April 17, 2024

The Art of Retaining Talent: Recruiting vs. Retention

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Ever wonder why a candidate falls off? It can leave you wondering whether your onboarding process just flat out sucks, or maybe your recruiter really missed the mark when it came to choosing a candidate. It can be hard to recognize, especially at different stages in the process.

Join Em and Ryan as they dissect the nuances of recruitment and retention, to successful onboarding and building a supportive work environment, this episode is packed with valuable insights for recruiters and hiring managers alike.

How recruitment and retention strategies work together? Em and Ryan discuss key processes for your organization’s success. Whether you’re an experienced HR pro or just starting out in talent acquisition, this episode has something for you.

Episode Transcript

This week’s Talent Insight segment, we’re going to be discussing a very important topic, which is the distinction between recruiting and retention. So let’s just kind of dive right into it, Em, because I know you and I have been chatting about this specific topic for quite some time.

We’re excited to dig into it a little bit more today, but you know, from our standpoint, this isn’t a super common occurrence for us here at Hirewell, but there’s definitely instances when a candidate that we’re working with that we place at one of our clients, doesn’t work out. Sometimes this is like after a few weeks or maybe even a couple months, sometimes it’s after a year, you know, they don’t stay there past that mark.

When a candidate does not work out a company is normally left wondering what went wrong. And the question that always comes up is, was this a recruiting issue or an issue of retention? Yeah, and I think in order to consider if a candidate-

we’ll call it like a candidate fall off, if it happens. I’m not sure if that’s an internal term, but like, a fall off meaning like, the candidate does not last at the company. So, in order to kind of consider if a candidate’s fall off is due to recruiting or retention, I feel like we kind of have to take a step back and like define the two, right?

Starting with recruiting, like recruitment allows you to carefully identify the talented individuals that will make up your team, right? Finding talent. Whereas retention allows you to hold on to these talented individuals for the long run. Hopefully the long run, right? Hopefully, fingers crossed.

That’s always the goal, right? Okay, so now that we have the definition of both and thanks for setting that stage, cause you’re right, it is important for us to really know what we’re talking about in terms of definition. How would you ultimately decide then if a candidate that doesn’t work out at an organization is a result of A, selecting the wrong candidate in the first place or B, a result of a company’s inability to retain that candidate? I mean, I don’t think there’s like a super straightforward answer. I think a lot of it probably just comes down to the amount of time that a candidate spends at a company before they leave.

Like recruitment in some capacity is responsible for like shorter term retention. Like recruiters are vetting candidates to ensure they have the skills that they need for the role, the experience and knowledge that hopefully translates to success at this new company and like the intangibles as well that would be a cultural fit for your company.

Yeah, I mean, really good point, Em, and listen, I think when we look at this as a whole, we’re not saying any of this is a one size fits all answer. Never, never, never. Never, ever. That’s the one thing we know for sure is there’s not a one size fits all solution, but I want to preface that because like the next point that I want to cover, this is not exactly how it happens in every single organization, but in most, this is what happens.

So after a candidate makes it through an interview process is hired, goes through initial onboarding. Typically, the responsibility to retain that candidate is then passed to the internal HR team or to the hiring manager. Now, in some cases, like, you know, sometimes recruiting hangs on to that a little bit longer, maybe there’s more collaboration, but that is often the process of what happens.

I agree. Kind of like that responsibility is like transferred a little bit. So what are your thoughts? If a candidate doesn’t work out in say, like, the first month? Okay. Like if we’re talking like timeline, if a candidate falls off right or leaves or doesn’t work out or you know, the company decides it’s not a fit. Do you think it’s due to poor recruiting or poor retention?

Similar to what I just said every situation’s a little bit different, right? So this also isn’t a one size fits all answer, but I do think oftentimes if we’re falling under this kind of timeline, I would probably say the mark was missed by recruiting. I would agree with that statement. If it’s like really, really short term, there was probably something missed in terms of like-

In some cases we work with a lot of like very early stage startups and it’s like, “Oh, the marks missed at the very, very beginning,” because until you’re in that startup and like, You know, wearing multiple hats and moving in this fast paced environment.

