Dave Deslauriers /

How to Retain Employees in a Competitive Hiring Market

With the national unemployment rate at the lowest it has been in over a decade, it’s no secret that we’re in a favorable environment for those seeking new employment opportunities. Companies in nearly every industry are struggling to attract new talent, and even more so, to retain the talent they already have. So what can be done to help keep your best people from jumping ship? In this article, we’ll take a look at 4 strategies to help companies retain employees in a competitive hiring market.

Set Them Up for Success

While it may seem strange, the process of retaining employees starts the moment they’re hired. As Robert Half puts it, “Every new hire should be set up for success from the very start, from the first day of work to the first week and beyond. The job orientation is just one component of onboarding, which can last for weeks or months, depending on your organization. Aim to develop an onboarding process where new staff members not only learn about the job but also the company culture and how they can contribute and thrive, with ongoing discussions, goals and opportunities to address questions and issues as they arrive.”

Offer Flexible Work Arrangements

The office environment of today is far different from that of 10 years ago. Advances in technology have made it so many jobs can be performed from almost anywhere. Whether the new “never offline” age we’re living in is a good or bad thing is debatable; however, it has allowed many companies to offer their employees more flexible working arrangements. When pondering the dilemma of how to retain talent, INC.com found that “One solution to this tough problem is to offer job candidates something they value immensely–flexible work options. A Cornell University study found that organizations that gave employees a choice of when and where to work had one third the turnover rate compared with less flexible firms.”

Provide Unique Benefits

While it’s true that nobody works for free, there are things that go beyond just salary when it comes to retaining employees. With benefits such as health insurance, retirement savings, and paid time off becoming commonplace in a competitive hiring market, companies have had to think outside the box to enhance their benefits package. One of the most successful examples of this is that of a company-provided vehicle program. In fact, a study by GE Capital Services found that 87% of employees surveyed who had a company-provided vehicle would not consider another company if they didn’t also provide a company vehicle. Whether it’s providing a weekly lunch for employees, offering pet insurance, or tuition reimbursement, a unique benefits package is key to retaining employees.

Create Growth Opportunities

No employee likes to feel like they’ve hit the proverbial “glass ceiling”. In fact, a recent article by Undercover Recruiter revealed that a lack of opportunities is one of the top reasons why employees leave their current employer. So how do you solve that issue? Forbes suggests that “When hiring, look inside first.  Make it a priority to scan the internal environment first to see if there are existing employees who could stretch into the new position…growing to the next level.  Make sure employees are aware of internal openings and have a chance to apply for them if they’re interested.”


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