Four Strategies to Retain Employees

Employee retention strategies

Four Strategies for Retaining Employees

Competition is heating up in the job market. Finding and keeping key employees is becoming more challenging. There are several strategies for retaining employees in competitive times:

1)Bribe them: this strategy involves high pay and benefits to attract and retain employees.

a) Advantages: it is quick, it is effective (in the short term), it is simple to implement

b) Disadvantages: this strategy is easily copied by your competitors creating an escalating bidding war for talent; this is the most costly method of solving the problem; workers who are hired in this system tend to be mercenary they will stay with you only for the pay and are the least productive workers; it is only effective for the short term as workers quickly feel entitled to the new level of pay/benefits

2) Build an attractive employer brand: Foster a corporate culture that attracts people and keeps them there. Knowing what workers are looking for in a workplace and creating that environment can assist in attracting and keeping key talent.

Advantages: Once this is in place it works for you 24/7 with less input needed to keep it going- your reputation is the asset; workers will stay in these organizations with lower pay and benefit incentives making it inexpensive once it is established; very difficult for competitors to copy your culture so you retain advantage for some time.

Disadvantages: This takes a long and concerted effort to establish; initial costs can be high; companies with existing strong cultures may find it hard to change them; harder to implement in larger companies relative to small ones.


3)Hire for Fit: Find employees who are a good match for your company culture and hire people who fit that culture.

a) Advantages: Far easier to do than changing your corporate culture;least expensive of the strategies; Can be implemented very quickly; highly effective; long lasting effects; reduce payroll and benefit costs as people hired are less mercenary; reduces competition with other employers who copy your strategy as they are looking for employees to fit their culture not yours;

b)Disadvantages: Works fastest when a lot of hiring is happening, otherwise the effects take longer to become established; good tools are needed to make this type of match (we have those tools available);

4) Bind them to you with contracts : Use legal contracts that require new employees to work for minimum periods or be penalized for breaking the contract.

a) Advantages: Simple to implement; legal costs are up front; predictability of work force due to knowing when workers are eligible to leave.

b) Disadvantages: The contract works both ways so you may be obligated to employ workers longer than you want; mass exodus of workers at the end of contracts can create a contagious effect on other workers; work performance suffers because workers stay only because they have to and do the bare minimum.

Which strategy should I choose?

Many factors need to be considered before choosing a recruiting and retention strategy including the size of the problem, company size, frequency of hires, industry, availability of qualified applicants and so forth. Often more than one strategy is used simultaneously to improve the chances of success. Contact us at if you have any questions.

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