Retention is Your Best Recruitment Strategy

Three Interstates team member pointing to a whiteboard.

Danielle Crough | July 1, 2024

In today's dynamic labor market, characterized by its shallow talent pool and high turnover rates, the significance of retention cannot be overstated. As organizations continue to grapple with the challenges of attracting and retaining workers, it's essential to recognize the pivotal role that retention plays in shaping recruitment outcomes.

The statistics speak volumes: according to the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS), a staggering 4.5 million Americans leave their jobs each month, with each resignation costing companies an average of $11,372. Turnover rates have surged by about 20%, exacerbating the already acute talent shortage across various industries. Associated Builders and Contractors estimates that half a million new construction workers are needed in 2024 to balance supply and demand. There is a clear urgency for organizations to prioritize retention efforts as part of their recruitment strategy.

At Interstates, we understand the inherent value of retaining quality team members. Despite facing over 100 open positions, our commitment to retention sets us apart. With numerous colleagues celebrating decades of service, including my own eight-year tenure, we've witnessed firsthand the benefits of prioritizing retention in fostering a resilient, dedicated workforce.

Invest in the Talent You Have

It's crucial to shift our focus from the traditional recruitment-centric approach to one that prioritizes retention as the linchpin of our recruitment strategy. Are you going to focus on replacing the 20% of employees who leave, or will you invest in the 80% who could choose to stay? By investing in the well-being and professional development of our existing employees, we not only enhance their job satisfaction but also bolster our attractiveness as an employer of choice.

Central to effective retention strategies is ongoing dialogue and support for employees' career aspirations. We do this at Interstates by pairing each employee with a Career Coach who walks alongside them and helps them craft their employment journey, whether this means moving up and taking leadership in their current role or exploring other parts of the company entirely. Our Career Coaches program provides our team members with personalized guidance and support, reinforcing our commitment to their long-term success.

Flexibility Shows You Care

Flexibility is truly a cornerstone of effective retention strategies. What is your gut reaction to allowing employees to change their schedules and commitments during harvest? While fully remote work may not always be feasible, offering alternative forms of flexibility, such as customized schedules or accommodating personal commitments, can significantly contribute to employee satisfaction and loyalty. By fostering a culture where employees feel valued and empowered as individuals and humans with differing needs, we can create an environment conducive to long-term retention and engagement.

As we navigate the evolving landscape of talent management, adopting an offensive (not just defensive) stance toward retention is essential. Embracing new work rules that prioritize employee well-being and development over outdated norms is critical to fostering a culture of inclusivity and belonging. I believe our reputation for investing in our workforce underscores the efficacy of retention-centric approaches. By prioritizing employee well-being and professional growth, we position ourselves as employers of choice, attracting top talent and minimizing recruitment costs.

Ultimately, retention is not just a strategy; it's a commitment to cultivating a workforce that thrives. By fostering a culture of flexibility, growth, and individual support, we can not only retain our top talent but also enhance our appeal as employers of choice in an increasingly competitive market landscape. As we continue to navigate the challenges and opportunities of talent management, let us reaffirm our commitment to retention as the cornerstone of recruitment.