Tips to attract and retain your dream workforce

It’s time every company designed nurturing programs for its rising stars (in case you haven’t found your superstar team yet, don’t miss out on A 5 point sourcing guide for every recruiter). We agree that finding great talent is difficult, but retaining this talent gets tougher if you don’t have the right processes in place. Linkedin data shows a worldwide turnover rate of 10.9% with the tech industry showing the most volatility at 13.2% turnover rate

But why is it important to retain your employees?

Firstly, the costs of employee turnover are extremely high. It costs companies 2.5 times an employee’s salary when they lose them. And there are other costs which aren’t necessarily evaluated in monetary terms, but they play a major role in your company’s performance like lowered productivity, decreased engagement, costs to retrain people, and a negative impact on the culture of your organization.

So, employee retention remains the top priority for several organizations because of its potential pay-off. By focussing on this one factor, you will be able to successfully retain talented and engaged employees who will play a major role in contributing to your organization’s growth in the long run. Engaged employees not only align better with your company’s goal, vision, and culture, but they also tend to serve as great brand ambassadors. 

We believe employee retention should start at the very beginning of the recruitment process. Here are some ways you can retain your top talent:

5 game-changing employee retention strategies

1. Create a delightful employee onboarding experience

According to Glassdoor, great employee onboarding can improve employee retention by 82%

Most innovative companies understand the benefits of an effective onboarding process. After all, a company is only as good as its employees! It’s a simple rule. When candidates accept a role in your organization, they come expecting to enjoy their job and like the company they’re working for. But when this doesn’t happen, they’ll eventually become disengaged and end up leaving your organization, which could affect team productivity and employee morale.

As an HR professional, you’re expected to prevent such scenarios from the day they sign on. Imagine you create a great onboarding process — you then set the stage for a successful employee-employer relationship, right from the start. Wouldn’t that be great? But you don’t have to do this alone. 

Let a Human Resource Management System(HRMS) do the heavy lifting for you.

So how can an HRMS help you?

  • An HRMS can speed up the onboarding process. As a recruiter, you contact hundreds of candidates. These could be prospective ones or ones who have made the cut and are waiting to join your organization. Then how do you split your time between candidates and follow up with them? Let an HRMS do this for you. 
  • A reliable HRMS can help you manage employee data, track requests, streamline the expensing process and much more. It also has reliable built-in communication tools which make communication with your employees easier.
  • An HRMS helps build a connected organization. A good HRMS not only helps keep track of your employees, but it could also integrate a dozen different platforms for every element of your business.Most holistic HRMS platforms embrace an AI-powered automation that lets you manage your workforce well and identify problem areas quickly. This helps you build a connected organization and tailor customizable hire-to-retire workflows for all of your employees

Company in focus: Twitter

Twitter has an onboarding process called ‘Yes-to-Desk’. It starts from when an employee says yes to an offer until he or she sits at the desk. The entire process has a series of steps and handoffs between HR, IT, and Facilities — almost 75 steps! New hires also receive goodie bags with t-shirts, a bottle of wine, and a PDF explaining what to expect on the first day. They are also invited to have breakfast with the CEO. The onboarding process continues for almost a month.

Twitter "Yes-to-desk"

2. Provide upskilling opportunities

According to go2HR, 40% of employees with poor training leave the company within the first year

The first step to upskilling starts with identifying what your employees are actually looking for as well as what they are lacking. You will also have to look at where the industry will be heading in the next 5 to 10 years and gauge the skill required to mitigate the gap. Once you have this in place, you can start creating a strategic training plan for your workforce. Here’s how you do it.

  1. Identify your training needs.  Your program should include skills which are most important for your organization to have
  2. Set goals for your program. Set certain objectives that you’d like to see manifest at the end of your training program. A few of these can be
  •  Improvement in employee performance after the program
  •  Improvement in achieving overall business goals
  •  Better preparedness among employees to take up managerial roles
  •  A boost in employee retention rates

3. Involve your employees while designing this program. Check with them on what learning methods would work for them, what according to them would help boost team performance, and what are their likes and dislikes with respect to upskilling programs.

Once you design your training plan, decide if you’d like to go for a workshop format or a classroom approach and whether your employees would require on-the-job training. A good place to initiate this program is by investing in a learning management system using which you can streamline the learning process, keep adding learning modules, and track performance.

Company in focus: Etsy

Etsy requires engineers to deploy code every 25 minutes due to its service-oriented architecture which operates with a feedback loop of 21 minutes. This only means that every developer(including interns!) gets a chance to push code at Etsy several times.

A tweet by an etsy employee

Source: Optimizing for developer happiness

For Etsy, ‘Easy deploys=developer happiness’. Their internal processes are aligned to keep their developers happy. Having ownership is critical to most developers and it is not uncommon for interns at Etsy to push code through on their first day.

3) Identify candidates who are more likely to stay

According to Deloitte, American millennials are now more likely to say they will stay 5+years with a company than to leave within 2 years

How do you choose candidates who’ll stay the course? You first look for some key indicators on the candidate’s resume. The first thing that you should look at is how long did they stay in their previous jobs.  Did those organizations see any ups and downs during that time? This shows you how committed a candidate is and you can be assured that he/she is likely to stick with your organization in turbulent times.

