Turnover can be a huge drain on a company’s bottom line, and many businesses need a fresh approach to recruitment and retention. Even well run Fortune 500 companies – like Google, Amazon and AFLAC – report average new-hire tenure at just over a year, according to a 2013 Payscale report. The ability to effectively retain your new hires affects everything from sales performance to organizational resiliency. High employee turnover costs your business time, productivity, and money.

How can you reach your target recruits and then keep your team together? Think like a salesperson. As an executive recruiter, I’ve learned that applying sales techniques to my own recruitment and retention programs can increase the long-term satisfaction and success of my team.

Consider these three tips when developing or revamping your recruitment strategy:

Target high-performing prospects. Start by advertising your job openings in the right places. Don’t waste time and money with job board postings; your business will drown in a deluge of unqualified candidate resumes. Go straight to your LinkedIn contacts to find better hiring leads. Stay in touch with talented people and leverage their connections to close the talent gap. Better targeting means candidates who are a better fit and more likely to stay put once they come on board.

Sell, sell, sell. An effective recruitment sourcing strategy starts before the offer letter is even on the table. Your recruiting department and hiring managers must sell potential new hires on every aspect of your business, including the corporate culture, your product or service, and long-term growth potential. Employees who feel connected with your business’s goals are more likely to be mentally and emotionally tied to your company. Promote your brand to new recruits just as you would to prospective sales leads.

Give employees a reason to stay. Go beyond the standard benefits package and incentivize employees with retention bonuses, flextime, and telecommuting options. Foster employee development through mentoring programs and promote from within whenever possible. Reward your top talent with performance-based raises and bonuses. Finally, don’t be afraid to prune the “deadwood”; high performers cite working with low performers as a reason for low job satisfaction.

By thinking like a salesperson, your company will target the best recruits and give these new hires a reason to stay loyal to your company.

How has your company battled against employee turnover? What sales-inspired techniques does your business use to improve employee recruitment and retention?

I welcome your comments below.


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