Feature Story

Employing Creative Ways to Enhance Recruitment and Retention

By TMCnet Special Guest
Steve Brubaker, Chief of Staff InfoCision Management Corp.
  |  July 02, 2012

This article originally appeared in the June 2012 issue of Customer Interaction Solutions

In the call center industry – or any industry really – recruiting and retaining top talent is critical to success. People are the heart of our business, so attracting the right candidates can make all the difference. Holding on to top performers is equally important, enabling a company to avoid knowledge loss and attrition costs that can hinder growth.

So how do you bring the best candidates your way? And how do you keep top talent on board? To enhance your efforts on both fronts, you need to implement what I like to call a Continuum for Recruiting and Retention. This continuum focuses on four ongoing and overlapping goals:

Raise awareness to become an “employer of choice”

Think of a company where everyone wants to work – a company like Google (News - Alert). How can your company achieve the Google allure? Well, it starts with making a concentrated effort to be an “employer of choice”. An “employer of choice” is a place where people are lining up and kicking down the door for a position. You may already consider your company to be an “employer of choice”, but do your employees and potential employees?

To become an “employer of choice”, you have to raise awareness. You have to get your name out there and tell your company story. Don’t be afraid to toot your own horn. Let the community know about your unique work environment, and your employees and their notable achievements (at and outside work). Apply for awards recognizing great employers. When you win, let the media know; let potential employees know. Find ways to make your company stand out from the pack. Spotlight aspects of your company that are different or better: amenities, salary, opportunities for advancement, and the like.

Integrate effective human resources policies and procedures

On the human resources side, it all starts with best practices. Develop a diversity policy, and promote diversity in hiring. Encourage HR staff members to earn Society for Human Resource Management certification. Also, employ best practices for your industry and your region. Every region has its own pressing issues. Make sure you address them.

Be specific with your recruiting messages. Let potential employees know exactly what you are looking for. At InfoCision (News - Alert), we seek out communicators with age and experience. So, in our recruitment materials, we make it clear we’re looking for people who want careers and not just jobs. It’s also important to select the best channels (newspaper, television, Intranet, job fairs, social media) to reach your ideal candidate. Finally, don’t be afraid to turn people away if they are not a good fit for your company. Hiring a candidate simply to fill a seat will only hurt your organization in the long run.

Create an environment where employees can excel

“Employers of choice” provide employees opportunities to learn, grow and develop. You have to give employees the tools to succeed. That means job training and company training. Teach them your values and mission. Let them know your goals and business. Offer training to: help employees excel in their current roles; move into new roles; learn best practices and adapt to new technologies. These opportunities help you better single out individuals looking to advance.

Another aspect of creating an environment where employees can excel involves making life easier for your employees. A key question to ask: Can we offer that on site? At InfoCision, we offer amenities like on-site fitness centers, doctors’ offices, child care facilities, and food service. These conveniences eliminate many everyday stresses for our employees (running to the doctor, finding time for the gym), helping them to be more focused and productive at work. Employees value these benefits, and they are a draw to job candidates.

Engage employees – help them achieve self-actualizing goals

There is a very easy way to find out what your employees want and need: ask them. With surveys, you can discover whether employees are happy with their benefits, training, work environment, etc. And, if they are unhappy, you can ask them how you can make improvements. You also can solicit feedback through open forums with senior management, suggestion boxes, performance and peer reviews, and even awards.

Providing employees fresh, consistent incentives to achieve goals is another great way to increase productivity, create value and improve retention. Use performance contests to inspire and motivate employees to work harder and be more proactive. Challenges and incentives keep employees engaged in their roles, and offer clear, attainable goals. They also help keep work fun, and spirits and energy high. Ultimately, a great work environment will be your field of dreams: If you build it, top talent will come – and stick around.

Steve Brubaker (News - Alert) is Chief of Staff at InfoCision Management Corp. Reach him at [email protected]. In business since 1982, InfoCision is the second-largest privately held teleservices company and a leading provider of direct marketing solutions for Fortune 100 companies, nonprofit organizations and small businesses. For more information, visit www.infocision.com.

Edited by Stefania Viscusi