Retention, Then Recruiting

Repeat after me: Retention, then recruiting.

I write a lot about the recruiting part. How we get people to show up, notice us, and choose us – not so much on the keeping people in the first place.

But I feel like that part is pretty obvious, at least to me.

Make sure you have built a place people want to work before you try to hire the masses to join the misery.

Most of the blogs on employee engagement and retention are about what you’re going to get your people to do for you. How you make them participate in your weird culture forced fun club. How you make them share things on social media or how you can score a higher employee net promoter score. I can keep going.

News flash: Worrying about those things is useless.

Focus your engagement energy on what you’re doing to make employees want to care. Focus on the reality of now. Do you love it? Is it something you’re proud of?

Good. Tell that story.

If it’s not, don’t go out there and recruit more people to join the bad place. That will mess with your karma. 

Focus your work on fixing the problems that are happening inside your four walls, because what happens next when you genuinely take care of your people is the recruiting and employee engagement magic you can’t outsource or buy.

See, what happens is that they tell the story. Your employees drink the Koolaid. They share it. They recruit out of self-motivation. They tell you stories that would make just about anyone fall in love with your company.

And most importantly, they stay.

I’m teaching a class on May 21st, 2019 where you can learn to translate that good feeling you have about your company into copy. You can buy a seat here. DM me on Twitter for a promo code. 


Katrina Kibben View All →

Katrina Kibben is the Founder and Principal Consultant of Three Ears Media. For most of Katrina’s career, she has been a marketer living in a recruiter’s world – listening to both sides of the talent equation to understand the real issues and find solutions for engaging and hiring better people. Today, she uses her technical marketing know-how and way with words to help both established and emerging brands develop and deliver content that fuels smart recruitment marketing that makes the right people apply.

Katrina has written for,, RecruitingDaily and many other digital publications. She is a recognized leader in recruiting and employer branding who speaks regularly at conferences around the world.

%d bloggers like this: