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. 


Kat Kibben View All →

Kat Kibben [they/them] is a keynote speaker, writing expert, and LGBTQIA+ advocate who teaches hiring teams how to write inclusive job postings that will get the right person to apply faster.

Before founding Three Ears Media, Katrina was a CMO, Technical Copywriter, and Managing Editor for leading companies like Monster,, and Randstad Worldwide. With 15+ years of recruitment marketing and training experience, Katrina knows how to turn talented recruiting teams into talented writers who write for people, not about work.

Today, Katrina is frequently featured as an HR and recruiting expert in publications like The New York Times, Chicago Tribune, and Forbes. They’ve been named to numerous lists, including LinkedIn’s Top Voices in Job Search & Careers. When not speaking, writing, or training, you’ll find Katrina traveling the country in their van or spending some much needed downtime with the dogs that inspired the name Three Ears Media.

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