In case you haven’t heard…there’s a huge talent shortage out there.

As a result, more time and effort than ever is dedicated to recruiting new talent, a practice that is increasing overall costs and putting a strain on HR’s capabilities.

Instead of speaking about active recruiting, I thought it wise to remind everyone about the fairly-obvious-yet-occasionally-forgotten fact. If you employees are happy – they tend to stick around. If employees stick around, recruiting costs go down. If teams love coming to work – productivity goes up. Your current employee base is everything, and should never, ever be taken for granted. They are your most valuable resources.

And here’s why:

  • Your best referrals come from within. If employees are happy with their jobs and their teams, they will tell others. Their authentic testimonials to others are far more powerful than any marketing campaign.
  • People seek intrinsic rewards at work. Time and time again we learn that money isn’t everything – employees who love their jobs are more likely to stay, work hard and share their positive work ethic with others. To most, it’s not about titles, perks, or even salary (to an extent) – it is about that feeling at the end of the day that you’ve made a difference. You can have your cake and eat it too if you play your cards right – engaged employees, low turnover, high productivity and a reduction in recruiting costs. If you master the art of employee satisfaction.
  • Turnover creates chaos and uncertainty, which, in turn, breed more chaos and uncertainty. In many ways humans are simple creatures who enjoy consistency, stability and a clear view of the road ahead.

The key takeaway here? Employers should do everything possible to retain, foster train and support their current employees. Bringing in fresh new talent is always a good way to jumpstart a department, but never let your current team sit idle; the top talent will soon be gone and you’ll be left with an unorganized home base that ironically will not be useful for attracting top talent. The best and brightest gravitate towards others who excel in their field, if they don’t get the feeling your organization provides a world class work environment, they will find one that will.

Be sure that you never lose sight of your existing talent – they truly are the resource that keeps on giving. Focus more of your efforts on employee retention and stop hunting for the purple squirrels out there – the talent that you may never find – and you’ll end up with a stronger base in which to build future teams. It works every time.