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Improving Employee Retention Starts In The Recruitment Stage

Written by: Rikka Brandon
Published on: Oct 23, 2017

employees picture

Ever walk into a room or situation and just feel like you “don’t fit?” Most of us have had the experience of realizing this is just NOT our crowd.

That is an uncomfortable enough situation if you are at a 2-hour networking event, but it is significantly more painful to realize that a new job just isn’t the place for you.

As employers, we want to position our company and our opportunity in the best possible light, of course. However, we also want to make sure that we are presenting candidates with a true representation of what our company culture really is. Pulling a bait and switch on a candidate after they’ve accepted the position is a surefire way to make sure that employee doesn’t stick around very long.

There is a trend right now to put terms like ninja, wizard, or Jedi in job postings. For some companies, this is entirely on brand. For most companies, though, ninja = expert, wizard = expert, and Jedi = expert.

There is a lot of advice on recruiting and a lot of people want to do what the “cool kids” are doing to attract – and keep – talent. This is why crazy advice like pretending to be a chauffeur to lure candidates into showing their “real” selves gets a lot of press.

I’ve got some crazy advice for you too!






As an employer, you are trying to attract people who truly want to be part of your team. You want them to understand the challenges + the opportunities your organization needs help tackling. Your culture is how you will address challenges and approach opportunities. If you are a company that is very conservative and takes months (if not years) to make a decision on a new opportunity – don’t position yourself as a fast-moving, aggressive, growth-minded organization.


Likewise, if you are a ready, shoot, aim kind of company (a lot of entrepreneurial ventures fit this mold, so it’s not a dig, don’t talk about market research and due diligence.

When you are recruiting – recruit for skills, experience, attitude, and culture match.

These 4 things will largely determine how successful an employee is in the role and how long they stay with your company. Employee Retention isn’t achieved by giving out surveys and buying lunch from time to time. Employees stay when they feel valued, rewarded, and challenged. But, they also need to feel like they “Fit.”

Personality & culture fit are why sometimes the “most qualified” candidate who has a Ph. D in awesome and 25 published articles isn’t the best fit for the Process Excellence Manager position.

So, if employee retention is your goal (and it should be one of them) start with getting clear about your culture and hiring people who will fit.

Here are 4 simple things you can do to improve your employee retention rate.


Set & Share Clear Expectations.

Not just for results, but for the necessary activities needed to get those results. Want a 10% Increase in sales? What kind of marketing and sales activity do you need to see to reasonably expect that kind of result? Know these things and clearly communicate them from the very beginning of the hiring process. This will help you weed out those who don’t fit and find and keep employees who will help you achieve your goals.

Appreciation is best served fresh.

Recognize & comment on great performance, hard work, etc. I have created these e-cards to help you quickly and easily praise your great employees.

People like appreciation, but they LOVE rewards.

It doesn’t have to be anything elaborate (but, don’t let me stop you from buying a trip to Europe for your top performers!) Simple gifts such as movie tickets or a weekend family getaway can inspire a huge amount of loyalty.

Give them opportunities to grow.

The best employees want to be given opportunities to grow professionally. If you want to improve employee retention, you have to give employees something to strive for. Create stretch opportunities that allow employees to take on more responsibility so they’re not feeling bored and unchallenged.

Employee retention is a key part of any successful business. Following these tips can help you improve employee retention and build a team that is glad to represent your business, every day.

Want to learn more about how to attract & recruit employees who are going to stick around?


My self-paced Attract & Recruit course gives you a step-by-step guide to recruiting with confidence PLUS the ultimate list of hiring hacks. Click here to learn more.

Do you like helping people? Me too! That’s why I provide this great content to help you grow your team! Now, help me (and your friends) by sharing this great information on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest by using the super-easy share buttons below. Ahh, thank you – that feels good.




Rikka Brandon is the author of the best-selling book Hire Power: Everything Entrepreneurs Need To Know To Hire Awesome People. She’s the creator of the Hire Power Program, an online program designed to help small businesses build a rock-solid recruiting strategy and stop settling when they hire. She’s the Founder of and  Building Gurus. Rikka is the go-to girl for growth-minded entrepreneurs and forward-thinking business leaders and is considered as the USA’s Top Hiring Expert for Small Businesses.