How to Retain Employees in a Tight Seattle Market

Feb. 26, 2016 Hiring Strategies


Retention. It’s a golden word tossed around in Human Resources departments around the country… but in certain industries, figuring out just how to retain employees can be somewhat difficult, especially in a candidate-driven market like Seattle.

Here’s How to Retain Employees, Despite the Competitive Candidate Market

If you realized you have a retention problem, you’re probably looking for ways to keep people engaged in and happy at work. You may think a high salary may be the only answer, but here are a few other benefits to consider that would entice an employee to engage, enthuse, and stay with your company:

  • More vacation days – When working with our clients on direct hire opportunities, we always like to ask about benefits and paid time off policies. We find that parents in particular like having the flexibility of additional floating holidays or vacation days for things like family trips or taking care of their kids when they’ve caught a cold and have to miss school.
  • Commuter Benefits – As we’re sure you know, parking in the Seattle area can get expensive. Those who choose not to drive often rely on King County Metro and Sound Transit to get around, though even monthly bus passes can get expensive for some. By offering employees some assistance in parking and/or transit fees, you may alleviate the pain (and stress!) of an employee’s daily commute.
  • Flexible work options – According to a FlexJobs survey of 1,500 job seekers, 20% of respondents would take a 10% pay cut for flexible work options. Many employees find significant value in work-life balance, so offering employees telecommuting options (even testing the waters by offering it once or twice per month) could show employees that you appreciate, trust, and respect them, giving them the motivation to stick around.

How Parker Combated the Staffing Industry Retention Problem

Did you know that most staffing companies can expect 24% of their employees to turn over year to year?

Faced with this reality, five years ago Parker dedicated itself to changing how we run our business and the results have been nothing short of astounding; we have been listed as one of Washington’s Best Workplaces for three years running by the Puget Sound Business Journal and even came in second place last year. Moreover, our turnover rate of 8% is among the lowest in the industry.

How did we do it?

In addition to providing quality benefits, we defined our values – we threw away the traditional “mission” statement and worked to create a set of values unique to our company and our culture. Our Culture Compass guides our decision making process and helps remind every single one of us why we come to our job every day. We came to the realization that the key to how to retain employees isn’t about a rooftop deck or having a pet-friendly environment, but more from knowing that what we do and what we seek are the same thing: fulfillment.