Local Employee Recruiting and Retention Tips
Keeping good employees on staff is something many companies struggle with. Brad Goskowicz, CEO of Microbiologics of St. Cloud, says the key to retaining good employees is largely about maintaining a company culture. Especially with a company within a large marketplace, you need to be innovative in everything you do. Other companies and competitors are constantly improving and will “eat your lunch” if your company is not filled with engaged employees.
Goskowicz says he sits with every new employee for 20 minutes after they are hired. “We talk about their passions, their experience, and their skillset. Every employee – from the custodian to the CEO – has a unique skill set to bring to a company.”
“Having no innovation means you have a set of employees whose goal it is to complete their work and go home. Innovation in the workplace needs to mean more to employees than just a paycheck. Employees need to know they are a valued person on a winning team working toward a goal. Having these three things in a company is the best chance for success,” says Goskowicz.
- Implement a referral program - make your company a great place to work by asking your employees what to improve on
- Appreciate your team publicly
- Provide a succession plan for each associate
- Form an events or "fun committee" to plan motivational events - Click here to learn how GeoComm uses innovative ways to retain its employees!
- Encourage employees to participate in volunteer opportunities
- Implement flexible scheduling/dress codes if possible
- Incorporate competitive benefits packages - health, life insurance, and a retirement plan are basics, but also consider things like work flextime and telecommuting to let employees know you are willing to accommodate their lives outside of work.
- Provide financial incentives. Raises, bonuses, and stock options are great ways to maintain employee retention, but smaller incentives like free bagels on Fridays or a health club membership can boost morale and keep employees motivated as well.
- A human resource manager is critical if you have many employees.One person in charge of and knowledgeable about human resources in your company not only frees up time but also puts focus on important company issues.
- Make sure employees are clear in their expectations within the company.
- Promote from within whenever possible. Employees are more likely to work harder and more thoroughly if there is a clear promotion available to them.
- Create open communication between employees and management.
- Pay attention to the little things happening within your company. Celebrate company milestones and successes and acknowledge employee special events like birthdays and weddings. A handwritten note is much more personal to an employee than a hastily-purchased gift.
- Get to know the people in your company on a personal level. A good way to do this is having lunch with your employees, either as a group or one-on-one.
- Become involved in the community. There are tons of great organizations with which you and your company can volunteer. You can also sponsor a cause, group, or single person in special events and fundraisers.
Recruitment is another area in which many companies struggle. There is a huge difference between having a large amount of applicants interested in an opening and finding the right person for the position.
- Involve your existing employees. They can recommend candidates, assist you with interviews, and help you determine if a new employee will fit within your company's culture.
- Networking is crucial. Attend local meetings, get to know local University personnel, and use LinkedIn for candidates.
- Develop a job analysis. Identify the skills, knowledge, and abilities for the position you are looking to fill.
- Create a job description based off the most recent criteria available and be as specific as possible.
- Develop a process for interviewing candidates. If you are splitting the interviews between other people or need to communicate the interview results with other members of your team, make sure there is clear criteria for the best possible candidate.
While you are recruiting, keep in mind that your new potential employees should have the same values as your company. Many companies will have a mission statement, company values, and/or a company vision, but it is important to hire within those parameters. Ask specific questions at an interview or networking event, such as “how do you feel about…” or “show an example where you attributed certain company values.” When it comes time to conduct a year-in-review with an employee, it should be more than a review of how well an employee executes their job, but how they attribute to the values of the company.
Build strong relationships with area universities for internships, community involvement programs and recruiting opportunities. Brad Goskowicz understands that University personnel can not only give references of candidates that have the needed skillsets, but also will recommend candidates that will fit in well with the company’s culture. Currently, 30% of Microbiologics employees are St. Cloud State University graduates.
Keep the demographics of your recruits in mind as well. College graduates may leave for a big city right after they graduate, but after a few years, they may want to settle down and raise a family in a more relaxed atmosphere. Targeting this demographic can mean offering benefits, PTO, pregnancy leave, and health care options. Young adults that have spent a few years out of college are looking for good schools, a lower cost of living, and a sense of community - especially in Greater St. Cloud.