holding hands together and assure loyalty one anotherResearch from MetLife shows that 1 in 3 employees hoped to be working for a different employer last year and this figure was much higher where generation Y workers were considered. We talked recently about how the gradual easing of the global recession was creating a clearing in the clouds, meaning there is new optimism that may lead employees to look to make that next move to a new employer, kick starting a career that may have been put on ice during the recession.

This presents a double-sided problem for recruiters as not only will they be charged with finding talent to counteract predicted rises in turnover, but they will at the same time be expected to find talent that is loyal.

So, I think one of the key goals for recruiters looking to add maximum value to their business is not simply recruiting (if that wasn’t challenging enough) but building a recruiting process that is geared towards hiring staff for the long term. This makes it an appropriate time  to set out some key tips to help recruiters to build a hiring strategy geared towards finding loyal and long serving talent, and you can find these below.

Start an employee referral program

Research from Jobvite Index 2012: Employee Referrals shows that employees who are recruited via an employee referral program are more loyal than from other channels, showing a 46 percent retention rate after 1 year compared to a 33 percent retention for employees from career sites and 22 percent retention from jobs boards. The survey showed that HR executives considered referrals to produce the highest quality candidates, which means referrals have a reduced chance of being dismissed for performance making them a better bet for the long term.

So, arguably, it is not just about bringing in an employee referral program but it could also be about changing your whole recruitment channel emphasis to bring more focus on referrals and less on careers sites and jobs boards. Just a thought.

Make more use of realistic job previews

Realistic job previews (RJPs) are job descriptions, videos, testimonials, and tests that give employees an accurate appraisal of the culture as well as the positive and negative aspects of the job.

There is a good level of research to suggest that employers who make use of realistic job previews within their recruitment processes will experience higher levels of job satisfaction (Meglino, DeNisi et al, 1988) and cope with the demands of the job better (Pitt and Ramseshan, 1995). Both of these positive effects should lead to more loyal employees and lower staff turnover.

Hire for cultural fit

Research from James Collins and Jerry Porras (as reported by Monster) looked at 18 consistently high-performing multinationals over 50 years and found that all placed emphasis on cultural fit in their hiring practices. The same report also highlighted an insurance company who found that the internal departments whose environments matched the company’s stated cultural aims had 30 percent less turnover.

Of course, a core part of building an effective business culture with low employee turnover is hiring for culture fit. So, if you want to hire for the long term we suggest you make cultural fit a key selection criteria.

Lobby for flexible working

A white paper from the Sloan Center on Aging Work at Boston College indicates that flexible working can have a strong impact on employee retention. If you don’t have flexible working already, I urge recruiters to lobby their HR teams and managers to introduce it as it will benefit the organization by leading to the hiring of more long term loyal staff.

Introduce or enhance your onboarding programs

Research from Aberdeen Group tells us that businesses that introduced on-boarding had a 31 percent year-over-year increase on staff retention. So, in order to encourage increased staff retention and long term hires, recruiters should lobby their HR and management principals and encourage them to introduce or enhance the onboarding programs  to help cement all the good work that is done during the hiring process.

Lobby for trial periods

A case study into Engage Direct Mail who used a 90-day trial for new hires found that while 23 percent of staff leave in that period, the retention rate of those who remain is a massive 95 percent.

Admittedly, this is only one study and not enough to warrant changing your entire hiring/onboarding strategy but, it could be worth experimenting with job trials in specific departments to see if it has a positive effect on staff retention.

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