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5 Strategies to Attract and Retain Talented Employees

There’s no question that the relationship between quality talent and business performance is significant.

However, as we know, there is not enough talent to go around. When it is no longer news that the talent shortage is worsening, what we now know for sure is that this shortage will not go away on its own, and there is no way to undo it. Given this, what kind of organisation must you be to attract and retain talented employees? 

There aren’t easy answers or silver bullets to this question. However, some things are clear: if your company continues to offer raises to keep employees, it will ultimately prove too costly and unsustainable. Poaching from the competition is not the answer either; it will only aggravate the talent war.  

So, if competitive salaries and poaching are no longer sustainable means of winning the talent war, what is? Again, there are no easy answers. But what we do know from following the trends is that the quality of an organisation’s talent management infrastructure matters greatly.

To effectively attract and retain top talent, change must happen in the very guts and muscles and bones of a corporate body and not be a mere cosmetic applied to the visible exterior.

We must never forget that the war for talent isn’t just about attracting potential employees but also keeping existing ones.

Therefore, building a superior talent management infrastructure starts from answering these questions:

  1. If you had the best talent in the world, what would you do to keep them?  
  2. If you wanted the best talent in the world, what would you do to attract them?

Developing a reputation as a great place to work takes time and a strategic approach. This article shares five strategies to help you attract and retain the best employees you can find.

Recommended Post: Top 4 Reasons for High Employee Turnover (& How to Protect Your Business)

How to Attract and Retain Talented Employees

1. Recruit employees that share your company’s mission and values. 

As a business owner or leader, one of the most powerful things you can do to attract and retain talented employees is to hire people who have the skills and experience you need and the same values.  

The importance of hiring employees that share your values is so vital, it deserves an article all its own. Research in organisational psychology has found that shared values are one of the 14 essential drivers of employee engagement

Work occupies an important place in people’s lives, and they will spend a large portion of their lives on their job. So, if they aren’t working alongside employees who are like them in terms of value, if the company exudes a value system that is radically different from theirs, they will depart.  

Having shared values at work means employees share common work attitudes and principles with their colleagues. This can help build a feeling of camaraderie and a shared interest in success.  

So, when recruiting, look for shared values. Interviews are the best time to detect shared values. Your hiring team must devise a method of detecting shared value beyond the ‘yes or no’ answers that candidates give. Your team can start by learning to read an interviewee’s body language when you pose a question related to their values.

Ultimately, a well-designed personality test is the best way to detect shared values. If you get this right at the recruitment stage, your chances of retaining that employee will increase. 

2. Design your organisational system to be people-friendly. 

It’s a no brainer that employees prefer companies with good cultures, competitive pay and advancement opportunities. However, they also factor things like benefits, location, and commute time into the equation. 

Since Covid hit, there’s been a stronger emphasis on work-life balance and flexible work schedules. Therefore, a major way to show your top performers that you appreciate them is through the provision of a comfortable work environment. 

To facilitate this without having to add any extra costs, you’d need to get creative. A good idea would be to program your organisation to help employees unwind from time to time.

Things like regular team-building activities outside the office always provide a welcome break. Activities like group yoga and friendly athletic competitions might also promote a sense of employee well-being.  

3. Bring your best employees into the recruitment process. 

These days, it is not uncommon to hear that people check out the reputation of organisations before accepting an offer. What does your employer brand say? The truth is that there is no hiding place. Social media bares every company. Therefore, if your employee value proposition scares people away, it is something you should fix ASAP.

On the other hand, if you have succeeded in creating an environment that employees love, you’ll naturally have many happy employees on your hands. So, make them your brand ambassadors. 

Not only do happy employees stay longer, but 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 an excellent fit for his skills and experience.  

Be sure to put in place attractive referral incentives. This will encourage your employees to help you attract top talent. Consider rewards like cash bonuses or extra time off. 

4. Be an early bird. Reach out to talent. 

Why do the top IT, oil and gas, and consulting companies storm campuses searching for the best minds? The answer is simple: they understand that the early bird gets the worm.

Some of the best talents haven’t been unleashed yet, so the earlier you position your organisation to be noticed by them, the easier it becomes to get them on board when the time is right. Campus recruiting is a tested strategy for filling your talent pipeline for the future. Connect with candidates by attending job fairs, sponsoring events and providing internships. 

 You can also attract experienced hands by proactively tapping into a specific talent pool of candidates who aren’t actively pursuing opportunities. Chances are that they will be more likely to want to work with you in the future if they know the opportunity you offer in advance. 

5. Get online and stay online. 

 It’s surprising that many companies still underutilise social media recruiting. Social media recruiting is a recruitment strategy that combines employer branding and recruitment marketing elements to connect with and attract active and passive candidates on the digital platforms they frequent.  

 It’s common knowledge that millennials and the upcoming Gen Z live online. Consequently, if your organisation isn’t actively present on social media—if your employer brand hasn’t found its spot there— you might be missing out on a ton of opportunities.

It’s a fundamental marketing principle that to connect with your prospect, you must go where they go. So, if you’re looking for a cluster of some of the best people these days, you’ll only find them on social media. 

Therefore, market your company like it were a product. You can also 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.

In Summary

The long and short of the issue is this: Workers with the capabilities to drive your business to the next level are in steep demand. In a competitive hiring environment like ours, the only way to attract them is by providing a robust organisational culture and an even more attractive employee value proposition

We’ve shared five strategies to help you attract and retain talented employees. Of course, no one strategy will be sufficient to “win” the war for talent; it will require many different tactics to build a successful talent retention system. 

 If you need further clarification or require the help of our senior and experienced recruitment and talent management consultants to work with you in this regard, please reach out to us at hello@workforcegroup.com.

Good Read: How to Use Assessment at Every Stage of the Employee Life Cycle

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