3 Tips For Retaining Entry-Level Talent

warehouse workers walking toward camera

In today’s world of work, finding entry-level talent is a challenge for many organizations, yet retaining that talent is paramount to the success of any organization and recruitment plan. This is the challenge that many organizations face. Let’s dive into three strategies that could set your organization apart and help to build a successful team that’s in it for the long haul.  

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1. Support Their Growth

Employees want to know that they are not just a number.  They’re looking for more than just a job or a paycheck. They want to know that they matter.  According to Apollo Technical, “When an employee does not feel valued at work, 76% look for another job opportunity. A workplace survey report found that 94% of surveyed employees responded that if a company invested in helping them learn, they would stay longer.”

Create a career path or develop cross-training activities to grow employees.  When I was head of HR for a distribution company, we would hire entry-level employees for our warehouse. Their roles were the closest to the customer, so we understood how important they were. We would hire them as distribution associates and teach them a role, and when they were competent in that role, they would be trained in other roles in the warehouse.  The more roles they learned and were competent in, the more their titles changed, and their pay increased.  They were the ones that were the most loyal and we could lean on them when we needed additional help in other areas of the warehouse during the busy times.

Sometimes employees don’t really know what they want as far as development. They haven’t been exposed to other areas of the business.  Creating opportunities for employees to shadow and work on projects or task forces cross-functionally will give them exposure to other parts of the business and develop new skill sets.  We called them Internal Internships at a past company and employees had the opportunity to work on projects in other teams to experience these teams and grow.


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2. Create an Engaging and Inclusive Work Environment

A workplace that buzzes with energy, camaraderie, and collaboration is a workplace where employees flourish. Entry-level professionals aren’t just seeking a desk to sit at; they’re seeking an environment where they can thrive, feel valued, and connect meaningfully with their peers. Creating such an engaging and inclusive work atmosphere can significantly amplify your retention efforts.


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Focus on Connection

Building an inclusive work culture starts with cultivating an environment where everyone feels respected and valued. Promoting open communication channels and encouraging input from all employees not only fosters a sense of inclusion but also encourages innovation and creativity. Offering regular team-building activities can enhance interpersonal relationships and facilitate stronger bonds within the workforce, contributing to a cohesive and harmonious work environment.

Support Diversity

Inclusivity also means acknowledging and celebrating the diversity of your team. This could involve implementing policies that respect different cultures, religions, and lifestyles, or creating Employee Resource Groups to provide support for specific demographics. These measures demonstrate that your company not only accepts but embraces individual differences.

Prioritize Engagement

Employee engagement is another critical facet of a robust work environment. This can be nurtured through regular recognition of achievements, opportunities for skill development, and meaningful work. Involving employees in decision-making processes can make them feel more invested in the company’s success, which in turn can boost their commitment and loyalty.

The power of a supportive and engaging work environment cannot be underestimated when it comes to retaining entry-level talent. By ensuring your workplace is one that not only acknowledges but celebrates diversity, fosters open communication, and prioritizes engagement, you’ll create an atmosphere that encourages employees to stick around for the long haul.


3. Provide Compensation and Benefits That Set You Apart

The final frontier in the journey of retaining entry-level talent is through presenting attractive compensation and benefits. While these budding professionals may be just dipping their toes into their career pool, their efforts and contributions are anything but insignificant. They expect, and rightly so, to be compensated fairly for their work. Staying informed of industry trends will help you offer a pay scale that’s both competitive and fair.

How to Offer a Benefits Package for Entry-Level Employees

Compensation, however, extends beyond just the paycheck. For most entry-level roles, the compensation and the hours will not be stellar.  Consider a comprehensive benefits package that includes not only the standard health insurance and retirement plans but also perks that cater to their work-life balance and overall well-being. This could include flexible working hours, remote work options, gym memberships, or mental health resources.  In addition, it could mean sharing shifts, instead of hiring one full time person, hire two part time people to give flexibility to the role.

Other Forms of Benefits

It’s also worth exploring educational assistance programs or student loan repayment assistance. Remember, your entry-level employees are likely still grappling with student debt. Offering financial assistance for their education can be a major perk that sets your company apart in the competitive job market.

Moreover, recognize and reward the contributions of your employees regularly. Monetary bonuses, profit sharing, stock options, or even non-monetary rewards like extra vacation days or public recognition can be powerful motivators.

In essence, providing a competitive compensation and benefits package is more than just about money. It’s about demonstrating to your entry-level talent that their hard work is recognized, appreciated, and rewarded. And when employees feel valued, they are more likely to remain committed to your organization in the long run. So, go beyond the basics with your compensation packages. Make them comprehensive, fair, and reflective of your company’s commitment to its employees’ well-being and success.



In conclusion, a firm culture, having solid pay and benefits and a thought-out career path, shows employees that they are valued and important.  In entry level roles, they want to be more than just a number, they want to matter.  Building programs that show employees they matter, recognize them for their contributions and growth and help them to manage “life” will pay off in reduced turnover and retention of these key roles.