Viewpoint: Hiring and Retention Tips from a Payments Recruiter (September 2013)
The scoop on the hottest jobs in prepaid. Plus, how to attract (and keep) the best talent.
By Amy DeBerg, R&P Group
What does the continuing evolution of the prepaid world mean to you as an employer? What jobs are in demand (meaning you’ll face stiff competition in hiring the best people), and what hiring trends may affect your ability to hire and retain exceptional people? The goal of this Paybefore Viewpoint is to help you compete in what can be a candidate-driven market.
Hot Prepaid Jobs in 2013
So far this year, our recruiting firm has filled jobs in prepaid in the following areas at levels from individual contributors to C-Level.
AML and BSA
Sales and Business Development
Web Interactive Marketing and Analytics
Sales and business development, and compliance are the hottest jobs on the demand side, but the growth of the industry is fueling opportunities in all of the above job categories.
Find the Right Potential Candidates
What can you do to identify and hire exceptional prepaid talent when you need it? (After all, you don’t want to wait 60 to 90 days for a critical new member of your team to start work!) These tips can help you be better prepared to shorten the time it takes to fill key positions:
- Track people you meet who currently do the jobs you know you may need to fill and get to know them. Make a point of watching presentations they deliver at industry events or filing articles they write or in which they’re quoted. As a result, you even may become familiar with the people they know and with whom they work and have worked—broadening your knowledge of the talent pool.
- Ask your team before and after every conference they attend to recommend the best people they know in the industry. And, do the same with your new hires as well as those who leave your company.
- Ask your friends who run other prepaid businesses for the names of the best people with whom they’ve ever worked.
- Ask your vendors and partners for leads.
These ideas take time, effort and a quality tracking system, but they produce results.
Attract Smart, Quality Candidates
When you write your job description, spend the time to make the description appealing. Let the person know not only what you’d like them to do but also the results you expect—bottom-line. (Many well-written articles are available online to help your write position results descriptions.)
If your opportunity offers a candidate a chance to work the very same functions he currently preforms, you compete only on price and the strength of your company and team. When your opportunity gives the potential candidate a chance to produce important, significant bottom-line results based on what they know or have done in the past, plus the chance to grow and continue to learn additional skills, you’ll be able to attract a larger variety of potential candidates, including the up-and-comers.
When building your score sheet for your candidates, have five qualifications that are ideal. But be willing to hire the right person who has, maybe, three of the five qualifications. This way, you can demonstrate that your opportunity provides the ability to learn valuable new skills that will produce meaningful results for your company and help the candidate’s career continue to grow.
Understand Market Demand
Even if your company is wonderful, your job description is well-written and your list of potential candidates is strong, you still won’t be able to hire top talent away from your competition if you offer a compensation package below the industry norms. As much as we all like to think that candidates should not be greedy and the job shouldn’t be all about money, we all know that it’s a very rare candidate who will go through all the life-changing aspects of a job change for the same or even a small compensation increase.
When you understand what other people who do similar jobs in the industry—and specifically in prepaid—make, you can ensure your requisition is approved with a realistic salary in your budget.
Prepaid jobs in high demand continue to see compensation levels increase. If your compensation data are more than a year old or are for general banking positions or for an area of your company other than prepaid, you may want to acquire more current data or data specific to prepaid employment.
Keep Your Process Open and As Short as Possible
You may have seen and heard, “Time kills all deals.” The better you can explain your hiring process and keep it condensed within the shortest timeline, the less chance you have of other companies hiring away your top candidate or for your candidate to decide to stay with his current company on a counteroffer.
Avoid Counter-Offer Pressure
Many companies try to keep an employee when he resigns by offering a counter-offer. Some companies increase their employee’s compensation and offer to change his job—basically, telling the candidate everything and anything to compel him to stay. (If you’re an employer in this situation, please do not put counter-offer pressure on your employee. Here are a few of the reasons why: If you increase an employee’s pay or give them job changes to get them to stay, you are in effect telling all your other employees, “If you want a raise or want changes in your job, just spend your time interviewing for other jobs because if you can get a job offer, you can receive all the things you want but are not able to get.” Also, do you want the type of people whose signature and word are not worth anything (by the time you offer a counter-offer, the person has already signed and given their word on both their Offer of Employment Letter from their new company and their resignation letter to you).
Instead, be gracious and kind as you accept the resignation, and ask if you can call to follow up in a month or two to make sure the employee’s new job is going well.
To help avoid counter-offer pressure you might consider some of these ideas.
- Stay in touch with your new hires between when they accept and their first day of work. If you can, send information that will help new employees perform even better on their first day. Send them information about their peers and reports, and work out a schedule where other people from your company also will make contact during those critical days between offer acceptance and start date. If you’re not the CEO or president, work out a call from your boss or CEO to have that person welcome your new hires, too.
- Offer a base salary, if you can, just a bit more than you know you need to offer to “get” the candidate. If you cannot increase the base pay, consider other compensation or benefit niceties that will help the candidate understand his value in your organization.
- Send to the candidate’s home (especially if the new job involves a relocation) a box of your company logoed items that your marketing department has for trade shows.
- Stay in contact!
After all the work you do to hire exceptional employees, remember that his first day is critical to retention. Be at the front door, waiting to welcome your new employee. (If you aren’t available, make sure you have a plan for someone else to be waiting.) You can make such a difference that first day; it’s critical. Also, make sure that you or someone will take your new employee to lunch his first day. It really is the little things that help set a positive tone.
Work with Your Current Team to Increase Retention
With the demand for employees with prepaid experience increasing, your employees will receive calls from people who try to recruit them away. Below are several strategies to help you increase your employee satisfaction and retention.
Talk with Your Team
It’s good to let your people know it’s okay for them to share the fact that they’re getting recruiting calls. You can learn together what might be interesting about the jobs that could tempt your employees away and determine how to add to your best people’s current jobs to make their jobs even more interesting. The goal is to prevent your people from even wanting to interview. You also may find some ways to better compete based on specific jobs your competitors are trying to fill.
Ensure Your Compensation is Competitive
The best companies increase current employee compensation if they learn from comparison data that they’re below industry norms. It’s not all about pay, but we all want to feel valued or at least not feel we are underpaid. Great companies also provide equity raises to current employees when they hire a new employ at compensation significantly higher than the current employees with the same job.
People like to have fun.
People like to work with other people who are smart. If you provide training you continue to increase the knowledge level of your team. This may not make them “smart,” but at least your team will be informed.
Grow as a Manager
Statistics still confirm that people leave and stay because of the strength and weaknesses of their manager. Ask your people how you can better help them.
There’s a lot you can do to improve your ability to hire top prepaid industry talent and to keep them. It’s a great deal of work, but not nearly as much work as replacing your best person. The above ideas take time and effort and a quality tracking system but produce results. Given the demands on your time, you may want to build a relationship with a recruiting firm that can help you hire and retain extraordinary people. Finding and recruiting the best people for your high demand jobs is a fulltime job.
Amy DeBerg is the founder and president of Sioux Falls, S.D.-based payments recruiting firm R&P Group and has been helping prepaid businesses recruit top talent for more than 15 years. DeBerg was selected by Paybefore readers to be profiled in the Fall 2012 issue of Pay Magazine. She can be reached at +1 605.274.8800 or [email protected].
In Viewpoints, prepaid and emerging payment professionals share their perspectives on the industry. Paybefore endeavors to present many points of view to offer readers new insights and information. The opinions expressed in Viewpoints are not necessarily those of Paybefore. If you’d like to submit a Viewpoint or blog, contact Loraine DeBonis.