Solving the Mystery of Employee Retention Has American Business Owners Tied Up in Knots

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Is your small business winning at employee retention? Despite an almost-continuous stream of expert studies on the topic of generating employee loyalty, more than half of all American small businesses report that they struggle with finding good candidates. Talent acquisition management and consulting firms can certainly assist business owners with the recruitment process, and more American business owners are contracting with executive HR search firms in a bid to improve their retention figures.

What lies at the heart of employee retention issues? Human resources consulting firms across the country already know that employees want to feel like their contributions matter; companies that encourage clear, open communication with their management teams consistently report higher levels of financial success and employee loyalty.

Outside recruitment and executive placement agencies typically maintain a strong focus on personality during the placement process. How will this candidate mesh with existing employees? While focusing on temperament and attempting to quantify synergy may seem like an unusual tack for recruiters to take, studies consistently demonstrate that candidates are more likely to stay at jobs where co-workers maintain a good rapport. Management candidates also report that they would like more opportunities for promotion and increased responsibility without having to work 60-hour weeks.

Recent studies also show that restructuring
consulting firms and other outplacement consulting firms are developing new strategies for employee placement and retention, due to the fact that younger workers — often referred to as “Millennials” — now outnumber both “Generation X” workers and “Baby Boomers” in the American business marketplace. In addition to higher demand for flexible work schedules, younger workers report that they are searching for companies that have a clearly defined internal brand.

External branding is widely-acknowledged as being essential for the success of any company, but the concept of internal branding is a relatively new one for many American business owners. Simply providing employees with free coffee, affordable health care, and lunch on Fridays is not enough anymore: younger employees often report that they prefer companies with comprehensive recycling programs, a clear commitment to improving the local community, and a strong track record of volunteerism and community service.

Employees are in continual pursuit of the perfect work-life balance, and are comfortable taking several weeks — or even months — to go through an HR executive search recruitment process. Business owners across America report that they would rather take a longer time to acquire new employees, the impetus being that they hope to improve their retention statistics. Conversely, when branding attempts fail and companies are forced to restructure, an outplacement consulting service can help place executives into new positions.

What does an outplacement consulting service or HR consulting firm know that American business owners do not? Why take the time to outsource HR recruiting? At a basic level, an outplacement consulting service is a company of experts. In-house HR employees can, of course, approve and direct the employee acquisition process, but external HR firms typically have access to a much more extensive database of potential candidates. A talent acquisition management service may be more familiar with employees’ potential strengths and weaknesses as employees, and recruiters have the time and resources to test candidates’ aptitudes more thoroughly in advance of any hiring decision.

Employees want to work for firms with great health care benefits and competitive pay, but younger American workers demand more from businesses of every size. Increasingly, work is seen not just as a place to earn money but as a reflection of employees’ values and personalities. While American workers report record-high levels of dissatisfaction, they also report that they want advancement opportunities, fast tracked opportunities for advancement, and recognition for their accomplishments outside of work. Finding a talented HR executive search firm or outplacement consulting service can aid small business owners in their branding and retention efforts, but solving the mystery of employee retention could potentially occupy American business owners for years or decades to come.

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