Five Ways to Retain Top Talent

With unemployment at its lowest point in half a century, attracting the best executive leaders is tougher than ever, according to executive recruiters plying their trade. Technology solutions, employer branding and outsourcing can all refresh your hiring strategy for the digital era, says a new report by Search Solution Group. Let’s go inside the latest findings.

September 5, 2019 – Today’s employers are facing a tough talent shortage. Reports about the challenges of finding enough talent seem to be popping up everywhere, which is not surprising when unemployment in the U.S. is at its lowest in 50 years. This means there is tough competition for talent, and hiring managers must adjust their strategies accordingly.

Recruiters have a multitude of weapons in their arsenal as they wade into the battle for the best and brightest. Technology solutions, employer branding and outsourcing all help revamp a hiring strategy, refreshing it for the digital era, according to a new report by Rose Burach, a project manager with Search Solution Group.

“Recruiting professionals have a variety of tools at their disposal that enables them to scale recruiting activities and make data-driven decisions,” said Ms. Burach. “Investment into a technology solution can help provide a streamlined, end-to-end recruiting experience.”

Recruiters have to ask themselves, “How can I make the candidate experience more impactful?” she said. Tools like human capital management systems empower recruiters to take a data-driven approach at each step of the process, from a targeted candidate sourcing campaign to a personalized onboarding process.

“It’s important to note that technology is intended to supplement a recruiter’s existing skill-set, rather than replace it,” Ms. Burach said. “Digital tools may provide the framework, but it takes a perspective from a living, breathing human to create a story from the data provided. Efficient and collaborative hiring is the future of recruiting, and there is no shortage of technology solutions to augment human expertise.”

Build a Strong Employer Brand

According to data from CareerArc, 96 percent of companies believe that their employer brand and reputation directly impact talent acquisition and overall revenue, but only 44 percent are actively monitoring that impact. Recruiters are like marketers in many ways, most notably in the sense that they are responsible for attracting talent to an organization through a consumer marketing strategy.

Related: 13 Rules for Getting the Most Out of Your Executive Search Firm

Hiring managers have to invest in developing a strong employer brand that resonates with candidates and current employees. “This is especially important when considering the pivotal role an employee plays in representing a company outside of the office,” said Ms. Burach. “Managers should build a workplace culture that makes workers act as advocates for a brand, not as critics. An investment into an employee advocacy tool helps create a centralized content hub where employees can gather to find company content they can share to their personal social accounts, thus amplifying the reach of a recruiting team.”

Outsource as Needed

The hiring process can be a long and arduous journey for a recruiting team. And the nuances of more specialized roles such as an executive search can sometimes progress beyond internal expertise. “Some of the world’s biggest companies hire external talent solutions partners, not to circumvent their recruiting and HR employees, but rather to provide support and guidance throughout the lifecycle of some of the most critical hires,” said Ms. Burach.

Talent Shortage or Just Short-Sighted Recruiting?
For 30 years, J. James O’Malley has developed talent acquisition solutions to ensure that leadership talent aligns with changing business needs. He joined Stanton Chase from TalentRISE in 2018 and has been focusing on senior-level searches for the financial services and professional services practice groups.

“A hiring strategy is what helps companies win the race for talent against their competitors, whether they’re looking to hire for an entry-level role or fill a spot in the C-suite,” she said. “The ways companies employ technology is changing the way hiring teams construct and deploy recruitment marketing strategies.”

Search Solution Group’s Josh Mangum outlined five ways to retain top talent in the current environment:

1. Hire the Right Talent

Reducing turnover rate starts with hiring the right people in the first place. “Rather than rushing the recruitment process to fill the role quickly, a strategic and thorough process will result in the right hire,” Mr. Mangum said. “When partnering with a recruitment firm, the recruitment and interview processes aim to fully understand the true strengths, weaknesses and intentions of a candidate before making a job offer.”

Related: This Recruiter’s Top Five Secrets for Landing Candidates

“Companies can thoroughly assess a candidate’s motivation when several professionals from the company meet with them to evaluate their character,” he said. “When culture fit and retention are a top priority for certain roles, a half-day working interview may be necessary.”

2. Welcome Employee Feedback

Welcoming feedback from employees lets them know that they are a valued asset to the company. “Employers should retain all feedback, then make improvements if it will improve productivity among the team,” Mr. Mangum said. “If company-wide changes or added benefits do not appear to be productive, keep in mind that personalized negotiations are possible. If a certain employee proves that he or she performs well when working remotely or with flexible hours, grant them that benefit. Employers should try to add additional benefits periodically and remind their team of what is offered.”

3. Provide Frequent Performance Reviews

To operate at peak productivity and motivate employees to produce better work, two-way communication should be frequent and constructive. “Providing monthly, quarterly, or biannual performance reviews not only enhances employees’ skills, but also lets them know that their skills are valued,” Mr. Mangum said. “To ensure that employees are motivated after a performance review, the review should be well organized, thought-out and constructive.”

Seven Tips to Find Great CEO Candidates
When determining a CEO’s suitability, companies should remind themselves that no candidate is perfect. The goal is to understand the trade-offs among the candidates’ strengths and weaknesses, and to ensure that prospects’ are not in areas that are especially critical for company performance.

4. Cultivate Individual Growth

Employee training and continuous learning opportunities have consistently proven to be a valuable investment. “Learning and development opportunities improve employee performance and are appreciated when offered correctly,” said Mr. Mangum. “Bringing in a speaker to speak to the whole company or department is a step in the right direction, but can be interpreted as a waste of time if certain professionals cannot find common ground with the speaker.”

“Instead, let the individuals be active in selecting learning and development opportunities that they would benefit from,” he said. “Company leaders could offer to buy individuals tickets to a conference of their choice, or offer bonuses to employees who complete personal projects that develop their creativity or strategic thinking abilities.”

5. Keep the Team Engaged  

Encouraging a healthy work/life balance and emphasizing company culture are key factors in improving employee retention, the Search Solution Group report said. “Regular social outings or activities develop a company culture that instills pride in its employees, therefore greatly improving retention rates,” Mr. Mangum said. “Organizations with an impressive culture schedule post-workday activities like happy hours and sports events. They also continue the positive culture inside the workplace by celebrating successes in all-company meetings, giving shout-outs to individuals or departments, and emphasizing support and empowerment among its employees.”

Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor; and Andrew W. Mitchell, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media

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