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Increase employee retention at your recruitment firm

Published: 10 August 2022

Author: Jenny Finch

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Employee turnover can be an issue in the recruitment industry.

In 2019, the American Staffing Association found that the median annual turnover rate of account managers and recruiters was 25%. That’s one out of every four employees leaving their staffing firm each year. And, as recruiters probably tell their own clients, employee turnover is expensive and disruptive, interrupting processes and negatively affecting morale and productivity.

Recruiters leave their jobs for the same reasons anyone else does, like feeling unappreciated and burnt out and a lack of advancements opportunities. Employee retention takes effort. 

Now let’s look at some strategies to keep your recruiting team from leaving and lowering attrition rates. 

8 strategies to increase employee retention at your recruitment firm

Provide proper training and onboarding

We discuss training and onboarding in this blog, so we won’t repeat ourselves, but knowing what is expected of you is crucial to success in your job - and success is key to wanting to stick around. Don’t leave your team hanging and give them the tools they need to succeed.

Offer truly competitive pay

Performance-based pay should be competitive at your recruitment firm. Fair pay is crucial to employee retention. 

Never try to save money by underpaying your employees. There is always far too much talk about money not being the most important thing to employees and how you can attract and retain them without offering more of it when, in fact, this is unrealistic and impractical. Underpaying your employees will cost you in low employee motivation, low productivity, and attrition. And you will lose far more in the long run than you will by compensating them fairly. Great talent deserves to be well compensated and if they aren’t, they will leave to go where the pay is better.

Include your team on your recruitment firm's business metrics and goals

Your team should have a clear understanding of your business goals and the role they play in reaching those goals. They should be included in budgets and have a clear picture of your financial targets. Why? Because when people don’t understand how they fit into a bigger picture, they have no reason to care about that picture. When they understand that they are integral to the success of something and how their efforts will contribute to that success, they will be invested in it.

Leaders who share their financials, goals and metrics with their teams are more likely to get buy-in from employees who understand that we're all in this together. These team members are less likely to leave because they understand how and why they matter.

Give them autonomy and involve them in the decision making process

Empowering your team to do their best work means respecting their autonomy and letting them do what they do best. Micromanaging is the opposite of that.

Give your employees autonomy, allow them to make decisions, and involve them in your company’s decision making process. You hired them for their expertise and it will likely benefit you and your organization to give that expertise a larger application and to have the input of people you trust. Not only will this help you with your decisions, it will create strong relationships between leadership and teams. The same principle applies here as to the above: when people have contributed to the decision making process, they feel invested in the outcomes of those decisions.

Be flexible with remote work

People have become accustomed to working from home and recruiters are no exception. As we discuss here, companies who push for a post-pandemic return to the office could see many of their employees leaving for more accommodating employers.

Surveys consistently find that people enjoy working from home and want to continue to do so. In one poll, 75% of employees said they have more time and energy for work because they don’t have to commute and 63% feel more productive working from home. People in many industries now work in a global economy, across countries and time zones, and the 9-5, seven day, work week doesn’t make sense anymore.  

Meet your team where they are and they will return the favour.

Set realistic hiring targets

Nothing good comes from overworking your employees or making unrealistic demands. If employees can’t meet targets you will constantly be disappointed and they will always feel that they are falling short, which negatively impacts morale and engagement, which further impacts performance and turnover.

Work with your team to set hiring goals together. As suggested by LinkedIn writer Samantha McLaren in this article, which contains more tips on retaining your recruiters, make them attainable but also big enough to inspire them to go above and beyond. Also via McLaren, you might try using these Candidate Sourcing Funnel Calculators created by sourcing expert Glen Cathey. They are designed to help you set goals and manage expectations of hiring teams, who will (again) appreciate being involved in your goal setting and decision making.

Improve processes

Good processes benefit everyone and as Talent Strategist, Mary Faulkner, writes here, they minimize roadblocks and allow for greater scalability, “alleviating much of the administrative burden your recruiters experience.” Tips for improving processes include standardizing them and making them as repeatable as possible  in order to make them as repeatable as possible and making good use of available technology.

Show your appreciation

Show your appreciation for your team members and let them know they are valued. Too often, leaders in all industries get distracted and default to a “no news is good news” management style, only providing feedback when it’s negative. But these are the leaders who ultimately fail. Provide positive feedback whenever you can. It’s so simple and such an easy way to make people happy. And happy people are motivated and engaged employees. 

Saying ‘thank you’ is free. Say it often. 

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