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4 things Talent Acquisition departments can do to help retain talent long-term

By Paul Sandusky, Vice President of Talent Acquisition, Ceridian

I have been in Talent Acquisition for nearly two years now but have spent most of my twenty year career in enterprise software in operations running implementation, support, and development teams.  So I know a thing or two about the importance of employee retention and now more than ever I understand Talent Acquisition’s role in helping companies keep their people long term.  

I bumped into an old colleague in the airport earlier this month and we started talking about his current employer.  He told me he loves his job and it would take an over-the-top opportunity to even give him pause to think about leaving.  That type of loyalty didn’t happen by accident.

Retention is not the People department’s job.  It’s not the manager’s job.   It’s everyone’s job.  I don’t think Talent Acquisition’s role in retention is talked about enough.  The job is seen as acquiring talent – after all that’s what the department name says – when it should be seen as securing talent.   Secure means “fastened so as to not give away”.   I like that.   My job is to “fasten” people to Ceridian.  There is a lot we can do as recruiters to support our company’s employee retention objectives.   Let’s talk about 4 of them.

First, create a culture in Talent Acquisition that finding people that will stay long term is a top priority.  Remember, you get what you measure when it comes to performance.  It used to be that recruiters were held accountable to metrics like time-to-fill.  Then companies realized we also needed to be accountable for hiring quality so involuntary turnover and other such indicators were added.  What we need to add universally (and something I look at monthly and care deeply about at Ceridian) is a metric for Talent Acquisition related to employee retention.  Make it crystal clear to the team that they’re measured on employee retention.

Second, make hiring for culture and values an integral part of the recruiting process not an afterthought.  At Ceridian we all have a deep sense of connection to our core values and everyone in the recruiting process inherently look for prospective employees who embody them.   But we don’t rely on that.  We crafted a series of questions that explore the prospect’s alignment with each of our five core values and we make it a conscious part of the decision making process.   We don’t compromise.  The world’s best software developer won’t last two years, let alone twenty, if they don’t share your corporate values.

Third, because we’re on the front-lines, recruiters know exactly what prospective employees are looking for in a company that they can stay with long-term.  We know the current trends in comp, benefits, office perks, training programs and pretty much every driver of employee engagement which ultimately drive employee retention.  So it is critical to share with the business in real-time what we learn about employee engagement in the field.  Schedule a recurring meeting where Talent Acquisition shares current trends with the People department and the business units and gets progress updates on topics discussed previously.  This creates transparency and accountability.

Finally, involve as many people in the recruiting process as possible to give prospective employees a real sense of the company culture.  Make the interview process as much about them being certain of you as the reverse.  Aside from the folks doing the formal interviews, have prospects meet people casually in the lunch room, at the foosball table, in meeting rooms, at company events, anything to give them as many glimpses into the company culture as possible so they make the right decision as well.

Clearly there is a long list of things that we can do in Talent Acquisition to hire long-term employees but start with these four and I promise you that before long you’ll see a difference.  Good luck to each of you in securing talent to your organization!

Paul SanduskyAs Ceridian’s Vice President of Talent Acquisition, Paul is responsible for leading a team that finds and keeps super stars for all North American business units.  Prior to joining Ceridian, Paul was Senior Vice President of Operations for Dayforce (acquired by Ceridian in 2012) and was responsible for Implementation, Support, and HR.  Before co-founding Dayforce in 2009 Paul held leadership positions at a number of enterprise software companies and System Integrators including 5 years with Arthur Andersen Business Consulting.  Paul has an Economics degree from the University of Guelph.

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