5 Tips to Attracting (and Retaining) the Best Talent

© AMATHIEU - Fotolia.com

What talent management strategies do you use to attract, engage and retain employees?

Statistics from research done by the Bureau of Labor Statistics show that the average American will hold around 11.3 jobs during their working years. The average number of jobs held is actually going up — especially with Millennials.

Yes, 11 jobs may seem like a really high number, however that depends on various factors, including the work you do, and what generation you are from. Attracting the best talent and keeping them engaged doesn’t just happen by accident.

Retention is not always easy

Talent management and employee retention is critical to the success of an organization. Without a focus and an understanding of people, behaviors, and what engagement and rewards strategies work for best for your culture, attracting the tight talent and reducing turnover can be even more difficult.

It’s not always easy to help, so here is an Employee Engagement & Retention Checklist with a high level overview of steps to take toward success with some employee retention strategies.

People decide to switch jobs for a wide variety of reasons. Attracting new blood to your workforce is a good thing, but a constant turnover is detrimental to performance, morale, and the overall sustainability.

Some reasons for turnover are related to personal and life changes and completely unrelated to the job itself, so a business can’t expect to impact or change all departures, although with workers switching jobs roughly every 4.4 years, businesses do need to be focused on the aspects of talent management and employee retention they can influence.

Strategies for attracting and retaining talent

So, what are some of the best practices for attracting talent and reducing turnover?

Article Continues Below
  1. Provide career navigation and personal branding strategies from the get-go. Involve employees in the talent management and recruitment process as much as possible. Ask questions to find out what attracted them to your organization to begin with, what motivates them, and what keeps them engaged. Employee development is also key; it’s important to provide coaching, educational opportunities, and training programs to your workforce. By letting potential hires and employees alike know your organization will help them plan their desired path, set concrete goals, and provide support to help them achieve those goals, you will help attract talent and increase engagement and retention.
  2. Hiring the right managers makes all the difference. Managers are often involved in the interview process. They are one of the first interactions a potential new hire has with the organization. Steve Miranda, Managing Director for Cornell University’s Center for Advanced Human Resource Studies, said in an interview that he believed 80 percent of employee turnover resulted from the environment created by a manager as opposed to the company at large. So it’s critical to work closely to make sure there’s a consistent open line of communication between potential new hires and those would be their managers, and that managers are working collaboratively and positively with their employees to reduce turnover.
  3. Work to create a culture of trust. An organization with a culture of trust gets good PR — and good PR goes a long way toward increasing employee referrals and reducing talent acquisition costs. Organizations with higher levels of trust and transparency often have higher levels of performance and retention also reducing turnover and talent acquisition costs. An organization with a culture of distrust is an organization destined to be doomed. To attract good talent and maintain positive employee retention make sure your organization has a culture of trust, not distrust.
  4. Recognize good performance. Be it financially or with some other non-monetary benefits, make sure employees are recognized when they achieve their goals and perform above and beyond. No one wants to work for an organization where they go ignored. Potential new hires can pick up this. Pulse your workforce for their preferred means of recognition and then implement various strategies based on that feedback. With workforce demographics changing a one size fits all approach no longer works. It’s important to pay attention to what each motivates different employees. Not all employees prefer to be recognized for a job well done in the same ways. As we’ve said before, if unsure the best ways to engage and retain employees – ASK THEM. Make communicating these policies to potential new hires part of your talent management process.
  5. Hire the right kind of employees who are both a skills and culture fit. When trying to attract new talent a focus on both aspects is important to success. Sure, some people are “shooting stars”, and you’d be lucky to catch them, but if they’re not a fit for the culture of your organization then you’re not likely to see maximum performance or retention from the new hire. By understanding your culture and interviewing and choosing the right hires in the first place, you’re getting a leg up on setting up a relationship that can last.

Setting up a successful partnership

Though there are many other talent management strategies for attracting, engaging, and retaining employees, these tips should serve as a good start.

Know your organization. Be transparent, have a clear employee value proposition, communicate with potential new hires and employees early and often, know what they want and what you want, and what motivates them. Don’t force a fit.

This should help set you up for a successful partnership that leads to a higher performance and retention.

This was originally published on the Tolero Think Tank blog.

Scott Span, MSOD, is CEO & Lead Consultant of Tolero Solutions, an Organization Improvement & Strategy firm. He helps clients in achieving success through people, creating organizations that are more responsive, productive and profitable -- organizations where people enjoy working and customers enjoy doing business. 

Topics