Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The best recruitment and retention tool: That touchy-feely stuff

Everyone who's anyone in the HR circles these days knows that to have a "seat at the table", be taken seriously, and avoid criticism, we need to ditch our reputation as touchy feely "people" people and focus on ROI, adding value, walking the walk, metrics, and all those other magical things that will somehow convince executives that we're worth our salaries. Right?

Here's the funny thing. Probably the biggest single factor in attracting and keeping the right people is your reputation--what people say about your organization. Referrals are time and time again cited as the most valuable source of high quality candidates (although we desperately need more non-survey research into this issue). And whose word carries the most weight? Current employees. So where should our focus be? Yep, you guessed it, our current employees.

So what does that mean? All that touchy feely stuff like job satisfaction surveys and wellness programs help ensure that your employees are happy (or as happy as you can make them). Happy employees are not just more likely to leave your customers with a positive impression, they're more likely to sing your praises to potential applicants. This positive reputation, combined with salaries that are at least in the ballpark, and clear communication about expectations and rewards, will go a long way toward your future success in attracting talent.

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