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Job recruiter offers tips for investing in and keeping mid-Michigan company’s top talent

SAGINAW, MI — At a time when businesses across all industries are struggling to hire and retain staff, a job recruiter who works with small to mid-size companies in Michigan says employers should invest in new hires now to protect their reputation and increase their chances of attracting top talent later.

“Ultimately, companies need to invest today for the word of mouth of tomorrow,” said Tricia Rutherford, director of recruiting for Strategic Recruiting Services. “People want to work for good companies, and if your company has some bad press by previous employees, that can no longer be taken passively or defensively. It has to be approached proactively.”

Strategic Recruiting Services, an outsourced human resources/recruiting consulting firm based in Novi, works with small to mid-sized companies with 15 to 250 employees, from Detroit to Bay City. But Rutherford said employers of any size could benefit from investing in their employees and offered the following practical tips:

  • Learn what their career goals are.
  • Create strategies and benchmarks for proven advancement.
  • Develop a workplace mentorship program.
  • Create a people-centric workplace community.
  • Identify a creative staff member who can plan optional opportunities to help build community, such as a volleyball team, softball team, movie night, after-hours networking or roller skating.
  • Adopt a nonprofit, volunteer as a team regularly, and offer paid volunteer hours. For example, up to eight hours of volunteer time per month or 40 hours per year.
  • Make an employee’s birthday one of their paid holidays.
  • Remember special events, and send meaningful thank you and congratulations cards to mark them.
  • Reward their teamwork and individual work in interesting and unique ways.
  • Conduct “stay interviews” to learn why employees are staying and gain their continued commitment.
  • Offer 30-, 60- and 90-day reviews that focus more on a new employee’s experience than their accomplishments.

And, when it comes to things job candidates are looking for, employers should think beyond salary, Rutherford said.

“A lot of times, it’s the actual connection between the employer and the employee, making them feel valued, connected, valuing a personal life,” she said. “I’m just hearing a lot of people who need to be valued.”

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