This article originally appeared in Recruiter.
If you’ve turned on the news lately, you know that US unemployment rates are at an all-time low. Good news, right?
With many of the most talented professionals already employed, recruiters have had to adopt aggressive hiring techniques to source new talent around the country. But there is much more involved in the hiring process than the time and money it takes to find people with the required experience. It is essential that the candidates you hire are the right fit. Mishires can be deadly to companies: In Topgrading, Brad Smart estimates each one can cost a company 4-8 times the employee’s salary to replace.
The economic impact of the US’s accelerating job market is monumental, yet this changing tide brings added pressure to established businesses and could end up costing them in terms of talent, market share, and revenue.
How can a business defend its turf as competition grows fiercer in the talent market? It all comes down to attracting, retaining, and aligning your team by knowing what attracts people, why people stay, and why people leave.
A players: You know them, you love them, you want them. It’s no secret A players are attracted to companies and people who do meaningful work. Does this mean your company has to be saving the world? No, but it does mean you should be able to articulate how your company has an impact on the world. Your employees should know what that impact is, and they should be passionate about the work they’re doing.
To attract A players, you need to define your core purpose and values. Your core purpose is why your company exists, the reason why your organization was started. Core values set the standards for how your company delivers its services and how it interacts with team members and customers.
Chances are your employees decided to work for your company because they align with your core purpose and values. If your core purpose is unclear or your employees don’t believe in it, they will eventually search for a purpose that piques their interest elsewhere — and it could be your competitor across town.
Once you have your core purpose and values established, you must protect them at all costs. You should be hiring and firing based off them, and you should have consequences for breaking them. A candidate’s alignment with your values should be considered above anything else when making recruiting decisions.
Team members must know how they are contributing to your organization’s success. Make sure you have a BHAG, or “big hairy audacious goal.” Company priorities and important numbers should be visible to everyone. Team members must have a line of sight from their roles to the overall goal of the company, and they should know exactly how their individual contribution helps the company achieve success.
Clear job descriptions and key performance indicators will increase accountability and build trust. Trust is the foundation for success in business and among teams. When roles, responsibilities, target objectives, and how progress is tracked are all clearly defined, no one can hide and quality work is rewarded. A players will shine and work together to meet your goals, and your revenue per employee will rise.
Employees aren’t always looking for the highest salary; they will leave for reasons other than money. In The Trust Edge, David Horsager argues that “the top two reasons why most employees leave an organization are underappreciation and not trusting the leadership. It turns out four times as many people would leave because of a lack of appreciation than because of annoying coworkers.”
Authentic compassion and appreciation start at the top. From there, these behaviors should cascade throughout the organization. We often judge others by their actions and ourselves by our intentions. Start thinking about your intentions versus your actions, and make sure you truly demonstrate your authentic appreciation to your team early and often!
Make celebrating your team consistent and fun by implementing a kudos board where employees can write notes of appreciation and highlight big wins. When a culture of gratitude and recognition is the standard, employees are motivated to go above and beyond, knowing their work is noticed and appreciated.
Culture starts at the top. CEOs and their executive teams must be healthy and aligned. Alignment creates trust, transparency, and scale. By cultivating a strong culture, creating a line of sight for every team member to the company’s goals, and showing appreciation authentically, both new and established businesses can attract and retain talent and increase market share and revenue.