Top 3 Hiring and Retention Strategies to Implement in 2021

2020 was a year of change, transition, and uncertainty that affected virtually every company and its workforce profoundly. As you consider how you’ll actualize your 2021 goals and strategies, hiring and employee retention should be at the top of your list. More and more companies will begin to lift hiring freezes this year, and employee satisfaction and engagement will be a critical factor as the labor market opens up. Leaders must not only remain focused on making strategic hires that fit the company culture, they must dedicate resources to retaining current employees.

According to XPertHR’s recent Survey of HR Challenges for 2021, HR professionals ranked hiring and recruiting as the most challenging concern for 2021. But if there’s one thing 2020 has taught us, it’s that there’s no challenge we can’t handle! With that in mind, here are three strategies we recommend to take your hiring and retention success to the next level in 2021.


1. Use Data Analytics for Managing the Employee Life Cycle

Just about everything your employees do becomes a data point and that data has great value in identifying key trends. By applying analytics, employers gain actionable insights about employees that enable more informed human capital and strategic decisions. While this is not a new concept, there is more and richer data available than ever before, offering great potential for better human capital decisions based on analytics. With a plethora of new HR technology available and the ability to capture data on performance and success, you should be mining this data to hire and manage employees better.


A great example application for data analytics is comparing the competencies that correlate to success in a given role to the competencies of candidates applying for that role. For example, let’s say you were hiring for a sales role. One of the competencies that correlate to success in this role is resiliency: the ability to handle rejection or criticism. When evaluating candidates you would want to look for this competency to ensure selection of interview candidates with natural strengths, resiliency in this case, to be successful in the role. There are many pre-employment assessment tools that will give you these data points about your candidates, allowing you to more accurately assess candidates and make more informed decisions during your hiring and selection process.


Other ways analytics can help you manage employees include:

  • Identifying where to find your best candidates

  • Understanding which competencies directly tie to key performance indicators (KPI)

  • Identifying areas for training and development


2. Renewed Focus on Leadership Development Coaching


To stay abreast of the changing nature of work and leadership, and leverage improved technologies for communicating with and leading virtual teams, leaders need a renewed focus on leadership development coaching. 2020 forced many managers to adjust how they communicate, what they communicate and the frequency of communication. In the newly virtualized workplace, many are trying to figure out how to hold their people accountable, manage outcomes, bring energy to their team, and keep people engaged.


This is a lot to handle for even the most seasoned leader. Now is the time to invest in leadership development coaching to help your managers navigate these changes. Those who can quickly adjust and pivot will be the most successful at leading their teams.


Some of the most common concerns we’ve heard from managers about why they need leadership coaching is:

  • “I need to be a better communicator.”

  • “I need to focus more on the company’s vision.”

  • “I need to learn how to delegate and get out of the weeds.”

The last eight months have amplified the need for leaders to respond to the unexpected and unplanned. It’s much harder to navigate the unplanned than it is to execute to plan. Companies that have navigated well have leaders who were already thinking about strategy and improving communication. They were already on the right path to successfully field the curve balls thrown their way.


3. Implementing Employee Communication Technology

The final strategy to implement this year is focusing on HR technology that assists with communicating to employees and that helps employees to effectively communicate with coworkers, direct reports, and direct managers.


A year ago, the majority of employees worked in an office facility. Today there is a mixture of in-office and virtual working environments, with some companies favoring one or the other and some companies using a mixture of both.

With more and more companies going completely virtual or having a mix of some people in the office and some remote, it’s imperative you have technology in place to quickly communicate with your employees and facilitate their communication with each other and with you. Gone are the days of walking down the hall and saying, “got a minute?”


Some examples of these platforms are:

Not only will a well-chosen virtualized communication technology platform allow you to improve communication, it will also ensure your messaging is consistent across the board. As a bonus, efficient communication is definitively correlated to positive employee engagement, so your virtual office platform will make communication easier on you while positively affecting your employees’ experience. It’s a win win!


At ZERORISK HR we help companies solve hiring and retention challenges every day. We offer a variety of hiring and retention tools along with leadership development programs to help your company hire, develop and retain the best talent. Contact us today and let us help you solve your toughest hiring challenges.