Retention of Your Best Assets- Your Staff

Posted by Larry Brantley on January 14, 2010

You know that the time will come when the “employer market” will change back to a “candidate market”.

Well, my friends, that day is fast approaching!

For those of us who went through this cycle in the ‘90s (yes, I was there), it was a great time for qualified talent to make a change but not so good for companies who had invested thousands of dollars and years into cultivating the talent.  Firms were often in bidding wars over candidates and many times there would be 2-3 offers up for consideration.  Sign on bonuses, relocation packages and stock options were commonplace, not the rare exception.

There are some basic steps you can take as an employer to solidify your relationship with your employee so you don’t find yourself looking for help when you didn’t see it coming.

  • Make sure your employee knows where they stand in your business.  Tell them how you feel about them.  Show them they matter in their pay, benefits and involvement in the decisions of the business.
  • Be flexible with things like time off, work hours and virtual work when possible. Today’s workplace has changed dramatically and employees are juggling much more in their schedules and the employers who offer the most flexibility will grab more of the top talent.
  • Don’t try to play the bidding game with an employee who is already looking on the outside.  If they matter to you, counter quickly and decisively if necessary but be willing to let them go their own way.  If their decision to leave is all about more money, the desire to get more will continue to be there.
  • Promote your best people and give them a clear career path that is set in your firm.  People who have been patiently waiting through the Recession for those long ago promises will not be so patient moving forward.

As a candidate looking to make a change there are also key factors for you to keep in consideration:

  • Have your resume always up-to-date and references available.  Some jobs will appear out of the blue and you don’t want to keep a potential employer waiting.
  • Keep your social networks open and always looking for new potential matches.  Remember, other people will have the same idea as you.
  • Don’t just “kick the tires” to see what is out there.  While as a candidate you might have the upper hand, you can burn bridges and get a bad reputation with recruiters and clients that will spread like wildfire.

The bottom line is that things are improving and the market will be much more competitive for the top talent and keeping the people you already have in place.

Now is a good time to do some “soul searching” and make sure you haven’t capitalized too much on the current market and irreparably strained the staff relationships that your business needs to continue to be successful.

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