During the recession, it was often deemed far too risky to leave a job and paycheck. As a result, companies didn’t have to put in too much effort to maintain employees. However, as the U.S. is clawing its way into a more stable job environment, people are finding new opportunities outside of their current company.
The pressure is on companies to punch up their employee engagement strategies to ensure their staff is invested in their jobs. And it seems like they’re coming through.
In a survey, Gallup found engagement levels not seen in years:
At its peak, U.S. employee engagement levels reached 33.8% in March 2011
32.9% of U.S. workers said they were engaged in their jobs in February 2015
This rate beats February 2014’s engagement levels by 1.5 percentage points
The question now becomes, how can this increased investment into engagement be used to attract and recruit new talent?
No One Wants to Come in Through a Revolving Door
Imagine you’ve interviewed a potential candidate that would be just an epic fit for both the role and the company. But then she asks how long the last employee was in the role. And your answer? Less than a year. And the person in the job before that, just around 15 months. That perfect candidate is going to have a lot more questions — and she may even be too worried to accept an offer.
We know that employee engagement leads to high performance, job satisfaction, and lower turnover, but that turnover doesn’t just mean the cost of hiring and training a new person (though yes, that can be quite high). It affects the overall reputation of the company. And if your company reputation is that it’s a revolving door of new hire after new hire? Don’t expect top talent to be knocking down that door.
But on the other hand, imagine the person who left the role had worked there for several years—in fact, she had been promoted three times. And what if that job tenure was reflective of the entire company?
That says a lot about your reputation of quality of life for employees, growth potential, and even innovation and creativity in the workplace.
And that reputation? You’ll have to fight back top talent looking to work for you.
Make Every Employee a Mini Recruiter
Engagement is really just a measure of how well you can attract talent — within your existing workforce. That comes down to company culture. If you can create a workplace that values employees and recognizes their achievements, plus has a good work-life balance, some perks, and a positive environment, you’re going to continually attract each employee back into your company.
When employees are happy, they’ll become rabid fans of your company. Fans spread their enthusiasm, leading to referrals. Jobvite Index reported that 46% of people hired via employee referral stayed at a company for three or more years, compared to only 14% who were hired from job boards. Additionally, those referral employees were faster to hire, leading to lower costs.
Employee engagement and recruiting top talent have a symbiotic relationship. If you can keep your employees engaged, they’ll do the work in finding more engaged, happy employees.