To understand the connection between recruitment and retention, we need to define both phenomena. Recruitment is a process of finding employees that are suitable for hiring by an organization. Recruiting includes one or more verification procedures aimed at determining the candidates’ suitability and the means of persuading them to join the organization’s staff. These means may include attractive compensation packages, incentives, and, to some degree, a number of intangible benefits offered to the potential employee. Retention, on the other hand, is the process of persuading the existing employees to remain within the organization and thus prevent the loss of valuable members of the team. In other words, both processes pursue the goal of creating the staff, which would generate the most value by its actions, although the recruitment is meant to replenish the existing gaps in the workforce while retention aims at avoiding such gaps. Another connection can be established by examining the approaches which are utilized by both processes. The primary means of employee retention is the creation of a workplace environment with characteristics that would be highly valued by its members and, therefore, attractive enough to discourage leave. These features are commonly associated with monetary compensation but may also include compensation practices, flexible working conditions, and a range of services and additional features such as company-provided transportation, health insurance, and educational opportunities. Recruitment makes use of mostly the same approaches, with the exception of those not apparent for an external observer.
This connection gives us an important detail, which can help in determining the priority of one practice over the other. There is no consensus on which of the processes is more important for companies. On the one hand, recruitment becomes more complex (and, by extension, expensive) as the development of global-scale operations gains momentum. It becomes extremely difficult and time-consuming to find employees that would fit the desired criteria of aligning with company culture, sharing its vision, and working towards the achievement of its mission. In addition, training of newly recruited staff is always more expensive than maintaining the necessary level of proficiency in existing members, not to mention the loss in performance associated with employee turnover. Therefore, it would be logical to conclude that retention needs to be prioritized in HR management. However, maintaining employee satisfaction is an equally elaborate (and expensive) task. The studies show that ensuring appropriate monetary compensation is only one of the elements responsible for employee loyalty and motivation, with others being less easily attainable and resource-demanding (De Vos & Meganck, 2008).
Since the involved expenses are complex and diverse, there is no way to conclusively determine the preferred allocation of priorities. However, the established connections suggest that a large share of required activities is essentially the same for both outcomes. Most notably, both require the presence of incentives in some form and benefit from existing positive workplace culture (De Vos & Meganck, 2008). Next, both require training in largely the same areas, although newly recruited employees may need lengthier programs. Finally, both depend on communication with company management to ensure the necessary adjustments in the workplace, although, admittedly, potential employees forgo the process and witness only the end result. On the other hand, recruitment operates in the largely unexplored field, which adds tremendously to the associated expenses and decreases the chances of success. Therefore, it would be more meaningful from a purely economic standpoint to have a focus on retention and use recruitment to make up for its shortcomings and gaps that could not be avoided. It is worth noting that such an approach may not fit all businesses equally. For example, businesses that do not require highly skilled workers do not incorporate costly training for newcomers and thus are not impacted by the prevalence of recruitment.
Aside from the training, improvement of the culture, and fair compensation discussed above, three strategies can be recommended to improve the retention rate. First, it is necessary to ensure that employees feel valued in the organization. Importantly, this strategy goes beyond incentivizing the performance and includes allocating and sharing responsibilities as well as establishing a constructive dialog with workers. Such a move ensures that employees can actively participate in the process and observe the results of their contribution, which adds to the perceived worth of their actions (Chen, Lin, Lu, & Tsao, 2007). Second, the organization needs to provide mentoring and coaching opportunities for its staff.
This strategy is expected to decrease stress in the workplace, which is among the leading causes of the decline in performance, provide the necessary guidance, and strengthen the bonds with the organization. Third, and most important, is the establishment of communication channels. The possibility to obtain feedback from employees will ensure that emerging issues can be timely detected and addressed. There is a tendency among organization management to misattribute the turnover solely to the financial domain, while the studies suggest that salary is not even among the leading causes (De Vos & Meganck, 2008). In addition, proper communication can add to loyalty by showing the employees that their opinions are heard, adding to the perception of value in the organization.
After researching the non-traditional strategies used by different companies, I can suggest two broad categories for enhancing employee productivity. The first category includes various modifications to the workplace environment. In addition to the introduction of sleep and diet behavior management discussed in the assignment, it is recommended to introduce active exercise and fitness practices into the managerial programs. Physical activity is known to improve mood, relieve stress, alleviate depression, and have an overall positive effect on mental health. These benefits align well with the current demand generated by a highly stressful working environment and are expected to minimize setbacks in productivity created by anxiety and emotional exhaustion. In addition, it is worth acknowledging the value of physical exercise for the organizational and disciplinary traits of individuals. Engaging in sports boosts the capacity for self-management and generally caters to the image of being in control of one’s life, thus further increasing accountability and responsibility exhibited by a worker.
Finally, it allows for a quick change in physical activity, which is beneficial for employees specializing primarily in mental tasks. Lastly, a sound exercise program can contribute to the physical health of employees in sedentary jobs, serving a viable part of a health and safety policy. Another opportunity to modify workplace conditions in a non-traditional way is to create a result-only work environment. Such a strategy either minimizes or dismisses the concept of a rigid working schedule and measures the productivity of its employees by the results (Ressler & Thompson, 2013). This can be achieved by giving the staff partial or full autonomy and evaluating the results rather than their presence in the office. Such a strategy is expected to give greater flexibility to the employees, which, in turn, will allow them to realize their potential by adjusting the process for individual needs. It can also promote creativity and, on some occasions, boosts hiring practices (being an attractive opportunity for people who find it difficult to cope with standard schedules). Finally, it has a positive effect on employee commitment – allocating a part of the process to a team serves an indication of trust and boosts responsibility (Ressler & Thompson, 2013). It is also worth mentioning that the result-only working environment aligns well with the concept of a healthy workplace since it does not disrupt the preferred sleeping patterns and provides better opportunities for healthy dietary habits. Effective time management also allows an opportunity to engage in physical exercise – either in a company-provided space or independently, by attending a gym, further improving the mental and physical health of the staff.
The second category includes reward modifications to encourage workers in a non-traditional way. For instance, it is recommended to incorporate peer-to-peer award system, where employees can be rewarded by their peers instead of their vertical management. Such a system will strengthen the ties within the team and minimize the possibility of individual achievement passing unnoticed (Zappos Insights, 2012). By extension, it can also serve as an additional indication used by management to spot value-adding processes and gain insight into the workplace climate. Another non-traditional strategy is the recognition of the value of negative experience. This can be realized by organizing a celebration after the failure of a project or a significant loss by the company, thereby suggesting the value of the lesson learned (Bloomberg, 2006). Such a strategy will reframe drawbacks as undesirable yet value-adding events. In addition, it will decrease the stress experienced by the staff and improve its resilience. The combined effect of the described strategies will create a generally healthier working environment and increase the productivity and efficiency level of the company.
Bloomberg. (2006). How failure breeds success. Web.
Chen, S. J., Lin, P. F., Lu, C. M., & Tsao, C. W. (2007). The moderation effect of HR strength on the relationship between employee commitment and job performance. Social Behavior and Personality: an international journal, 35(8), 1121-1138.
De Vos, A., & Meganck, A. (2008). What HR managers do versus what employees value: Exploring both parties’ views on retention management from a psychological contract perspective. Personnel Review, 38(1), 45-60.
Ressler, C., & Thompson, J. (2013). Why work sucks and how to fix it: The results-only revolution. New York, NY: Penguin.
Zappos Insights. (2012). Four peer-to-peer ways Zappos employees reward each other. Web.