How recruiters can hire talent that joins & stays

Before the pandemic, the joining ratio was 70-80 per cent (as reported in the RippleHire circle). Post-pandemic, these ratios have plummeted to 15-55 per cent

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Joining & attrition scenario these days

Organisations are hiring vigorously these days as they’ve realised that they need good talent to scale business, reduce the time taken to complete projects and grow the company. However, at the same time, they are not able to convince candidates to accept the offer or retain them for long.

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the recruiting landscape. Companies have figured out how to create systems and workflows such that people can work from home and companies can recruit from anywhere.

You would think that with a wide geography to recruit from and a lot of talent in marketing, finding people to fill positions would be easy. Alas! That’s not the case.

Before the pandemic, the joining ratio was 70-80 per cent (as reported in the RippleHire circle). Post-pandemic, these ratios have plummeted to 15-55 per cent. If you have strong employer branding, you may enjoy 40-55 per cent joining, but if your employer branding is weak then you can expect lower than 40 per cent joining ratio.

When companies get the joining right, the attrition rate starts creating problems. A study by Gartner found that an organisation could face a turnover rate as high as 24 per cent in 2022 and the years to come. That means, a company with 25,000 employees would need to prepare for 10,000 departures, plus filling up new positions.

Having experienced working from home during the pandemic, people are now reluctant to return to office. They have tasted flexibility and autonomy. Many of those who were otherwise okay with working from office are now looking to change their expertise and switch to fields that don’t require them to come to the office every day.

Who is to be blamed?

In most organisations, getting the candidates to join and retaining those candidates are the responsibilities of two different departments ?mainly recruitment and talent management.
These teams look at their metric, and analyse data in silos. Recruitment and retention are two different problems, but they have the same goal — to get talent to stay on with the company for a long time.

Both teams end up blaming each other for not being able to build a strong talent pool that can compete with any competitor in their market.

Let’s explore some of the strategies that recruiters can adopt to hire talent that joins as well as stays with the company for long.

Analyse your sourcing channels

When you hire a 100 people, or 500, or even a 1000 per week, you cannot rely on just one channel or even the company’s brand name to attract resumes from candidates. Therefore, if you have multiple sources of obtaining suitable candidates, you are on the right track.

Are you aware of how your recruiting channels are performing in terms of getting candidates that accept the offer and stay in your company? Do you know which recruiting channels are most effective in hiring for critical roles?

Simply analysing the number of candidates from each channel can be deceptive in showing which sources are most effective in delivering high-quality hires to the business. You need to look deeper and check which sources can get you the candidates that join AND stay for long.

If candidates from a particular source fail to join, or underperform, or tend to leave within the first few months, you may be over-relying on a source that looks good only by the volume of candidates. A channel that gets you 10 candidates of which five join is better than a source that gets you 100 candidates of which only 10 join the company.

Analyse each source with respect to joining ratio and retention rate. Do not go just by the volume of candidates.

Build referral programmes

If you analyse the sources of candidate applications that join the company and stay on, you will realise that candidates who come through referrals have the highest joining rate and lowest attrition rates.

That’s a great thing! However, the pitfall happens when companies try to get referrals without any strategy in place. Simply shooting an e-mail to employees asking them to refer or requesting them to introduce their talented friends to recruiters while you chit-chat in the hallway is not enough. What’s worse is a well-prepared referral plan that’s not supported by technology but by paper, spreadsheets and memory of the recruiter.

These things may work when a company is hiring one or two people, but not when 100-500 people are hired per month or when 1000+ people are referring their friends.

Employees get motivated to refer when they are offered incentives to do so; are assured that their contribution will be valued; and when it’s easy to know the status of a referral. Our customers typically see a 10 to12 percent increase in the offer to joining ratio through employee referrals, as compared to other sources of hiring.

Checkout this post to find out how you can avoid the possible problems you may face while getting referrals from existing employees.

We hope this post will help you create a fresh strategy or tweak your existing strategies to hire people that accept your offer letter, join, stay in the company for long and add value to your business.

Gather qualitative data

To gather insights that data can’t reveal, ask the candidates questions about their decision to switch from their current role to your company.

Find out what motivated them to join, what they are looking forward to in their new role, whether there are any deal-breakers, and how excited they are to take up the new job, and so on.

Answers to these questions will help you craft an overall experience and message that will resonate with your candidates. Let’s say they are excited to work with you because of the bonus policies you have, then you should highlight those in your job postings.

Create the right offer experience

Make sure the candidates fully understand what to expect when working for your company. Most employee expectations fall into one of these categories:

• Responsibilities: Mentions the specific tasks as a part of their position. If the role requires aggressive work — whether it’s on the floor of a retail store or in the office of a bank — you should be very clear about it right from the start.

• Working hours: Let the candidates know if they are expected to work fixed hours, fixed timings every day or whether it would be more dynamic based on the day-to-day needs of the company.

• Leadership: Inform the candidates about what to expect in terms of mentorship, supervision, team, and so on.

Show career-development journey

Ensure that the candidates feel that their value is being recognised. They should realise they will be joining a company that is as invested in their development as they are expected to be in the company’s.

It would be naive to think that employees are solely responsible for their own career development. Companies are expected to offer career pathways, training opportunities, and more because ultimately an employee is going to add value to the business only.

Highlight your commitment to career growth in the very first touch point with any candidate ? your job posting. Don’t bury course reimbursement, coaching or training in your benefits. Put all the career-development paths you provide in the main section of your listing.

When you show that you’re ready to make an investment in a long-term hire, the right candidate who’s looking for a long-term position will recognise that and apply.
Build &showcase a successful internal mobility programme

Attracting talent and getting them to join is a difficult task. Once you have someone on board, the last thing you want is for them to leave.

That’s where an internal-mobility programme can come into the picture to help you.

Internal mobility refers to staff members moving within the same organisation (both vertically and laterally) to take advantage of new career and development chances. This includes job exchanges, work shadowing, mentorships, cross-team or additional projects, promotions, demotions and new positions.

By fostering their ability to take on new responsibilities and keeping them motivated and productive, a strong internal-mobility programme may help you keep your staff.

Here are some quick tips to help you create a successful internal-mobility programme:

Focus on people at all levels, not just the middle management or the senior folks
Communicate transparently
Give feedback on performance
Recommend training or shadow opportunities

Internal hiring makes your organisation agile and more adaptable. You’ll be able to quickly respond to hiring challenges, leverage skills and save cost on recruitment. Checkout our handbook on internal mobility to know more about the topic.

Detect &prevent recruitment fraud

A lot of time, effort and money is lost when an organisation faces recruitment fraud. At five per cent frauds per 500 –1000 positions in a month, a company is at risk of admitting 25 –50 fraudulent hires.

That leads to talent that wastes your time and could not be retained at all. This talent adds no value and steals the chance of hiring an actually qualified person. However, you cannot rely on human judgment to make the basic checks before hiring people when you have to scan hundreds of resumes every day.

Find out in detail how innovative technology can solve damaging recruitment frauds.

The author, Sudarsan Ravi is the Founder and CEO of RippleHire and is known as a pioneer and category creator in recruitment technology.

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