According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics data, there were 244,000 financial services job openings in May 2018. That’s a lot of jobs to fill, and each company may be vying for the best, but top talent are savvy — they know they have options.
As the CEO of a company offering a marketing operating system for financial organizations, I believe that traditional recruiting and retention tactics don’t always align with the way modern job seekers think. Many firms seem to fail to reel in and set top talent up for a long-term commitment to the organization — for example, they might ignore negative reviews on Glassdoor or make empty promises and display a lack of transparency.
According to a Deloitte article, 44% of millennials will be looking for a new job in two years, and a 2012 literature review by the Center for American Progress suggests that the cost of replacing an employee is about 20% of their yearly salary. If you want to grow, I recommend investing in these key areas to retain top talent.
Improve the employee life cycle.
In the world of sales and marketing, we spend countless hours talking about the customer journey: how best to lead prospective customers to a purchase decision, accompany them along that journey and build lasting relationships that lead to repeat business. Companies know the value of keeping new and existing customers engaged.
Employee retention is no different. This is a crucial step to take, according to one Deloitte article, as 83% of surveyed candidates who had a negative interview experience say it caused them to view the company or job negatively.
In my experience, companies that excel at attracting — and retaining — top talent run a marketing and sales process for recruiting and retention that accounts for each stage in the employee life cycle. In order to do that, take the time to map out your ideal employee experience across all stages of the employee life cycle. Once you understand where and how to connect with top producers you want to recruit and retain, I recommend using automation to make a candidate’s experience more high touch or develop nurture campaigns and other content for candidates who aren’t ready to apply.
But don’t stop once you convert a candidate into an employee.
Retention starts the moment your new hire walks through the door. Your on-boarding process sets the trajectory of the employee’s perception of your organization and can impact their relationship with your company and their performance. If you want to keep top performers, I believe you need to find new ways to motivate or challenge them. You can prioritize ample learning and development opportunities that will advance the careers of your brightest talent and incentivize them to stay with you.
Include your top producers in the conversation.
No matter how great your employee experience is, there is always room to do more to strengthen your brand, improve your process and find new ways to retain top producers.
I believe there’s a simple way to find out what’s working and what’s not.
Go directly to the source. Ask your top producers to share their experiences with your organization pre- and post-hire to ensure it aligns with the one you are trying to market. There’s an added benefit of engaging your best talent for feedback: It can make them feel valued. Just be sure you report back to them to address the steps you are taking and the progress you’re making.
Get personal and be authentic.
As consumers, we have come to expect personalized interactions with brands that reflect our individual behavior and personal preferences. And finance employees today are no different. I believe they crave the same consumer-grade experiences that, according to recent SalesForce data, they generally expect in business-to-consumer interactions. Therefore, personalization and authenticity should become the new normal.
Top producers likely want to understand the organization they’re part of. Additionally, finding a position in which their talents will be put to good use is important to employees, according to a 2012 Deloitte survey that found 72% of employees who plan to stay at their current job feel their talents are utilized well.
I believe strong employer brands know their efforts must span the entire employee life cycle. Developing your intranet or sending out an employee newsletter can be effective ways to engage employees as long as the content resonates with them. Opportunities for advancement, networking events, industry news, recent wins and work anniversaries are a few examples.
Well-trained employees, in my experience, are generally happier and more capable of representing your organization in a positive manner. For example, 2017 data from Glassdoor suggests that stagnation can lower employee retention; to remedy this, I believe implementing tools like learning management software and other training programs can improve employee retention as long as your courses include authentic content that helps your firm’s employees further their careers within your organization.
A structured coaching program can be equally important for employee retention. In fact, a 2016 study by Deloitte found that millennials planning to stay with their employer for five years or more were twice as likely to have a mentor or a coach than those who weren’t planning to stay. In addition to inspiring new employees, I believe coaching is vital for helping them feel supported in their new roles and providing a better understanding of what a successful career path looks like within the organization.
Finally, you can humanize your firm’s brand with video, leverage social media to make visual and textual commentaries and, as I mentioned above, welcome bilateral communication for continual improvement.
Retaining top talent in finance may require a shift in marketing and communication tactics. The more you understand the core skills and personality traits of your key players, the more specific — and authentic — your content can be. When it comes to showcasing the benefits of working at your firm, you’ve got lots of options. Whatever mediums you choose, make sure your content is up to date and specific.
Only hire the best.
You can get bodies in the door, but if they aren’t the right bodies, it can have a negative impact on growth. The secret to attracting top producers, in my experience, is to set yourself apart from other industry players. Once you understand your company identity, you can use it to inform each stage of the employee life cycle and create authentic relationships that will attract the industry’s top producers in droves.