These twelve hiring, training, and retaining tips will help you recruit and keep the best

hiring training retaining tips

Everything about employment is changing. There’s been a considerable shift in how to attract, retain, and train valuable staff members. With the pandemic accelerating the trend toward digital nomadism and younger workers prioritizing flexibility, fit, and company culture, a whole new employer toolbox must be assembled.

Everything about employment is changing. There’s been a considerable shift in how to attract, retain, and train valuable staff members. With the pandemic accelerating the trend toward digital nomadism and younger workers prioritizing flexibility, fit, and company culture, a whole new employer toolbox must be assembled.

How to attract the best (and leave the rest)

Pay MORE—it is not an option

When hiring for a new position, do a thorough market analysis to ensure you are hiring at market rate or above. If you are a PIA member you can have access to their local wage survey. If you can’t hit that bar (or even if you can), be sure to offer other financial incentives to stay for the long term. Consider creating a 401(k) plan, stock options, or—for smaller companies—profit-sharing, a qualified retirement plan that allows employees to share in the company’s profits. Thoroughly educate your candidates on the value of these options and how to exercise them.

Customize employee benefits

Why offer subsidized childcare to people with no children? Why offer health care benefits to people who utilize their spouse’s insurance? Why offer a flexible schedule to someone who wants a solid shift? Instead, offer a creative selection of benefits to people who want or need them. Printers have valuable services. You might be able to trade printing services to local businesses for perks to offer your employees. Always be on the lookout, and create an array of choices for new employees to opt into.

Be transparent about starting pay and growth opportunities

State the starting salary in your job postings. Be clear about the position’s initial pay rate, how the employee can increase their earnings, and when. Be able to show your candidate the path forward in your organization. Remember: every worker is different. Some will want to go into management, some will prefer to be individual contributors, but all expect to make more money over time. Share with the candidate the future opportunities associated with the position they are taking, and move quickly through the hiring process. (We can help!)

Attract Zoomers with technology

The generation entering the workforce right now uses technology to complete most tasks and intuitively navigate new technologies.  The print and publishing industry has embraced technology to create more innovative products and sophisticated designs. You can appeal to younger hires by discussing your technology advances and asking for their help pushing the envelope. Let them know they can co-create the future of the company by leading on technology.

How to retain valuable employees

Onboard with purpose

According to a recent BambooHR survey, 31 percent of people left a job within the first six months, with 68 percent of those departing within three months. Onboarding is a process of building trust and creating mutual investment. Training and retention can be expensive, but investing during an employee’s first year can increase retention by 82% and productivity by 70%, according to research published by Glassdoor.

To try out new talent before making a full-time hire

Companies have been hiring employees first through staffing agencies for decades. But with today’s super-slim margins and current unpredictability in commercial printing, it’s never been more important to hire cautiously and commit slowly. Younger workers want to do a “vibe check” before committing to an employer. This is a great thing! You both want a long-term, beneficial, friction-free relationship. It also shows your team you are careful not to introduce anyone permanently that doesn’t fit the shop’s culture.

Keep up with your industry in pay and growth opportunities

Employees want to feel their time and skills are valued, and employers do that through pay and benefits. Be an expert on the standard pay range for the roles you are hiring, and be transparent about the salary from job posting to onboarding. If you’re offering less than you’d like to as a beginning rate, create a clear path to advancement—including upskilling—and stick to it. This is especially important with younger hires. In fact, 72% of millennials say they value opportunities for career advancement and the chance to learn new skills.

Update your PTO policies to reflect new priorities

As the pandemic recedes, employees still at their stations are indispensable. But they need time off to recharge their batteries without worrying about the shop. Generous PTO gives your employees more time to spend with family and on personally focused activities like travel and hobbies. Working with an employment agency that focuses on flex staffing can help you provide the benefits valued by employees.

How to train workers efficiently and effectively

Use a flexible crew to train on equipment first

Commercial printers are continuously improving processes and investing in new equipment and technology. But pivoting workers from their current positions can be a complicated process that slows the integration of new technology. Instead, plan to onboard a flex crew specifically hired to train on the latest equipment as soon it arrives in-house. This buys you time to train your current staff and shuffle in-house positions to the new machine.

Build in mentorship

Assign new hires a workplace mentor. This is their go-to person for questions, training, moral support, and a proper introduction to the company culture. Set up a simple series of milestones to hit as a team, but keep it flexible for organic learning and growth. Be sure to choose a mentor who is familiar with the new hire’s job and trusted by the company. You can compensate your mentors for their extra time and energy or create a role that includes these responsibilities. Do not create an additional burden for the mentor.

Create empowered workers

No one wants to be overworked, undertrained, and micro-managed. Employee empowerment doesn’t mean managers can “set it and forget it.” It means managers should participate in training and implement a regular schedule of productive one-to-ones. As a result, you will empower employees to manage their day-to-day challenges, knowing they have their supervisor’s undivided attention once a week for problem-solving, mentoring, and idea-sharing. Managers don’t need to have all the answers, but they need to track the issues. The employee then feels supported in problem-solving and can innovate on their own.

Hire on culture, train on skills

These days it’s more common to hire for fit and take responsibility for skills training in-house. Showing new people how to do things according to your standards takes some commitment on your part. Before you hire someone with fewer hard skills, have these things in place:

  • An air-tight description of the skills and responsibilities for each role.
  • A mentor to train, provide feedback, and chart the trainee’s progress.
  • A straightforward training process that outlines milestones and how to meet them.
  • A compensation package that rewards training in progress.
  • A deep bench. Trainees can come into your organization in a lower-skill role and follow a planned path to a higher-skill position.

There you have it: our best ideas for developing today’s workforce. Implement just one of these strategies every month, and in a year you will have a stronger, more attractive company fielding dozens of applicants for your open positions.

Hiring takes considerable investment from leaders—we know it can be tricky! It’s the core of our business as the specialty staffing partner to the print, packaging, and graphic communications industries. We offer flex, temp, and direct-hire staffing solutions. Register as a client today.