Filling a critical job position is never an easy task; the hiring process costs both time and money. So, it’s always in the best interest of hiring managers to improve employee retention rates. While there are a number of ways to do this once an employee is onboard through leadership and management styles, incentive and performance programs, and the list goes on… probably the best time to start worrying about retention is at the very beginning—the hiring process.

While most hiring managers think of retaining employees as an action that takes place once an employee has joined an organization, thinking in terms of “retention” when first reviewing potential candidates at the very beginning of the hiring process improves the likelihood of retaining your top talent in critical job roles for longer periods of time. Over the long term, retaining your top performing employees saves your company time and money on hiring process and training costs, not to mention the costs associated with loss of productivity by having unfilled positions.

Here are four strategies an executive recruitment firm uses during the hiring process to help your organization improve employee retention rates:

Strategy #1) Takes the time to understand the challenges and opportunities that face you and your company

Executive recruiters partner with you to find the top performing candidate that is the best fit for your business, its’ culture, employees, and clients. This requires them to identify your company’s challenges, needs, requirements, and management styles allowing for a solid match between you and your new hire. Developing a concise message that accurately describes the situation allows both parties to make better and longer lasting decisions.

Strategy #2) Provides you access to the passive happy talent

Successful executive recruiters spend every day in your industry working with top talent, approaching and building relationships with them, and ultimately communicating opportunities to them. The nature of the business keeps them in touch with these industry executives on a day-to-day basis, so when you are in need of “top talent”, your recruiter knows where they are and how to approach them.

These top performing professionals are busy working in their fields and excelling at their companies—so they’re not on the street looking for work. Hiring managers and HR professionals can use their executive recruiter’s expertise and connections to get the attention of these high-level candidates.

Recruiters have established a rapport and long-term relationships with these professionals. They are capable of finding the most committed candidates and have a talent for being able to filter out those that may be fence sitters from the outset. Your executive recruiter brings value to you by locating these candidates and keeps your company from taking chances on those that may not commit—increasing the likelihood of a successful long-term work relationship and retention rate, as well as, productivity and revenue.

Strategy #3) Experience in negotiating offers, coaching, and handling counter-offer situations

When you finally reach a decision and select your top candidate, you want to make sure there are no obstacles in the offer process. The recruiter’s expertise helps during this phase and can lend a hand in getting the candidate to accept an offer. A candidate often feels more comfortable expressing any concerns to their recruiter—this gets all questions out on the table early so there are no surprises later. It is the recruiter’s goal to make the candidate feel comfortable with his or her final decisions.

Additionally, a recruiter has the expertise to handle what could be a “deal breaker” that threatens negotiations at the end stages of the hiring process—a counter-offer from the candidate’s current company. If a counter-offer is introduced during the process, the executive recruiter has expertise in coaching the candidate on how to handle the situation. His expertise lessens the chances the candidate would walk away at this point in the process, leaving you and your company with having to start over.

The recruiter’s expertise in these matters help stomp out apprehensions that could rear their ugly heads in negotiations—helping you to retain your chosen candidate even before he or she is onboard.

Strategy #4) Helps a top performing candidate make the transition from resignation of current employer through the onboarding process with your company

How your new “top performing” candidate is first received into your company sets the tone for his career with your organization. Once the candidate has been hired, your executive recruiter helps the candidate make the transition from the point of resigning from the current company through the initial onboarding process of your company and beyond with periodic follow-up calls. The relationship between the recruiter and the candidate benefits you and your company.

The interest and support the executive recruiter shows the candidate reinforces his decision to move to your company, makes him more confident about his decision, and increases the chances he’ll remain with your company for the long haul. Now, he is ready to focus on the role and the work he was hired to do to benefit your company and its’ staff.

Leveraging the network and time tested strategies of a professional recruiter will assist you in hiring and retaining the best individuals.

Author's Bio: 

Dave Dart is the Managing Partner of the Morisey-Dart Group, an executive recruitment firm that specializes in recruiting for Managed Print Services, Managed IT Services, Document Management Solutions, Health Information Management (HIM), Health Information Systems (HIS), Banking and Financial Services, and Legal industries.

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