These days, it seems almost impossible to keep employees on staff for longer than a few years. According to A Snapshot of Competition for Talent in the U.S., a research report from software-as-a-service provider iCIMS, more than half of all full-time employees are willing to dump their employers for the gig economy, and 63 percent of full-time employees are actively looking for new jobs. Companies can no longer ignore the job-hopping trend. To keep hiring costs at a minimum and retention rates at a maximum, it’s imperative that businesses take steps to make sure they are the companies that candidates want them to be.

Happy workers are more productive, and companies that make their workers happy are more likely to retain and attract top talent. If employees are leaping from your company as if it were the Titanic, it could be that you aren’t making them feel valued

Be Cooler Than the Competition

The top reason employees leave is because they see no future at their current organization, according to the iCIMS survey. It’s important for management to ensure that employees have clear views of what the road ahead will look like.

If, however, employees feel secure in their careers but are still leaving, then it may be the day-to-day that’s getting to them. In that case, improving the company culture is an organization’s best shot for increasing retention rates.

“Company culture matters to employees, especially to millennials, and more than half of employees have put off job hunting because they didn’t want to leave their coworkers,” says Susan Vitale, chief marketing officer at iCIMS. “No matter the size of your company, it is essential to establish a company culture, and that starts with identifying core competencies [and values] and making it a priority to hire people who reflect those competencies and values.”

According to Vitale, company cultures cannot be manufactured. Instead, they grow out of the organization’s recruiting process. The people a company hires are the ones who create the culture, which is why employers must only hire people who understand and embrace the company’s core competencies and values.

“Once you’ve established values, behaviors, motivations, and personality traits required to help pursue your company’s mission, showcase these details on your career site, LinkedIn profile, and other social media pages,” Vitale says. “Employers should also consider including their company cultures in all onboarding materials for new employees, and they can even consider rewarding and celebrating employees who adopt and demonstrate certain values.”

roadWhen building their cultures, organizations should also consider what job candidates might be looking for when they look at a company as a potential employer.

“Almost 50 percent of job seekers prefer to work in a ‘clan culture,’ which is defined as a collaborative, mentoring, team-oriented environment,” Vitale says. “Consider creating a collaborative environment that encourages employees to interact with each other and work across departments. By having established cultures that are understood and embraced by current employees, companies will have more success in attracting quality candidates who will also embody the same values.”

It’s All in the Perks

Another great way to attract and retain top candidates is to offer better perks than the other guys. In the iCIMS survey, 92 percent of full-time employees agreed that companies offering nontraditional benefits are more likely to recruit top-tier talent. Good salaries, health insurance, and retirement packages are important, but many other companies offer those things, too. Stand out by boasting a few nonstandard perks.

“Although smaller companies may not be able to offer profit-sharing, student loan reimbursement, a company car, or pet insurance, there are other nontraditional perks that come at a low cost to the company that you can consider offering top-performing employees,” Vitale says. “Consider offering flexible work schedules and work-from-home days, a ‘mental health day’ allowance, the option to bring your pet to work, or a room dedicated to company socials and other activities to increase engagement and happiness at the workplace.”

Companies that implement programs to keep morale high will see returns in the form of higher employee productivity, lower hiring costs, and more qualified talent. Don’t be the company that employees are running from. Be the company they are running to.

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