How to Attract and Keep Talent from Jumping Ship

Attracting and retaining top people continues to be a hot topic in the talent space. A new report by Randstad outlines what attracts workers to an employer. It may not be what you think. Dan Davenport, CEO of RiseSmart, weights in on the new employer-employee relationship.

May 31, 2018 – Finding ways to attract the right, talented employees for their organizations remains a major concern and a challenge for the world’s human resources professionals. But today, with the economy making it easier for many employees to land another job, HR departments are also worrying about how to keep their best talent from jumping ship.

According to the Randstad Employer Brand Research report for 2018, unsatisfactory compensation (44 percent), a limited career path (43 percent) and insufficient challenges (30 percent) are the key reasons that employees cite for looking for work elsewhere. For 28 percent, work-life balance issues make people decide to quit. And 27 percent are driven away by a lack of recognition from their employer.

“Now more than ever, an employer’s reputation is critical to attracting the right talent,” said James Foley, global SVP, employer brand, talent innovation center at Randstad. “We see shifts in attitudes that indicate workers want more than just an attractive salary and benefits. A good work-life balance, career growth opportunities and flexible work arrangements are increasingly important qualities they seek in a potential employer.”

An employer brand perceived to offer these prized qualities is critical during these times of talent scarcity, Mr. Foley said. “Workers want to know they can count on their companies to help achieve a sense of purpose in their jobs, grow professionally and provide inspiration for their long-term goals. Especially to the Millennial generation, an organization’s intangible qualities such as its mission and culture can also play a huge role in winning high-quality workers.”

Employee Retention

The Randstad report underlined that for employers, employee retention is all about knowing how to keep the music playing and understanding what aspects of their employer brand make talent stay or drive them away.

Young employees (18 to 24) are more likely to stay with their employer if they receive good training, said the report. For higher educated employees, attractive salary and benefits play a bigger role – 47 percent mention this as their reason to stay. Only 39 percent of the lower educated employees consider this a major consideration to stay.

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As it is not always easy to find a new job, employees who are 45 years of age and up find job security (placed second in the ranking) and an employer’s financial health to be more relevant.

More than Money

But money alone will not keep employees from applying for a job elsewhere. This is particularly true for higher educated employees: Forty-seven percent of employees in this category consider a limited career path an important reason to say farewell to their employer.

Related: How to Find Executive Leaders in a Candidate-Driven Market

Employers who want their talent to stay should consider ways to improve and expand the career paths, identify new challenges, offer a better work-life balance, better and more recognition and rewards for their employees, said the study.

To attract the 18-to-24 year old, organizations might want to focus on factors like good training, career progression, very good reputation, giving back to society and diversity & inclusion, said Randstad. For workers that are 45 and up, job security and the employer’s financial health are more relevant for organizations to focus on in their employer brand strategy.

Career Progression

The trend of career advancement being a decisive factor in successful retention also comes up when workers are asked to list what they look for in an employer. “Career progression” is a strong factor, mentioned by 38 percent this year (up from 35 percent in 2017).

Related: Top Hurdles for Finding and Retaining Top Talent

The study’s “top 10 reasons to choose an employer” were as follows: salary and benefits (mentioned by 60 percent), job security (48 percent), work-life balance (45 percent), work atmosphere (44 percent), career progression (38 percent), a financially healthy employer (34 percent), flexible arrangements (32 percent), strong management (28 percent), good training (28 percent) and location (28 percent).

The Threat Is Real

The threat of losing the best hands on the work floor – even after extensive investments in education and training – is very real, now that the economic crisis is over in most countries. The report showed that today, people are willing to leave their boss fairly easily. At a global level, 45 percent of the respondents said that they have either changed jobs in the past year or plan to do so in the next 12 months.

A Paradigm Shift

How companies handle their talent management strategies in the 21st century workplace matter more than just about anything. According to Dan Davenport, president of career transition leader RiseSmart, there is “a paradigm shift in how talent is moving into, within and out of an organization.” As a result, he noted, “business outcomes are increasingly dependent on a company’s ability to achieve high levels of employee engagement, loyalty and trust.” Here’s some further reading from Hunt Scanlon Media.

A Look Inside Today’s Worker-Employer Relationship
According to a newly-released report by RiseSmart, there is an ‘employee relationship economy’ on the rise being driven by technology, a changing workforce and globalization. With it, HR management will increasingly need strategies to embrace a new era of ‘boomeranging’ employees.

Globally, 18 percent planned to switch jobs in 2017 and 27 percent actually did. In EMEA and North America the numbers are 17 percent and 26 percent and 20 percent and 26 percent respectively. In Latin America the gap between “planning and acting” is much bigger: Nineteen percent planned to go, 36 percent actually left the organization. This gap can be explained by the low importance of job security in this region.

In-Depth Research

The Randstad Employer Brand Research report surveyed over 175,000 individuals (general public, aged 18 to 65) from 5,755 companies in 30 countries. Its purpose was to provide insights into the perceptions and drivers of choice of potential employees. Why do people prefer one company, or a specific industry, over another? What motivates them to stay with an employer or start looking elsewhere?

Related: Failure to Develop, Engage and Retain Talent Is Growing

“Our research also reveals that what attracts workers to an employer may not always be the reasons for them to stay,” said Mr. Foley. “Even though compensation remains the most important consideration when choosing an employer, its impact is less of a factor in the decision to stay. In other words, salaries may help initially win talent, but job security, work-life balance and convenience of the office location convince them to stay.”

So what does the survey data say about how employers should support its employer brand internally and externally? “Fostering the employer brand has always been a complex task that too many companies oversimplify, believing that a universal message should resonate with all of its employees and prospective workers,” said Mr. Foley. “The reality, however, is that brand strategy must be directed at various stakeholders but supported by the same employer value proposition. Moreover, with the rise of independent workers and the gig economy, employers need to deliver relevant messaging to attract this growing segment of the workforce.”

Related: Retaining New Hires Now Seen As a Critical Issue

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

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