That’s fair.
Paying your employees a good salary and commission rate pays off for you, too. Consider:
- A 10 percent higher base pay is associated with a 1.5 percent greater chance that an employee will stay at your company for their next role (Glassdoor)
- It costs employers 33 percent of an employee’s annual salary to hire a replacement if that employee leaves (Work Institute)
- When asked the most important factor to consider when looking for a new job, 35 percent of those surveyed said money (60 Minutes/Vanity Fair)
The BLS doesn’t maintain specific data for recruiters; average 2016 pay for the related human resources specialist role was $59,180 per year. PayScale lists average pay for a recruiter at $46,368 a year.
You know what a good salary and commission is for recruiters in your region. If you want to attract and keep top-of-the-line employees, pay it.
2. Offer perks & be flexible
Ping-pong and snacks are cool, don’t get us wrong. You should offer them. And of course, you should provide healthcare benefits and paid time off, too. But also consider offering:
- Paid parental leave
- Work from home options
- Flexible schedules
- Tuition reimbursement
- Legal assistance
- Fitness club membership reimbursement
- An employee assistance program
A quarter of Americans surveyed in the above-mentioned 60 Minutes/Vanity Fair poll named flexibility as the top thing they look for in a new job. Workplace trends today are focused on an environment of extras and flexibility, and if you don’t offer them, you’ll have a hard time attracting and keeping the best players.
3. Nurture a culture of transparency and engagement
Sure, your people show up for work, but are they engaged and productive? Are they excited and committed? Do they feel safe asking questions and making suggestions? Do they understand your vision for the company and your strategies for getting there?
If not, you’re at risk of losing them. In the Kronos/Future Workplace study, HR managers cited poor management, an unclear connection between an employee’s role and company strategy, and an overall negative workplace culture as the three top contributors to employee burnout.
If you think this might be a problem at your firm, it probably is. Make 2018 the year you turn that around. Create an environment devoted to transparency and engagement. Do away with unnecessary stress and cultivate an attitude of acceptance. Support your employees and instruct supervisors to do the same. Your employees will feel invested in your company because you are invested in them — and they’ll reward you by giving their best and staying with you for the long haul.
Added bonus: Happy employees speak highly of their employers and post positive company reviews online. Eighty-four percent of job seekers told Glassdoor that the reputation of a company is important when making a decision on where to look for jobs.
4. Provide feedback & development opportunities
No one wants to feel stagnant, and good employees won’t stay with a company if they don’t see a future there. A study from Cisco and Future Workplace found that workers want new challenges and opportunities, and having them increased their levels of engagement, productivity and teamwork.
Offer your employees development opportunities. Examples of such opportunities that are relevant to sales and recruiting teams include:
- Tuition reimbursement
- Onsite training to enhance job-related skills
- Access to conferences and seminars
- Career mentoring and coaching
If you’re not sure what your employees want, kick off 2018 by asking your team members what they’d like to do or learn. They will be thrilled you asked, and you’ll get an idea of where to begin.
Consistent feedback is another thing people are craving at work. In a recent PwC survey, 60 percent of respondents said they wanted to receive feedback on a daily or weekly basis. That number jumped to 72 percent for respondents under 30. For more on how to provide valuable feedback that your team members will appreciate, read this post from The Balance.
5. Recognize & reward them
Demonstrate that you value your employees and their contributions, and you’ll reap rewards in return. In a Globoforce survey of 653 workers across a variety of industries, 82 percent of respondents said employer recognition motivated them at work, and 78 percent said they would work more diligently if their efforts were better appreciated.
Those numbers are too big to ignore. Do your employees feel recognized and rewarded? Considering implementing both a by-management and a peer-to-peer recognition program at your agency. Ideas include:
- Praise. Short and sweet — and free. It doesn’t cost anything to praise high performers. Also, give employees a platform to praise each other, such as a recognition box. Which brings us to…
- Institute a recognition raffle. When someone gets recognized by a peer, their name gets entered into a raffle. Once a month, draw names for PTO, gift cards, spa days, etc.
- Throw a party… or otherwise take a break during the workday for an employee appreciation event. Have lunch delivered or take the team out, host a trivia event, close early on a Friday… there are numerous small ways to show your employees you appreciate them.
Management should lead by example, of course. Get in the habit of praising good work and extra effort, and encourage your supervisors to, too. Valued employees stick around.
Bonus tip: Give them access to the best tech
Help your people be successful by providing them with the tools they need to do their jobs well. A social intranet, messaging and chat tools, mobile access to information, software that automates mundane tasks and the best relationship management system not only increase efficiency and productivity, they boost job satisfaction, too.
TrackerRMS is a high-touch, service-oriented relationship management system created specifically for recruitment firms. TrackerRMS functions as a complete online CRM solution and comes with a dedicated customer success team, onboarding tools, full mobile access and analytics and sales reports. Request a demo today.