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  • Writer's pictureAlpha Moose

12 Ways to Hire & Keep New Employees

It feels like ever since the pandemic, businesses have struggled with staffing shortages.

These shortages can be even harder on small business owners, who often must fill in for missing employees themselves, taking them away from managing the team and effectively running their business. So how do small business owners find and keep good employees?

Below are some proven-effective methods for increasing your retention rate:

1. Define Clear Job Roles and Expectations

Start by clearly outlining the responsibilities and expectations of the role you're hiring for. A well-defined job description helps both you and potential candidates understand what's required, and if they’re going to be a good fit.

Make sure you add the shifts/times that you are looking for someone, as well as how many hours they can expect to work if hired. Let them know if and what benefits are included, and the salary range.

This should be clear from first posting the job all the way through training and past the probationary stage. Last minute surprises, like salary differences or added job duties, should be avoided if possible. If there have to be changes, make sure you explain why they're happening and bring the new hire into the decision making process, when appropriate.

2. Leverage Multiple Recruitment Channels

Use online job boards, social media platforms, networking events, and industry-specific forums to attract a diverse pool of applicants. And don’t forget word-of-mouth! Let your friends, family, and other business owners know you are hiring. They might know the perfect candidate and if they would be a good fit.

3. Emphasize Cultural Fit

Your company's culture is integral to its success. During interviews, assess not only the candidate's skills but also their alignment with your company values and team dynamics. Ask questions that get a sense of who they are and how they will fit in with the rest of the team.

Once hired, make sure they know that they're part of the culture and the team. Instead of saying things like, "The culture of our existing team is really great," instead try including them with statements like, "You're great! you're going to fit in really well with our team."

4. Structure the Interview Process

Develop a consistent interview process with a set of standardized questions. Avoid learning the names or specific demographic information, when possible, and include a diverse group of individuals in the hiring process. This helps you compare candidates objectively and make informed decisions.

5. Assess Soft Skills

Beyond technical abilities, ask questions that evaluate the candidates' communication, problem-solving, and teamwork skills. These soft skills contribute significantly to a positive work atmosphere.

6. Offer Competitive Benefits

Inflation is real, and the cost of living has risen significantly over the past year. Research industry standards and ensure your salary and benefits packages are competitive. This minimizes the risk of employees leaving for better offers simply because of financial needs.

Pro Tip: Many companies' health plans have a lot of hidden benefits they're not promoting to their teams, like EAPs and pet insurance. Make sure you know what your health plans offer and communicate that to your staff. Surveys and staff feedback can also help inform your health plan decision making.

7. Welcome them with Comprehensive Onboarding

This should seem obvious, but many companies lack a structured onboarding process. Make one!

A positive, engaging, and team member-focused onboarding sets the tone for an employee's experience. Introduce them to company policies, procedures, and their team members. If possible, pair new employees with experienced team members who can provide guidance, answer questions, and help them integrate into the company culture.

8. Provide Opportunities for Growth

Employees appreciate a clear path for career advancement. Offer opportunities for skill development, promotions, and cross-training to keep them engaged and motivated. Conduct regular performance evaluations to discuss strengths, areas for improvement, and set goals for growth. This demonstrates your commitment to their professional development.

Pro Tip: Discuss weaknesses, strengths, and growth opportunities regularly with your staff, not just once a year at an annual review. This prevents blindsides, gives them opportunities to improve, and lets them know you care about their long-term success with the company.

9. Foster a Positive Work Environment

People don’t leave jobs, they leave managers.

A supportive and respectful workplace encourages employees to stay. Encourage open communication, provide regular feedback, and address any issues promptly.

Pro Tip: Make sure your managers are high quality with consistent technical and soft skills training, managerial retreats or workshops, free resources for managing people, and other resources

10. Recognize and Reward Achievements

Celebrate your employees' successes, both big and small. This can range from public recognition to performance bonuses, demonstrating that their efforts are valued. This is also a great chance to get to know your staff by asking them how they best receive appreciation; some prefer a standing ovation while others prefer to take the award privately.

11. Flexible Work Arrangements

In today's world, work-life balance is crucial and real life happens to everyone. Have flexible time off policies, including last-minute callouts, sick time, PTO, mental health days, and different scheduling options. Consider offering flexible work arrangements or remote work options to accommodate different needs.

For example, if a new employee isn't allowed to slightly adjust his schedule to accommodate taking his mother to the doctor every week, and is yelled at multiple times for being 5 minutes late, then he's not going to stay long.

12. Create a Sense of Ownership

Involve employees in decision-making processes and allow them to contribute their ideas. Encourage ongoing learning and development. Invest in training programs that enhance skills and keep employees up-to-date with industry trends.

When changes happen, explain why they're happening to staff. Encourage an open door policy and anonymous feedback, as well as open forums for solving business problems. While of course you can't create a company-wide managerial board, you can still hear their concerns, take new ideas into consideration, and keep them in the loop about the future of the company. Feeling invested in the business fosters a sense of ownership and commitment to helping the business succeed!

As a small business, hiring and retaining quality employees can be difficult. It requires a proactive approach, but by investing in your employees' satisfaction and growth you’ll be able to build a fulfilling workplace that contributes to the long-term success of both your business and your employees.

Don’t know where to start? From internal staff newsletters to onboarding materials to engaging presentations, Alpha Moose can seriously elevate your staff communications. Schedule a meeting today!

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