The Blog

5 Creative Incentives For Hiring (And Keeping) Great Employees

Carrot stick incentive

In a tight labor market like we’re experiencing in Iowa, there are two basic approaches to dealing with a worker shortage. One way is to offer very competitive wages and benefits to attract good people to your company. The other is to create a great work place and offer incentives to keep good employees with your company for the long haul.
Human resources departments tasked with recruiting quality employees today use tools and incentives that most companies didn’t even have ten years ago, or ever think they would need. Businesses and HR recruiters in the Cedar Rapids/Iowa City metro need to use every tool they have to find the best candidate for their openings. Some of the incentives include:

  1. Hiring Bonuses – employers are getting more creative in how they structure hiring bonuses. In addition to the traditional hiring bonus, some now also offer student loan repayment incentives and tax incentives to attract young people from outside the region and to keep local talent in the state.
  2. Referral bonuses – you can give your current employees rewards for successful hires who stay with the company for a certain number of months up to a year. This economic tie can help you gain a quality new employee and retain existing employees. Smart companies also encourage their existing employees to post their jobs on social networking sites so they can tap their personal network of family and friends for qualified talent.
  3. Remote work options - Taking advantage of today’s technology, long distance need not always be a deal breaker when you find the right employee.
  4. Convenience and Comfort – Concierge services, massage therapists, meal options, on-site childcare; workplace benefits that save employees time and stress can be effective incentives in a competitive market.
  5. Cash – Bonuses, dependent care assistance, profit sharing; it all translates into more money in your employee’s pockets which is a great incentive to join and stay with your company.

The best incentive of all, of course, is the opportunity to work for an awesome company. When it comes to employee recruiting, your company’s reputation is hugely important to your success. Keep in mind that in the internet age, employees can and will do as much research on potential employers as employers do of potential employees. Good and bad reviews can have a huge impact on your ability to attract good employees. Employees and management should share their success with the community, on social networks and among professional organizations as a recruitment tool.

Many job boards, media outlets and social media sites now publish surveys that rate employers: Best Place to Work, Coolest Place To Work, and most recently, several eastern Iowa businesses earned a spot on the WorldBlu Most Democratic Places To Work list. The WorldBlu designation is based on employee feedback regarding an organization’s practice of democratic principles, such as transparency, integrity, and choice on leadership. The combination of creating and promoting an awesome employment culture with hiring and retention incentives will give local employers a distinct advantage in our competitive job market.