How to Keep Your Employees from a Headhunter Like Me | Best Executive Recruiters | Executive Search Firm

      How to Keep Your Employees from a Headhunter Like Me

      As a headhunter, I’m looking to find your most talented employees and get them into promotions and better-paying positions with my clients. I look for candidates with a solid work history and set of skills, and I seek to match them with the compensation and benefits that they deserve.

      If I don’t scare you, the great resignation should. Statistics show that approximately half of the working population within the United States quit their jobs during 2021 and went looking for new opportunities. Clearly, that’s a significant number, and companies need to identify the root cause of the upheaval to encourage employee retention.

      Here are a few strategies that I use when stealing talent away from their current employers.

      1.   Increase Their Compensation

      The number one cause of employees leaving their job is low salary. Every candidate that I recruit gets a raise. It’s the simple truth—give your talented employees a raise before I do.

      Employees may be persuaded to stay in their jobs if they are given a better living wage. That, combined with a preventative measure that includes payment of wages even if the pandemic decides to rear its ugly head again, may reduce the number of employees leaving.

      Workers in other industries are not immune to desiring a higher salary. As inflation rages, employees are feeling the pinch. Needing a higher wage to cover an increased cost of living makes sense—and those employees who are qualified enough to obtain one are likely to go.

      To mitigate this risk, employers should take stock of their employee’s qualifications and the value they add to the company, then adjust salaries to keep their employees invested in the business.

      2.   Offer a Better Work-Life Balance

      The COVID-19 pandemic has been devastating in many ways, but one thing it did shine a light on was how employees can continue to be productive —even when working from the comfort of their own homes.

      As many companies have reopened their office doors for all workers, many employees have come to miss the ability to work remotely. As a result, some workers have left companies that have returned to their old office ways. Instead, they’ve sought out new opportunities that offer a more flexible work-life balance, including the ability to work from home.

      These days, I place candidates who want to work from home with employers that allow it. Alternatively, if I find that a candidate would prefer to work from an office, I place them with an employer who has opened their office doors. If you want to keep your employees, give them a choice, and trust them with it!

      3.   Engage in Career Planning

      Most employees desire career advancement. As a headhunter, I ensure that candidates are offered professional progression, a promotion in title, and job responsibilities commensurate with the experience they gained while working for you.

      While not all employees strive to be at the very top of the organization, they may want to gain managerial or director roles. Employees who show an interest and desire to grow in their careers should be encouraged.

      Senior management should take notice of ambitious individuals and work with them on a career plan within the company. Those who actively pursue new skills or expand their education are to be commended. You don’t want to lose them to someone like me!

      Common ways of setting up a career plan for talented employees include:

      • One-on-one conversations to discuss their career goals
      •  Offering them new assignments that allow them to increase their skills
      •  Giving them the opportunity to learn about the business with a 2–5-year promotional career path or progression

      Employees should understand that growing within a company can take time, but developing new skills and embracing opportunities will allow them to be ready for a promotion when the time comes.

      4.   Have a Great Workplace Culture

      A happy environment can keep employees satisfied with their company. The company often defines the culture. 

      You’d be surprised by how hard it is to recruit even an under-compensated employee from a company with a great culture. If you don’t have the money to pay your employees well, then at least make sure you have a fantastic work culture!

      For example, some companies may prioritize a solid work-life balance, where everyone leaves at close-of-business. Others may value diversity and inclusion. Still others may provide their employees with significant perks. Common workplace culture perks include:

      • On-site gym or workout classes designed to improve employee wellness
      • A lunchroom that provides free snacks and a comfortable place to take a break
      • Regular company-sponsored lunches or dinners
      • A provision for home office expenses for remote workers
      • Ability to plan their own work schedule, provided that the tasks are completed by the deadline
      • Zoom meet and greet parties for those employees who work from home

      While these are just a few ways to encourage a positive workplace environment, other companies have gone further and established new benefits that their competitors don’t offer—a great way to keep their talent from leaving.

      A setting that inspires workers to be at their best is one that most employees will want to stay in. There should be regular get-togethers that encourage workplace camaraderie and positive interactions between management and staff.

      Another way to boost employee spirits is to allow workers to present their ideas for growing the business or improving processes. Everyone wants to feel valued for their contributions. Giving them the platform to do so can go a long way to ensuring your team remains committed to the company. And it will make my job harder.

      5.   Offer Golden Handcuffs

      Companies with great monetary benefits are difficult for employees to leave. Common types of benefits may include:

      • Large bonuses
      • Quarterly incentive payments
      • Stock or equity in the company
      • Other fringe benefits

      Bonuses are typically paid out based on a company’s performance, but there can be other types of bonus programs linked to employee achievement. It is nearly impossible for me to recruit someone with a 1-to-2-year incentive payout unless my client matches it.

      Corporations can offer their employees stock incentives for staying with the company. They may provide employees with stock options that vest over time or directly give them stock as part of their compensation package. 

      As the company grows, the value of their stock will as well, providing an additional motivation to stay with the business.

      As companies have witnessed employees leaving for new positions, many have begun to offer fringe benefits that would have been unheard of two years ago. Such fringe benefits can include paid paternity leave, student loan repayment, and fully paid health insurance plans.

      Final Takeaways

      Companies that have recognized the need to build a great company where people want to work don’t see their top talent led away by headhunters. Top talent leaves for competitors where they are appreciated and well-compensated. By adopting strategies designed to retain their employees, companies will be in a better position to ensure worker retention—and may see further benefits in the form of higher productivity and more engaged employees. 

      Bonus: you’ll keep them away from a headhunter like me!

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