Attracting and retaining top talent
Good help isn’t hard to find when top talent looks for you.
With a strong job market, employees prefer companies with good cultures, competitive pay and advancement opportunities. Giving employees what they need will help you get — and keep — the top talent that you want.
“An organization’s strength is determined in large part by the quality of its talent,” said Kim Stewart, SVP and director of talent management for First Citizens Bank. “In a competitive hiring environment, the way to attract great talent is by providing a strong organizational culture and opportunities for people to grow.”
Only half of employees feel like they have long-term careers at their current companies, according to a recently released CareerBuilder survey that captured heightened career expectations among workers. The other half feel like they just have jobs, which 32% of employees plan to leave before 2020.
“Job candidates are in the driver’s seat and are considering much more than salary when applying for jobs,” said CareerBuilder CEO Irina Novoselsky in announcing the survey results.
“Benefits, location and commute time are increasingly important factors,” Novoselsky said. “To attract and retain talent, hiring managers will need to meet workers’ hiring, onboarding and career expectations and provide the perks, work-life balance and career advancement opportunities they demand.”
Becoming known as a business where employees want to work takes time and a strategic approach. Follow these steps to attract and retain top talent.
1. Know your company’s mission and values.
Identify the most important skills and values for your company. Then fill positions around those needs instead of just hiring one employee to replace another.
2. Build an employee-focused culture.
Consider what you can offer employees. Employees value work-life balance. They appreciate it when you offer flexible work schedules, for instance. Candidates and employees also appreciate career opportunities like on-the-job training and potential promotions.
“Organizations rarely take a hard look at what they can give people, and so they are continually disappointed by their recruiting. Whittle down the list of attributes you want to those that you are willing to pay for, whether with money or with intangibles,” according to a Harvard Business.
Today’s workers want to feel valued, too. Show your appreciation for them through employee-recognition programs, performance bonuses and comfortable work environments.
Help them unwind as well. Activities like group yoga, friendly athletic competitions, and regular team-building activities outside the office provide welcome breaks.
“A sense of rejuvenation and freedom is very crucial, or else it would become a traditional workplace of 9-5. In short, get away from the conventional working standards,” suggests a TalentLyft article on recruitment strategies to attract the best talent.
3. Involve employees in recruiting.
Happy employees usually stay longer. They also help you attract top talent by showing the best potential hires that they also could be happy at your business.
An Inc.com article on creative ways to get new talent suggests giving “recruitment cards” to your employees. “That way, when your employee meets someone impressive in her daily life, she can slip him a card indicating that your company may be a great fit for his skills and experience. Remember: there’s nothing like a good old ego boost to pique a potential recruit’s interest in your company’s employment opportunities,” according to the article.
Referral incentives also encourage your employees to help you attract top talent. Consider rewards like gift cards, cash bonuses or extra time off.
4. Get out and meet people.
Meeting a potential hire in person is still the best way to establish a fit between them and your company. But it can be even better if you meet them before they apply for a position. They will be more likely to want to work with you in the future if they know the opportunity you offer in advance.
If you know you will eventually need to hire a skilled software developer or an up-and-coming accountant, go to networking events that top talent will be attending as well. “Tapping into a specific talent pool can yield great results–especially from candidates who aren’t actively pursuing opportunities,” according to the Inc.com article on creative recruiting.
Campus recruiting also can provide a pipeline for future talent. Connect with candidates by attending job fairs, sponsoring events and providing internships, for example.
5. Connect online.
Social media is a good place for business professionals to search and to be found. You can use keywords like job titles on LinkedIn to find candidates with the experience and skills you want. Then you can contact them directly to see if they would be interested in working for you.
You also can attract top talent by sharing lots of information about your company, such as recruiting videos, photos from company events and testimonials from employees. Show what differentiates your company and makes it a great place to work.
“Through social media, companies can now connect with candidates in ways that weren’t possible with traditional recruitment methods,” said Stewart. “We post company announcements and industry news on our social media pages to reach our customers — but those updates are an organic way to attract potential employees, too.”
Workers have many ways to find jobs, and often they have many employers competing for them.
But you can still attract and retain the top talent. Build and promote a company where employees want to work—and where they enjoy doing so.