You might also want to look at volunteer experience. This not only shows that they’ve been invested in a cause but is also an indication that they would be supportive of things they really care about.

Job hoppers, on the other hand, could be a little tricky to deal with. Imagine you have a candidate who has changed 12 jobs in the last 15 years! They could be hard for an organization to retain in the long run.

Company in focus: Location Labs

Location Labs boasts a 95% employee retention rate and has never laid off an employee. The secret? Instead of focussing on attrition, the company pays attention to how its employees interact with management and with each other while they’re there.

Also, the referral rate which is a great indicator of retention is really high. Almost 60% of the employees have referred another person, who also came on board.

Working well together is so imp[ortant to them that they’ve created an award to celebrate it when they see it called the “Spartan Shield” award. You can read more about their retention strategy here.

4) Foster transparency at the workplace

According to the American Psychological Association, 1/4th of the employees don’t trust their employer

Employees are likely to stick on with organizations when they feel that the culture is open and transparent and the company has their best interests at heart. In general, workplace transparency is sharing information freely to benefit the company and its people. These are some best practices HR execs can follow to create an open culture at work by ensuring transparency –

In the hiring processEnsuring transparency throughout your recruitment process can really benefit your organization. Having accurate job descriptions which describe the job role in detail, honest and open communication with recruiters, and facilitating an open discussion between the hiring managers and candidates throughout the hiring process will help.. This automatically results in building a great employer brand and ensuring a faster and more accurate hiring process.

In performance management Transparent, more frequent performance management reviews allow employees and managers frequent evaluations, so employees are not judged based on a single review at the end of the year. Also, allowing peer evaluations or 360-degree evaluations offer insights into an employee’s performance which would otherwise be difficult to ascertain e from just the manager’s standpoint. This is a great way to boost employee engagement too.

In details about the company performance- It’s time companies made their numbers public and pulled back the curtain on business decisions. Since your workforce plays a major role in deciding where you are headed, it is only right for them to know what is in store. Also, being honest with your employees keeps anxiety levels low and increases ownership and trust in your organization’s vision which could have a direct impact on your bottom line

In group projects- Transparency is very important in projects especially with multiple employees. One good way of maintaining this is to have a formal feedback loop. Keeping communication open helps with better collaboration and improves the quality of work. Having honest, forthright communication helps people and businesses do better work together.

Company in focus: Buffer

Buffer does a great job of keeping things transparent for its employees. Most times, employees move because of pay disparity. Buffer values transparency to such an extent that you can exactly find out how much anyone on the Buffer team earns.

And it’s not only the salary that Buffer is transparent about. From the books they’re reading to their Equity formula, they have them all open for public access. View Buffer’s transparency dashboard here.

Buffer Diversity Dashboard

A snapshot of Buffer’s Diversity Dashboard

5) Invest in the right HRM platform to deliver great service to your employees

According to Bersin by Deloitte, companies with newly upgraded HR systems see cost savings of 22% per employee

In the constant quest to achieve business growth, most organizations often ignore the need to have the right HR tools in place to deliver a great experience to their employees. To better care for their most valuable asset, human capital, many organizations have now started to invest in human resource management(HRM) software. Here’s why you should opt for an HRM tool in your journey toward smarter people management- 

  1. An HRM tool can improve efficiency. HRM software helps you do away with manual documentation, paperwork, and spreadsheets. This prevents manual errors and since everything is documented online. It’s saved automatically and minimizes the risk of data loss. Employee management also gets easier as tracking employee data becomes seamless.
  2. It can improve data analytics. A robust HRM tool allows for powerful reporting and provides deeper insights into your workforce. With the right data at hand, you can optimize your HR decisions and help with your business performance. This could also boost employee productivity and help reduce employee turnover.
  3. You can access it on the go. According to Aruba Network, 64% of employees say their mobile devices make them more productive in the office. But, at the same time, a survey by Deloitte has quoted that fewer than 20% of companies give employees access to mobile HR apps. Opting for HRM software or an HRM app which can be accessible over mobile ensures that your employees have access to all of their data anytime they want.
  4. You can keep track of your company’s finances. HRM software helps you manage expense claims, bills, and receipts of employees effortlessly. Think of it as an expense management system for each of your employees. It also helps you with invoicing and ensures your employees are not losing out on any billable hours.
  5. It helps with your learning and development (L&D) needs. Some HRM tools have an inbuilt learning management system(LMS) which helps HR teams to easily upload existing learning and training content, customize courses, and make them accessible for employees across all devices and platforms.             Your most talented employees have a huge role to play in where your company is headed. But when this talent is unchallenged, or unrewarded, it could prove to be a costly mistake for your organization. What could be even worse is this disengagement rubbing off on other productive employees in your organization, damaging employee commitment and retention across your firm.

Every HR team needs to identify these triggers and be able to use the right engagement strategies to retain employees for longer. HR initiatives should be all about cultivating rising stars and not only celebrating present achievements. Doing so will help you groom high- achieving individuals who will create an enormous impact on business results.

This brings us to the end of our two-part series on tips to attract and retain your dream workforce. Do try implementing them in your HR strategy and let us know how it works out for you in the comments below. If you wish to know more about HR tools like ATSs and HRM solutions, please feel free to drop us a mail at