Best Practices for Recruiting and Retaining Employees in the Post-COVID Economy
The Virginia SBDC Network curated these suggestions and approaches to support employers as they navigate through the challenges of recruiting and retaining employees as the economy reopens.
Job Posting and Hiring
Emphasize company values and culture
Promote to underemployed populations – ie: retirees, military spouses, caregivers, college students/recent graduates, individuals with disabilities
Include the wage/salary, benefits and job duties in the job advertisement
Highlight flexibility (ie: hours, work from home)
Offer time-delayed signing bonus and other one-time incentives
Offer competitive salary/wages and benefits
Evaluate your interview questions and communication style
Provide competitive salary/wages
Contribute toward employee benefits
Offer a referral bonus for successful hires
Define a career path to incentivize long-term work, provide on-the-job training, and other personal growth tools
Substitute salary with non-cash reimbursement that can be written off as business expenses, such as: phone credit; travel credit; health and wellness credit
Provide employees the tools they need to do their work.
Ensure good and open communication (vertical and horizontal) across the organization
Re-evaluate the people managers and train them to be effective at leading employees (one of the top reasons people quit jobs is a bad boss)
Value the employees; they are the ones who will make the company successful.
Be inclusive and solicit and value input and ideas from everybody in the company. Many times, the best ideas come from those closest to the customer (and usually at the lower level of the company hierarchy)
Offshoring and outsourcing work impacts morale and results in turnover
Offshore wages cannot/should not be used as a guide for domestic pay (I have seen this at some startups).
Company leadership personalities, egos, transparency can drive people away.
Establish formal and informal employee mentoring, to help with personal and professional growth
Provide timely feedback for an employee’s performance
Open door policy for the discussion of work place issues
Consider a bonus for current employees to recruit employees that stay at least 6 months. Good people typically have wide circle of friends
Business Model (SBDC Tools and Resources)
Leverage resources, ie: tax credits, job training incentives (Virginia Career Readiness Center, VEC)
Analyze financials for cost savings or new revenues to off-set increase in personnel costs (GrowthWheel sheets, Profit Cents analysis)
Move business model toward high revenue streams (GrowthWheel sheets, Profit Cents Analysis)
Understand local hiring conditions and competition (Virginia Career Readiness Center; VEC)
Understand industry trends (SBDCNet and IBISWorld industry research)
For additional ideas on how to implement any of these solutions, examine these resources:
- The VEDP Talent Solutions Manager who services your location (Talent Solutions tab)
- CareerOne Stop: Employee Retention
- Your Virginia CareerWorks Business Solutions team
- Look at the Virginia CareerWorks Business Solutions Resource Guide
- Are you doing enough? Thought Prompts for Recruiting, Hiring, and Retaining Employees in the Post-COVID Economy