The reasons that candidates join are NOT the reasons they stay.

06.18.2018 / Zachery Tweddell

Director, Marketing & Innovation

The reasons that candidates join are NOT the reasons they stay

Not too long ago, good pay and competitive benefits would be enough to both attract and retain the type of talent your company needs to be successful. That’s no longer true. As the economy continues to grow and unemployment rates shrink, we are seeing a natural shift in the balance of power from employer to employee. So, what does that mean when it comes to attraction and retention?

Well, for the most part, we’re still attracted by the same things. Good pay and the perception that we’re a good cultural fit for the role and organization.

What do we mean by cultural fit? Isn’t that impossible to convey through a job posting or career site? Not exactly. It stems from developing a true understanding of your audience. Take Millennials and Gen Z’ers for example. They want to know that you have ambition beyond profit and stand for something that aligns with their own values. Interestingly, millennial and Gen Z job hunters do not list diversity/inclusion as a top priority, but analysis shows that it will come in to play when we talk about retention.

While employees want to continue to be paid competitively, it does not remain THE deciding factor in why people will stay with your organization. In fact, over 1 in 4 high-performers say they wouldn’t stay in a job that made them unhappy for any amount of money. So why do people stay?

Studies show that the primary drivers of retention are professional development, inclusion, and flexibility. If we continue to look at millennials and Gen Z’ers, there is a common need to be offered the realistic prospect that by staying loyal they will, in the long run, be materially better off—and as individuals, develop faster and more fully than if they left. Technological developments across the majority of industries have made younger workers apprehensive of what’s to come, so they’re even more focused on their development as a professional.

When it comes to inclusion, 69% of people stay at a company recognized as diverse for more than five years compared to 27% at companies that are not. Now, based on our experience, it’s important to understand that diversity is no longer as narrowly focused as it was once perceived. Once seen as a combination of age, gender and ethnicity, diversity now branches into areas such as background, thinking, ideas and experiences. Don’t be afraid to communicate how inclusion plays into the daily culture at your company. You may reduce your lead count, but more of the right candidates will be engaged.

Finally, you must understand that your employees have responsibilities outside of work. Showing that you care and value their needs is imperative to long-term retention of high-performers. In fact, among those who intend to stay with their current employers for at least five years, 55 percent say there is now more flexibility in where and when they work compared to three years ago. Among those looking to leave within the next 24 months, the figure is only 35 percent.

So, our best advice on where to aim is…

Pay and culture attract candidates, but inclusion and flexibility retain them.

How does this look when implemented as part of your brand messaging? Click here to find out!