The true beginning of the retention formula and strategy starts with recruiting. Most organizations think recruitment and turnover are two very different things, but they are actually the beginning and end to the same journey. Some talent remains loyal and committed for decades, while others quit within a few months of starting. If an organization decides to take shortcuts during the recruitment process, this results in an unstable foundational relationship with a candidate. So how does recruiting impact retention?

The Candidate and Employee Experience.

The first step for building a strong recruiting to retain strategy is to focus on the experience. This refers to both the candidate and the employee experience. The candidate experience is all about the hiring process and treatment of a candidate including:

  • How quickly applicants receive a response to their resume submissions, questions and follow-up
  • How personable management and leadership is during the interview process
  • The logistics and efficiency for how interviews are conducted

Each and every interaction has a major impact. The candidate experience is the sum of the candidates’ thoughts, notions, and opinions about your organization, procedures, and the people they’ve talked to – and this judgment is formed even before they are hired. Most job seekers and candidates are frustrated by the length of the process, demands made of them, and the steps they’re obligated to take.

On the other hand, the employee experience is what an employee learns, sees, and hears from the company after they are hired. The experience takes place from their first company interaction through to their last goodbye. There are a variety of factors that may tempt your employees to look elsewhere for a new opportunity, and the candidate experience your competitor is providing can be a differentiating factor in their decision-making process.

Approaching Hiring With A Fit-First Approach

A “Fit First” recruiting strategy refers to an organization filling in the gaps of their current workforce or team instead of hiring for sameness. It’s about harnessing the power of diverse teams to achieve better outcomes, less groupthink, more innovative solutions and all around better performance. A team of people who excel at seeing “the big picture,” for example, may fail because they lack the individuals that can focus on details. If your Municipality or Broader Public Sector organization wants to achieve aggressive goals or become more innovative, it’s going to take new and novel perspectives to get there.

Municipalities can do this by adapting their overall hiring and retention strategy to be more competitive and stand out. Offering remote work allows employers to increase their talent pool, potentially lowering labor costs and opening up positions to a greater number of workers across the country. In some cases where remote work isn’t a viable option, Municipalities can pivot to offer flexible work options such as compressed workweeks or summer Fridays.

Keeping Talent Engaged

Employee turnover has been a major issue for the Public Sector over the past two years. While hiring professionals rank compensation as the top priority for job seekers, more often than not the candidates I speak with say they’re even more interested in opportunities for career advancement. While some Municipalities are eager to bring everyone back into the office, this can be a dealbreaker for some employees. If your key hires remained with you throughout the pandemic, you have done a great job keeping your teams and employees happy and feeling valued. But even still, Municipalities and Public Sector organizations need to continue building and creating a workplace that your team and people want to be at which includes:

  • Provide growth opportunities and clearly defined career paths
  • Have the right tech and tools in place
  • Empower and trust employees
  • Be flexible on work arrangements
  • Focus on convenience as an incentive
  • Upskilling or leadership training

Successfully building a retention-based recruitment strategy requires an executive recruitment partner that can engage and grow with you. The future of recruitment for many Public Sector organizations will rely on much more than the job alone.

In order to retain those high performers, Public Sector organizations need to broaden their perspective to actionably consider how they can create the right working environment for future and existing employees.

Legacy Executive Search Partners

26 July 2023

OMHRA 2023 Blog Post – AUGUST

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