How can combined recruitment and retention strategies slay skills shortages?

Finding amazing candidates in 2022 can feel like finding fur on a rattlesnake. So, it’s understandable if you’re not talking about recruitment and retention strategies in the same sentence. The colossal onus is on getting vacancies filled in any which way you can. Why would you be fretting about retaining staff you haven’t even found yet?

Here’s why… Right now, many key areas of concern around recruitment have arisen circumstantially as a direct result of the unusual past couple of years. But the thing is, you’re not going to solve post-pandemic problems with pre-pandemic solutions.

In terms of your recruitment processes, you’re likely widening your net to overcome skills shortages. In addition, you might be using values-based recruitment as a substitute for skills-based criterion. Both of these methods offer sure advantages.

But, by looking at your recruitment and retention strategies as a whole, rather than two separate elements, that’s where the magic can happen. In fact, bespoke targeted L&D (learning and development) – a core factor for retention – can not only ease, but also inform your recruitment process. And help ensure your hiring smarter, which is critical in times of economic uncertainty.

In short, recruitment and retention go hand in hand. They’re more interconnected than you think. And there’s much to be gained by re-framing how you think about them and deploy them to find and keep the best talent.  

Let’s skim beneath the surface…

Why Should Potent Recruitment and Retention Strategies Have L&D Front and Centre?

Francesca di Meglio told the HR Exchange Network, “Employers continue to face tremendous challenges, including the continuing pandemic and a historic labor shortage. Recognizing the value in offering upskilling opportunities can give you an edge in the war for talent”.

There’s much to be said for ongoing L&D as a retention tool. And a phenomenal LMS (learning management system) puts functions at your fingertips to make L&D a no-brainer, for example –

  • Deplying thousands of inbuilt off-the-shelf accredited training modules (easy to do with a market-leading supplier)
  • Creating your own training content
  • Incorporating, mixing and matching live, hybrid and virtual training
  • Building unique learning paths for employees based on their needs and the needs of the business in tandem
  • Tracking progress and automatically scheduling any relevant renewal of certifications

Now, imagine making best use of all this functionality at a deeper level, to underpin your recruitment process. You see, di Meglio isn’t suggesting values-based recruitment purely as a last-gasp attempt to compensate for a lack of skills matches.

Alternatively, she’s referring to ingeniously interwoven recruitment and retention strategies that do more than dangle carrots at potential candidates.


For example, key areas of an all-in-one recruitment and retention strategies might combine –

  • Strategic Values-Based Recruitment, attracting candidates who are good cultural fits
  • L&D for Training the Trainers, upskilling those who are responsible for looking after new hires and getting them up to speed

Both of these elements are fundamental to recruitment and retention strategies for an early – mid ‘20s employment market.

Let’s take a closer look at them, alongside the leading edge ATS and LMS software that make light work of them. (It’s reassuring to know that these strategies might sound like astronomical tasks to put in place and implement… but aren’t when you’ve got the right automations.)


Strategic Values-Based Recruitment

Di Meglio referenced Gartner’s explanation that… “If organizations remove the constraints of traditional role definitions, they can look for employees with skills that don’t match the exact skills required for a particular role.”

And Cally Bannon-Smith, of UK-based hospitality recruitment firm Sixty Eight People, added, “No longer can we rely on experience when recruiting but we can focus on aptitude and attitude”.

They’re both absolutely right. And this school of thought encourages you to think in a different way about –

  • What training do you need to have ready for new hires who, for example, are new to your sector?
  • How can you seed the concept of values-based recruitment across the candidate journey, selling it to candidates as a dynamic opportunity for both parties?

Having an awesome ATS integrated with your careers site and social media platforms is an incredible start. It tools you up to shout your inclusive and progressive message from the rooftops, empowering you to attract your ‘tribe’, using functions such as –

  • Enticing Content – Wondering how to get your value message across the candidate journey without sounding desperate or disingenuous? Try featuring dynamic values-based content on your careers site and across application forms. You can do this by including content like interviews with existing team members, talking about the impact their work has.
  • Re-Structured Minimum Criteria Questions – Concerned that an old school approach to overloaded job descriptions isn’t generating much interest? You should be. Instead, re-think your minimum criteria questions, to get more candidates at least past the starting post. Here is where values-based questions can unearth those hidden gems. In addition, you might throw in some SJT’s to gauge softer skills like adaptability, communication and reliability, in place of the harder-edged skills-based questions that aren’t generating returns.
  • Introduce Video Screening – Need people in post yesterday? But, scratching your head about how you’re going to sort the wheat from the chaff in a month of Sundays? Try video screening. It simultaneously ticks several boxes, for example – 
    • Screening candidates 10X quicker
    • Eradicating the need to schedule telephone screenings and first interviews
    • Getting a more genuine feel for candidates – fast
    • Supporting your ED&I strategies with blind shortlisting

There are plenty of ways to re-look at recruitment through fresh eyes. But, what about your existing people? Where do they fit in to effective recruitment and retention strategies?

    Train the Trainers

    Have your existing Managers had much or any leadership training themselves? If your answer is, “No”, or “Not really”, this is another area where your recruitment and retention strategies impact each other.

    Leadership is a skill that doesn’t come naturally to everybody. Just because an employee is good at their job doesn’t automatically qualify them as a great people manager.

    To nip this potential problem in the bud, factor L&D for existing Managers into your recruitment and retention strategies. After all, getting this right helps to prevent problems from snowballing, like even more positions to fill as a result of –

    • Unhappy Managers leaving because they feel overworked, overstressed, underpaid and unloved
    • Disillusioned new hires leaving because they can’t work for frazzled Managers who are poorly trained themselves

    Bannon-Smith concluded, “We have to invest – train, develop & reward the people we’ve got and use training and time as a tool to allow us to take on people we maybe wouldn’t have previously considered”.

    So, why not try this two-pronged approach to recruitment and retention strategies? Pair it with the tools of the trade to catapult any outdated and laborious processes. And you’re well on your way towards exemplary recruitment and retention processes that are future fit to tackle whatever the future has in store.

    At HireRoad, we’re experts in unparalleled recruitment software (Recruit by HireRoad) and LMS software (Learn by HireRoad). Our systems are purpose-designed to ensure that your recruitment and retention strategies work alongside each other in perfect harmony, transforming potentially back-breaking challenges into a breeze.

    Are you interested in exploring how your L&D and talent acquisition teams can learn from each other and interconnect more effectively? Get in touch today for an initial chat. If you like what you hear, we can arrange for an online demo so you can see our formidable systems in action.