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Updated: September 18, 2023 10 Things

10 Things I Know About ... Post-2020 employee recruitment & retention

Competing for top talent in this post-2020 world with the Great Resignation and quiet quitting is challenging, especially for small businesses like mine. Yet, our 10-person agency had a 100% retention rate the first two COVID years, and we’ve hired two full-timers in the last year. (For one position, I had 400+ applicants.) How has Vision kept our people happy and recruited new teammates?

A photo of Julia Becker Collins
Photo | Courtesy of Julia Becker Collins
Julia Becker Collins is the COO of Vision Advertising, a full-service marketing agency based in Northborough.

10) Money isn’t everything. I’ve had candidates take a pay cut to work here. Though their former jobs were paying more, it was making them miserable.

9) Time off is essential. You can always get money back, but you can never get time back. The days of offering only two weeks vacation are over.

8) So is flexibility. Expecting someone to be glued to their desk eight hours per day, five days per week is unrealistic. Dentist appointments and school pick-ups can and will happen during working hours.

7) No one likes traffic, high gas prices, unreliable public transit, or commuting in snow. Remote work affords employees a better quality of life. Plus, top talent can be found anywhere. What if physical distance is the only thing separating you from the perfect candidate?

6) Finding the right fit is a high priority for job seekers. A big ideas self-starter doesn’t want to spend 40 hours per week reporting to a because-that’s-how-we’ve-always-done-it micromanager.

5) People don’t leave bad jobs; they leave bad bosses. The job of a leader is to support their staff. Be reliable, available, understanding.

4) Transparency builds trust. Candidates don’t want you to waste their time. Employees don’t want to be left in the dark.

3) Proactivity = key for retention. If an employee gives their notice and the supervisor is shocked, there’s a disconnect. Had this supervisor not neglected to be present, check in regularly, and ask for input, they could’ve seen this coming.

2) Stagnancy hinders. Employees want to know their job has room for growth: learning new skills, taking on responsibilities, or otherwise advancing their career.

1) Happy employees are good for business. Your people are your business’ greatest asset. Happy employees = happy clients.

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