Attracting and Retaining Employees – A Seemingly Exhausting Process
Written by Carrie-Lynn Hotson CHRL, CEO/Owner of Inspiring Organizational Growth
Do you keep posting job opportunities, and no one applies? Are you looking through the applications you did receive and think to yourself, ‘Can they even do this job?’ Is the worry of not being able to meet project deadlines and attract new customers keeping you up at night? If so, then this is a blog you need to read.
My name is Carrie-Lynn Hotson and I am the CEO/Owner of Inspiring Organizational Growth – a company designed to help leaders and teams understand why issues are occurring and help them understand how to attract, engage, and retain needed employees. I am an HR Professional with 25 years of experience as a trainer, a leader, a coach, and a mediator, and I have leaned on this experience to learn more about the frustrations both employers and employees face, and how to identify new and unique opportunities available to them to build their business, inspire growth, and increase profits.
I have recently been approached by several Industrial Sales Professionals and owners of mining distribution companies who are at their ‘wits end’ with the changing work environment. They are faced with the reality that many employees are no longer willing to stay with the same company just for job security or vacation leave. Employees today have new needs, interests, and even demands that often seem foreign and unrealistic to employers. Companies keep trying to address emerging issues with overused and ineffective methods such as offering more money and benefits, posting the job to try and attract/hire the same type of employee, do more with less, and alter processes they need less employees. The impact of these outdated practices is multifold and has dramatically impacted profit margins, as well as the overall health of companies.
The Impact of Employee Shortages
- Other employees are burnt out from trying to cover for shortages
- Specialists are sick of training new staff who are junior and have no work experience
- Production slows as you try to hire new employees and train them for their roles
- Customers don’t like having to deal with new contacts who are inexperienced, and lack corporate knowledge
- Stakeholders lose touch with ‘who is in that role’
- Innovation takes a back seat while other workers and owners just try to keep things running
Taking a New Approach
As a consultant, it is my role to take an aerial view of what is happening, identify potential issues, and then offer viable tools, strategies, and processes that a business can use to resolve current issues. The best part is I DON’T need to know the specifics of your business; You are expert. My job is to provide you with a view of what is happening through my lens. I understand people, employees, and how to attract new ones. I focus on human relationships, hiring practices, and what people need to feel engaged and included so they will stay with your company.
Here are a few suggestions I have based on current observations of the mining industry and what you may want to consider trying to attract and retain new employees.
Attracting New Employees – Introduce Them to Your Business
I did not grow up in Northern Ontario and did not experience having family involved in the mining industry. This relative ‘ignorance’ immediately helped me to recognize some strategies you may want to try.
I recently attended the Canadian Mining Expo in Timmins and was pleasantly shocked by how big the event was, and how many innovative business owners I met. I had no idea that mining had evolved to encompass so many diverse industries and opportunities. You may be chuckling at my ignorance but remember, as a layperson I didn’t know what many of your companies do, what type of employees you need, or what people would learn or experience working for you. So, I did my research. I read up on your businesses, reviewed job postings, and quickly noted some great opportunities for young employees. However, I also recognized some gaps. As someone seeking employment, I might not even look at your job posting because, although it says, ‘training available,’ I don’t know what the job is or what I would have to do.
Key Hiring Issues
- People not understanding what the job entails results in the wrong people applying. Because of this, you are baffled by ‘who is applying’
- People may apply and you may take a ‘chance’ on them, but then they leave because it was not what they expected.
- People with great potential and diverse experience simply don’t apply because they don’t understand the job posting or the opportunities they can have with your company
- People want to see themselves represented in the position or business. If they don’t already know someone who works there, then you need to help them feel included during recruitment
Potential Marketing Ideas
Involve your current employees. After all, they are your best branding opportunity. Happy employees will attract new employees.
- How do you explain what you do to other people?
- Why do you enjoy working here?
- What skills do you feel best suit this position?
Put Yourself Out there:
- Create short videos with themes, such as: ‘A day in the life,’ ‘Let me introduce you to my job,’ or ‘How you will be trained.’
- Highlight the diversity that exists in your company, such as the different ages, gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, and abilities. This will enable new candidates to recognize “themselves” in your company and feel they will be accepted.
- As the owner let potential employees know about your business and what skills or attributes you are looking for in an employee. Add in a few fun details, such as we are a great team, family atmosphere, love to work with new employees, company growth potential, and leading-edge innovation.
- Think outside the box. Use Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Twitter to start telling potential employees who you are and why they WANT to join your company.
- Run ‘meet and greet sessions.’ Hand out some swag, let people meet your employees and ‘see’ what it is you do.
Follow Through with Your Promises:
Once a new employee is hired, make sure you offer them the training and orientation you promised. Stats show that most employees will leave within the first year of employment because the job was not what they expected, they felt like they had been ‘thrown to the wolves’ with little training, they didn’t feel welcomed or included in processes, or they didn’t feel heard.
It’s Worth the Effort
Attracting and retaining new employees does take effort. Its not as simple as just putting out a job posting and hoping for the best. Retaining employees means you also need to identify and address issues that may be causing underlying issues, frustration, and impacting productivity.
If you think I can be of any further assistance, please feel free to reach out. I have a lot of Services including Consultation, Mediation, Training and Leadership Coaching that I offer to employers. Let me help you attract, engage, and retain your greatest asset – Your employees!
Learn more about Inspiring Organizational Growth and read Carrie-Lynn’s leadership/business book entitled, Knowing Who You Lead.
About the Author
Carrie-Lynn Hotson is the CEO/Owner of Inspiring Organizational Growth (a Sudbury Ontario Based HR consulting and training company). She is also the author of Knowing Who You Lead a book designed to help leaders and teams better understand why issues are occurring.