Like, you know, sometimes the mark can be missed with a candidate. Like they had the skills, they had the knowledge, they had the experience, but potentially just like the environment doesn’t work out in that first month. So I mean, that’s just one example, of course, like you said, you cannot really make generalizations.

There’s not really a correct answer here. Right. Do you feel like it’s maybe then safe to say that if a candidate spends like a full year at a company and leaves, their departure is then kind of more likely an effect of poor employer retention? Completely. Yeah. And I think the reason why I say that too is, you know, the recruiting process in many organizations-

Like we said, you know, there’s always room for translation here has ended pretty early on. So like the hiring manager is going to be responsible if the job has changed since this person stepped into it, like the initial phase of recruiting to find that talent would not be involved anymore. So, yeah, I mean, I think if we’re looking past like that initial onboarding period, then that’s really more of a retention issue. And I think ultimately, you know, if recruiters have done their job and find a great candidate, there’s things that we have to think about too, in terms of like, how do we retain that great talent when we’re passing the baton?

So, Em, from your perspective, what are some of the ways that companies can focus on retention? I think, so important, like just like right off the bat is effective onboarding. Right? Like we talk about that, like you said, kind of when the responsibility is passed, you found the talent, like setting that candidate up for success from the very, very beginning, effective onboarding is huge.

I think there’s other things to look at, just like competitive total compensation, whether that’s salary, bonus, commission, like think benefits, think equity, all that jazz. Overall flexibility, maybe it’s work from home flexibility, flexible work hours, unlimited PTO. I think just overall like encouraging and promoting a strong work life balance, employee engagement, and also like managing for retention.

I feel like we could even do like a whole insight on managing for retention looks like. I feel like many people will say the reason they’re looking for a new job is because of their manager. We hear that all the time. It’s leadership, it’s management. Like that’s the main reason for looking. So I think it’s really pivotal that companies like teach their managers to be effective people leaders and mentors, if we’re talking about how to retain talent. Yeah. All really good points. And I know we just kind of threw a lot at people in terms of like what can you do to retain people?

It’s a lot, right? But I think, Em, we probably both throughout our career have had some type of candidate fall off with one of these things being a defining factor of it, right? I think ultimately, like, the flexibility piece is something that’s really huge. I’ve heard that a number of times. I’ve had folks work for organizations that have been long time partners of mine, and, you know, maybe they were in the office three to four days a week, and then, they have the opportunity to work a hundred percent remote and having a family, and that’s an important piece.

Every candidate has different things that are really important to them and motivating factors in terms of staying in an organization or looking for a new job. So I think it’s important to like on the recruiting piece, so early on defining what those motivating factors are. If you know that like flexibility is something that’s a number one priority for a candidate and then your organization is on site five days a week, even if they’re a great fit for the role, maybe that’s not the best longterm fit for the organization, because of an opportunity comes up. So I think that’s where like the recruiting and retention piece kind of come hand in hand. There’s a lot of collaboration when you think about things longterm.

So to kind of wrap things up, I think, you know, when it comes down to it, it’s both recruiting and retention strategies that are really important to ensure that the right talent is identified and retained long term. Yeah, I think you’re completely correct, they’re both really important and like at different stages, but they definitely do both work hand in hand.

If anything we said kind of like sparks something for you definitely drop it in the comments. If you’re like, Oh, I would love to hear more about like what you know, successful onboarding looks like for long term retention or managing for retention or whatever it is, we’d love to dive deeper into any of these topics.

Good point. Yeah. We’ll take a look at the comments for sure, but I think that’s going to wrap up this week show for the Hirewell Update. Great topic, Em, thanks for all the insights you shared. Thank you all so much for joining us. As a reminder, you can find all of our content at talentinsights.hirewell.com. Or if you’d like to learn more about Hirewell and our service offerings, check out our website, it’s www.hirewell.com. We’ll see you then. Thanks everyone. Bye.

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