Recession-Proof Your Retention Rates

During a recession, your business can quickly start to hemorrhage capital. But when you start to lose your best employees, things can quickly become a whole lot worse.

Retention rates have never been more important to your business and its bottom line. But how do you keep them trending up during an economic downturn?

Start by understanding the science. During a recession, more jobs are eliminated, which means that the talent pool is larger than ever. It becomes mission critical to appeal to the best potential employees and to weed out the ones who aren’t the best fit.

If you’re in your line of business for the long haul, you want to attract workers who feel the same. Let’s take a look at some questions that can help you hold on to your staff, even when a recession hits.

Did they come from a reputable source?

When you’re making a decision to trust someone with operating your business, you want to know if that trust is well-founded.

Start by examining how the applicant discovered and applied for your team. Did they come through an employment agency that already vetted them? Did they get a referral from a current employee? Or did they just walk into your building and hand over a resume?

Understanding how they connected with you is one of the most informative and reassuring ways to get a handle on a potential recruit.

Does their mission match your mission?

A huge component of retention is engagement. When an employee feels passionate and involved in what they do every day, they’ll keep on coming back.

When recruiting, suss out the person’s personal goals and values. Then consider if they align with your company mission. If they do, you can safely assume they’ll be motivated not only to work harder, but to stick around longer too.

Are they a good addition to your company culture?

There’s lots of discussion nowadays about company culture, especially when it comes to attracting the right talent.

But it’s important to note that company culture isn’t a strict regime of a uniform corporate persona. It’s a collage of different personalities and mindsets that contribute to a greater whole.

When you are looking to hire a long term employee, consider whether they will be a good culture add for your team, and if they will feel comfortably connected with the others in your employ.

Are they resilient to feedback?

During the interview process, it’s important that you give potential new hires a taste of what working with you is really like. This helps avoid surprises down the road, and boosts employee satisfaction overall.

One way you can do this is by providing feedback during an interview which mirrors the type of feedback they would receive on a regular basis at work. Ask yourself how they handle it and whether there would be resistance with your management style.

Are your salary rates competitive?

When’s the last time you scaled your salary rates against the industry standards?

While offering substantial pay will surely attract a lot of recruits, it will most importantly attract the top talent to your job postings.

You want employees who know they’re worth it, because they take their job more seriously, and are committed to a long career of success.

Are you asking the right questions?

During your interview, you need to get a handle on key elements that make up the mind of a long term worker. These include: Passion, Emotional Intelligence, and Strategic Outlook.

Passion keeps people motivated and engaged with their tasks. It comes from a big picture perspective on what they want to achieve, and being in touch with what makes them happy. The most effective question to ask about passion is:

What was your favorite job and why?

Emotional Intelligence (EQ) is a combination of self-awareness and attentiveness to others. Having a high EQ is important for working with others and maintaining strong, lasting relationships with clients and coworkers alike. The most effective question to ask about EQ is:

When you picture your best qualities, what are they and when did you live them in the workplace?

Strategic Outlook is a mix of analytical thinking, organization, and time management skills. It can also include quick thinking and prioritizing, as well as leadership skills like delegation. The most effective question to ask about Strategic Outlook is:

Tell me about a successful project you worked on.

While we may not be able to recession-proof the economy, asking yourself these questions will help you recession-proof your retention rates so your business can not only survive, but thrive in a recession!