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Home > Company > Industry News > E-Newsletter > February 2018 > Retention Comes Before Recruitment

Retention Comes Before Recruitment

With the combination of 5.8 million[1] job openings and a 4.1 percent[2] unemployment rate, many companies are upping their anti when it comes to recruiting employees – especially skilled ones.

To grow, smart companies know they need creative recruitment strategies to attract new employees. Spending time, money and effort on finding the right employees can be worthwhile. That is, unless your employees leave because of a poor work experience.

So what are businesses doing to keep the employees they already have? Smart companies realize that having employee retention strategies is critical to their success. Trends in retention, however, are changing as fast as the manufacturing technologies we use to make products.

At Alexandria Industries, we provide employees with several opportunities for a positive working experience. We want to give them the ability to grow, and the desire to thrive.

Retention Begins Before Day One

Retention strategies need to go beyond the usual benefits to help ensure greater employee engagement at work, and deter your talent from seeking employment elsewhere.

Employee retention efforts ought to happen before hiring employees. It begins with marketing and promotional ads that realistically and creatively answer the question, “Why work here?” Ads that standout, show a company’s culture, successes, and potential.

Retention also begins with the application, hiring, and onboarding processes. The more user-friendly and seamless the processes are, the smoother the transition can be for new employees.

Interviews also can affect retention. Interviewers that genuinely engage with a prospective candidate and show true excitement during the first meeting can be indicative of a happy and engaging work culture. Interviewers who discuss a prospect’s achievements and potential can begin creating a path of success to a promising career within your organization. Interviewers who are late, or do not give adequate time to truly get to know an employee candidate, will do a huge disservice to their organization.

Go Beyond Traditional Benefits

Retention strategies that go beyond the usual benefits by offering a generous PTO plan, tuition reimbursement, flexible schedules, and a 401K retirement contribution match or employee stock option plan.

Long-term employees will eventually want more than just a paycheck. Companies that provide them with life-enriching opportunities can achieve greater employee retention. These can include:

  • Financial – good pay, long-term investment opportunities, incentive plans
  • Educational – paid training, 100% tuition reimbursement
  • Inspirational – professional, emotional and spiritual support
  • Professional – varied career growth opportunities

Create a Positive Work Experience

One thing to keep in mind when thinking about retention strategies is to provide employees with growing responsibilities and incentives to keep them engaged and invested.

alexandria industries aluminum extrusion

At Alexandria Industries, we begin with a formal onboarding process to help new hires acclimate themselves to their job and the company. We provide a detailed tour of our facility, and introduce new employees to their team and other peers. We schedule meetings for new employees to meet our leadership. Here, we share information about who we are, our history, what we do, what we are good at, what it means to work here, and why we are different.

Other areas of early-employment retention we focus on include:

  • Designating mentors for new employees
  • Providing one-on-one job training, outlining specific responsibilities and expected outcomes
  • Building the confidences of new employees by helping them be successful right away

We offer hands-on training and education of technical topics, such as machine tool technology, robotics, automation, and computer programming. Our professional development includes tuition reimbursement for employees who want to earn an associate’s, bachelor’s or master’s degree.

Employees can cross-train in other functional areas to find the best possible fit for their skills and interests. They also get opportunities to own projects, think through challenges, and develop and initiate application solutions for problem areas.

Employees receive Quick Response Manufacturing and leadership training, bringing them greater responsibility and ownership of company performance. We also give them opportunities to be trainers, to train the trainers, and organize and lead company events.

At the core of our culture, is servant leadership training, as well as safety training. Employees learn how to keep safety top-of-mind, and watch for hazards and unsafe behaviors.

We also help new employees determine an appropriate career path here that fits with their skills, interests, and abilities.

Build Your Culture, Employees Will Come

At Alexandria Industries, we share, live by, and expect employees to honor our company values – Integrity, Faith, Mutual Respect, Commitment to Excellence and Employee Well-being. We center interview questions around our values to ensure we hire people whose values align with ours.

We are building a great culture by providing positive workemployee retention precision machining experiences and the relationships have with each other, our customers, our communities.

We provide employees with fun, positive opportunities to interact. We organize events, such as taco-in-a-bag lunches and our annual fishing tournament, to raise money for non-profit organizations. Each employee receives eight hours of paid time off to volunteer in the community every year.

We want our employees to be as perfectly successful as possible. Our retention efforts will naturally evolve as we strive to understand what truly motivates them so we can recognize their efforts and accomplishments. Alexandria Industries exists because of people who are making a difference. We are one team working together.

Contact your HR department to discuss different strategies your company could use to retain employees.


[1] Bureau of Labor Statistics, February 2018

[2] Bureau of Labor Statistics, January 2018