Celebrate your employees if you want them to stay

Celebrate Employee Appreciation Day with our 7 easy tips to attract and retain employees in a candidate led market

Celebrate your employees if you want them to stay


It is often forgotten that employees are one of the most important assets a company can possess. It is easy to underestimate all the things they do for their organisations, not just within the scope of their roles, but above and beyond to keep operations running smoothly. Your business could not operate without them, so show you care for Employee Appreciation Day on the 1st March.

Created to remind employees just how important they are to an organisation, Employee Appreciation Day is designed for bosses to thank their employees for their hard work and effort throughout the year. Really good people are very hard to find, especially in the current labour market, and that’s why using all available techniques to boost employee morale is more efficient than spending money on the constant training of new people.

It could just be a card on their desk or a display of appreciation in the form of an email. It could a token gift like a free ice cream. Whatever you do, make sure you remind these vital people within your organisation just how important they are. It’s sure to improve morale, and that improves performance as well.

However, Employee Appreciation Day is just one day. What are you going to do to attract and retain your talent during other times of the year? UK unemployment has remained at its lowest level since 1975 (bbc.co.uk) and staff turnover rates are creeping up – currently estimated to be at 14% (insider.co.uk). Recruiting great talent in a candidate led market and keeping hold of them is going to be a real battle. So what can you do about it?

We’ve listed out our top tips to attract and retain that lucrative talent, so apply your war paint and let’s go:

1. Get the process right - Recruitment is a two-way process, with your organisation in the shop window just as much as the candidate. To attract top talent, ensure that the recruitment lifecycle is slick from start to finish and make the most of technology.

Modern HR software solutions speed up the process and automate repetitive tasks. Recruits don’t expect to wait around for responses to applications and emails. Deliver personalised communication through a short process, that allows them to celebrate with you quickly, or move on if they are not the right match.

Remember that the smallest details can be the difference between a candidate accepting an offer or looking elsewhere. From the way your job ad is written to the interview itself, make sure your organisation shines at each stage of the process.

2. Get your digital house in order - you can be sure that most employees today will be digital-savvy, with millennials now the largest generational group in the workplace. In turn, you need to be sure that the digital experience you offer meets their expectations.

For example, 'pimp out your portal' and streamline your process; include engaging multi-media content about your company and real life examples of how the people working for you at the moment have had an experience that will be tough to match for the rest of their career! Your website and online application process is typically the first experience candidates will have of your business - make sure it's a good one!

3. Create a vibrant culture - What does your organisation stand for? Why do you do what you do? What values drive your success? These are the types of questions candidates now ask.

Having a strong business culture, wrapped around a clear set of values, helps ensure that all employees are brought in to your organisation’s direction – and that the right candidates will be eager to jump on board.

Make sure the values that underpin your organisation are available for all to see. Having a set of well-defined values will ensure that everyone at your organisation is reading from the same page, and can be used as guidelines for assessing candidates during the recruitment process.

4. Offer something different - These days, candidates expect more than just a decent salary. To attract and retain the best and brightest you’ll need to offer a generous benefits package that adds real value to their lives. More than just the standard offering of pension contributions and private health insurance, your offering should be designed to make your employees lives easier, healthier and more enjoyable.

For example, you could offer free mindfulness courses to help combat work-related stress, access to financial advisors to help your staff better manage their money, or provide flexible benefits that allow each individual to pick something that suits their needs. This, along with flexible working options, shows candidates that you care about their lives outside of work.

5. Recruit from within - With talent in higher demand than ever, it’s easy to miss the gems right under your nose. Searching your existing talent pool for upcoming talent has numerous benefits: it promotes employee engagement and loyalty, helps strengthen your organisation’s culture and values, and saves time and money compared with searching externally. Great HR software will help to identify employees that are ideal candidates for progression – making your job wayyy easier.

Don’t forget: being known as an employer that recruits from within will also act as a big selling point to candidates, who will know that their career development is in safe hands.

6. Put engagement at the heart of your strategy - Organisations are finally waking up to the fact that an engaged workforce is good news for everyone. To attract and retain the best candidates, make sure that employee engagement is at the heart of your HR and talent management strategy.

When making key business decisions, ask yourself the following question: will this decision improve employee engagement? If the answer is no, you risk losing your most valuable asset: your people. Ultimately, if your people are happy, your business will thrive.

7. Get creative - If you are looking to find a certain type of talent, your attraction method must match and you can get really creative here. If your talent pipeline needs creative types, use an off-the-wall campaign to really grab their attention and communicate to them in a way that resonates. Don't forget that 'scouting' can be a great way of finding talent that has the edge you are looking for.

So that’s our 7 methods to ensure you come out on top in the war for talent. It can all be made easier with the right HR platform to support your employee lifecycle – from onboarding to offboarding (and everything in-between).

HR Solutions to help you attract and retain your greatest asset

In a candidate led market, it's more important than ever to support your workforce to keep them happy and productive and remove any barriers which would prevent great new talent wanting to join your organisation. Great HR software has been built to help you tackle these challenges and make the process easier than ever for you. Check out how iTrent could be the tool to support your organisation. 

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