By Jessica Miller-Merrell

This is a two part series on recruiting economics. Click here to visit part 1

Recruiting has gone through many ups and downs in the last decade. As I mentioned in part one of this series, supply and demand has played a big role in how we recruit, with the recession that began around 2007 causing many companies to cut perks, pay and even their workforces. This caused a high supply of candidates to enter the job market, and a low number or job opportunities to be available to meet the demand. It was a tough time, but looking at the job market now, you’d be hard pressed to see evidence of it.

When the nation recovered from the recession, companies suddenly had a need for larger workforces to help them meet the demands of customers who were beginning to be freer with their money. In order to build up their workforce, companies had to bring back the perks they had cut, and then some, to attract candidates. There is an increased demand for talent and companies are revisiting not just revisiting the topic of perks, benefits and compensation programs. They’re also shifting their focus to be around retention in general. This is because we’re now in a job seeker’s market, and the competition to attract the best candidates is a great reminder of why retention truly is the future of recruitment.

Supply and demand vs. the repeat customer

When we talk about supply and demand in the job market, there’s a sense that either recruiters or job seekers are on top. The problem with this for recruiters is that while we may be on top at moments, we have no control over when or how that happens. Companies that aren’t able to retain employees will be carried by the high and low tides of the job market and economy. On the other hand, companies that are able to retain will be affected less in those shaky moments, and will be ahead of the curve when the job seekers are in control. In a way, it’s like having a repeat customer that continues to buy the essentials from you despite the fact that they may have to cut back in other areas in bad times or may be tempted by a hotter, newer product in good times. As a recruiter, retention is powerful.

Now that the economy has turned, companies are focused on hiring for the long term rather than just doing what’s best in that moment. Filling that leaky bucket that is your workforce is not just expensive in terms of recruiting costs but also productivity costs. It also impacts a company’s ability to grow and take advantage of this growing and thriving economy. That’s why retention in these four areas is key:

Retention of candidates 

You may be thinking that retention only applies to employees, but a recruiter’s biggest asset is their talent pipeline. Retention starts from the moment a candidate visits the career page, talks with a recruiter or begins considering working for the organization. Maintaining that pipeline is just as important as maintaining your workforce since turnover will happen, no matter how well you retain employees.

Employee retention

This is probably where your mind first went when we were discussing retention, and there’s good reason for it. Your employees are the lifeblood of the company and an experienced, tenured workforce is one of the most valuable things a company could possibly have.

Keeping high-potential leaders 

During times of high demand for workers, companies will likely be actively recruiting your high potential leaders, but they’ll also be sought after during tough economic times as well. As I said above, turnover is inevitable in every organization and when the job market isn’t looking great for candidates, recruiters can cherry pick who they want. Don’t leave your company vulnerable to having your high-potential leaders pulled away in either situation. Talk to them. Understand their dreams and goals and build a program customized to each and every high potential so they don’t begin to wander.

Retaining linchpin employees 

It’s a widely accepted fact that companies that aren’t able to retain their key leaders suffer from all the stress surrounding the situation. Productivity, strategic vision and morale are all affected, so retaining these linchpin employees is essential for a healthy organization.

This is a two part series on recruiting economics. Click here to visit part 1

TalentCircles is the most comprehensive candidate engagement platform on the market. Take a product tour or request a live demo today. 

Jessica Miller-Merrell, SPHR is a workplace and technology anthropologist specializing in HR and recruiting. She’s the Chief Blogger and Founder of Blogging4Jobs and author of The HR Technology Field Guide. You can follow her on Twitter at @jmillermerell. 
 

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