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How to Improve Employee Retention Before Their First Day


Because a business’s most valuable asset is its workforce, employee retention is likely one of its top priorities. In the current job market, though, retention is becoming increasingly difficult. Although many organizations take proactive steps to keep their employees happy after they’ve been onboarded, the best method for achieving high employee retention begins before the first interview—and it’s built around company values. By using five key strategies to bring its core values to life, an organization can attract the applicants who are the best fit for the company’s culture and keep its current employees happy, too.


Write a better job description

Most organizations list their values as bullet points somewhere toward the end of the job description—and that gives potential employees the cue to gloss right over them. A better approach is to tie company values to the job requirements and to the benefits that the organization offers. For instance, if one of the values is agility, the job description can highlight the importance of autonomy and fast decision making in the role. Or if one core value is to prioritize employee well-being, the job description could mention a wellness package as one of the benefits.


Demonstrate company values from first contact

Everyone has encountered a company that claims respect as a core value but has a reputation for ghosting applicants. That’s not a good look. An organization’s values should lie at the center of its hiring process and should set the precedent for what the candidate can expect from the company’s culture. How interviews are conducted, the negotiation process, the onboarding process—every interaction the organization has with candidates should reflect its values.


Hire employees who add to the company’s culture

Although many recruiters refer to culture considerations as checking for a culture fit, supporting a healthy culture relies more heavily on finding employees who move the organization in the right direction. There are many ways to determine how a new hire can help the company move closer to its ideals. Hiring managers can ask applicants for examples of how, in their previous role, they manifested the values of the company they hope to join, or how they interpret the new company’s values, or even with which of those values they feel most aligned. With employee turnover rates still at high levels, it’s important for organizations to be sure that applicants understand—and align with—their company values.


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