Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
Just as the remote work trend brought on by the pandemic never seemed to go away, “The Great Resignation” is starting to seem like a permanent shift in today’s business landscape. People left in masses and moved on to better pay, more perks and greater flexibility — and are unlikely to give this trend up any time soon.
For a company to keep up with the changing face of business, its leaders need to be frequently evaluating their company hiring practices to recruit, attract and retain the right employees for the job. This can take a lot of time strategizing that CEOs may not always have to spare while running a business. For support in uncovering otherwise overlooked areas to maximize advantages in hiring, leaders should turn to their boards to guide them.
To retain quality employees, a good start would be to offer fair pay, advancement opportunities and a healthy culture where employees want to work — a board can help find these opportunities. Board members with diverse experiences bring new strategies to the table that open up a CEOs awareness to potential areas for growth and improvment. Keeping an employee is a lot cheaper than having to find new ones, train them and start from scratch, but boards can help catch employee pain points earlier and push that advantage by fixing them in a way that convinces an employee to stay.
As humans, we all want to feel involved, and boards can help facilitate that. When I was working for other companies, I used to feel very good in my job when my efforts brought any level of success to the organization. Recognition is a great feeling, but staying on top of every employee’s accomplishments is not always easy. Boards can help CEOs formulate company policies that ensure everyone feels involved and gets recognized when they are going above and beyond so employees can feel their value and want to continue to contribute to the team.
Be transparent and honest with future employees about the people working behind the scenes for your company. When interviewing, explain the role of your board clearly and how it fits into the company’s vision for growth. This is not to say that you should spill every bit of corporate-level information, but give them a big picture of where the company has been and where you see it going.
If you put in the effort to build a great board of talented people, let candidates know about them during their interviews. When employees know that they have a strong board full of established experts behind an organization, they feel more confident in being a part of it. People get excited to work with well-known people in their field, so if you have a strong board with great names, don’t be shy about using them to find and keep good employees.
How to leverage your board
Board members bring diverse experiences and advice from a range of different perspectives on hiring; together with their leadership, your board members can keep a company thriving despite “The Great Resignation.” From their hiring experiences in their own companies as executives, board members bring together an array of insights they can customize into new solutions that work best for another company. They overcame challenges and obstacles in hiring in the past and still saw growth, and while today’s problems are unprecedented, boards can stay on top of strategies and modern ideas to recruit the right people and keep them happy and productive on your team.
Board members also have valuable networks that hiring companies can leverage to find quality candidates without having to do any searching. CEOs turn to their boards as trusted advisors, so if a member recommends a candidate for a specific role on that team, they would have great insight into how well that person would fit with the company and its leadership to ensure they refer a quality employee. Experienced board members have lived through enough ups and downs of companies to guide yours to the right hires and the right hiring practices.
If people are quitting in your company or your industry at large, leverage your board to research and understand what drives them to leave. Take an honest deep dive into your exit interviews and collaborate with your board members to innovate attractive options that make people want to apply for jobs at your company — and stay. Employees today want a healthy work/life balance, competitive pay, training opportunities, and in-office perks, but as we saw through the pandemic, priorities can change. A great board can keep you on top of what competitive companies are offering, so if you have one, lean on them to find and keep great employees.