The Art of Attracting and Retaining Top Talent

The Art of Attracting and Retaining Top Talent

Keeping talented employees of your organization engaged and satisfied has always been a puzzle – there isn’t a one-size-fits-all, definite solution. The answers continue to evolve. A few years ago, some may argue, it may have been adequate to provide your top talent with a good salary and decent working conditions.

But of course, the scenario has changed over the years, and a job hopping culture is now the norm.

Employees now demand better and faster career opportunities and look for more than just monetary compensation. This has understandably made it difficult to attract talent and companies had to come up with innovative ways of retaining their employees. There’s of course, no doubt that people are the lifeline of your organization. There have been many debates and controversies that the HR as a function will slowly diminish as workplaces are becoming automated but the truth is that without people there is no organization. So how do you hire and retain the best people in your company?

Many employers think that there is a vast pool of people to hire. Some even believe that every person is easily replaceable. But think of it this way – when your employees stay and grow in your organisation, their performance and commitment to the organization is greater. As employees progress and move to better positions within the company, your monetary investment in the employee reduces because money is no longer the motivating factor for the employee.

On the contrary, your organisation might be huge and well-established, but if employees are leaving, there will be a need to invest in hiring new employees and then training and developing them all over again. You’ll be spending time and money without getting the best productivity out of these employees who work with you only for the short-term. It is important to remember that with every employee who leaves there remains a knowledge vacuum that takes time to fill. If more and more of your employees are leaving, it is time to introspect and re-strategize your company’s management style.

Several strategic human resources experts say that at a time of constant change and disruption, a company that retains their employees will always have a competitive advantage than those that lay-off or whose employees leave. This is because you can accelerate with the employees who know best about your business and culture. So how do you build this empowered organization and gain a competitive edge?

Here’s what your company should be doing:

Build the Right Culture

Nothing is more powerful than a strong organizational culture that respects and puts its employees first. So before you go and employ new methods or change your existing processes, focus on building and sustaining the right culture that truly embodies Empowerment, Achievement and Integrity. There are several companies that are known for its brilliant work culture and this itself attracts the right talent. People will want to genuinely work in your company and not just for the money! HP is an example where David Packard, the co-founder, built a culture of respect and consideration for its employees. When you get this right, you need not invest in branding. Your employees will become your brand ambassadors automatically. Let’s face it, the power of word-of-mouth surpasses everything else, even today.

Using Data

Big Data and Analytics have caught on all functions of a business and HR is no exception. These can contribute in a huge way and can change the way hiring is done. Big Data can be used to differentiate and identify the right talent sources from the average ones. It will allow employers to identify what are the sources that give high performers. This can be further enhanced by using select keywords and establishing interview parameters. Analytics will also be used to identify what is the major motivation of employees and why they stay or leave.

Adopting Flexibility

This term is often underestimated but considering today’s workplace scenario that consists of Baby Boomers, Gen X and Y, this is the only quality that can help you. The Gen Y doesn’t really care about the profits your company makes and the salary they get. They look for how flexible their work can be in terms of time and place. That’s why the traditional, fixed job timings need to be reworked. When you look at most of the companies that are successful today, they have all adopted a flexible work culture. Companies even have to accommodate different types of employees like permanent, consultant, contract and part-time. In the end what really matters is you give the employees the freedom and flexibility to do their work their way rather than telling them how to do it.

Building Ownership

This word is thrown around quite a bit in startups and when talking about employee retention. Big corporations can also take a leaf out of the startup book and ponder upon questions such as: what should they do to attract and retain top talent? What can they do to give their employees full ownership of their work?

Again, this is a practice of a progressive work culture. Giving ownership involves building teams and giving them full credit for their success and responsibility for failure. This is a remarkable feature of the start-up culture wherein everyone takes equal responsibility for the work and their contributions. This is also useful in identifying potential leaders in your organization and developing them to take up higher roles.

The process of attracting and retaining top talent in a company is truly an art, and one cannot exist without the other. Both should be given equal importance and it is only when you attract the right and self-motivated people to your organization- and by right people, it means people who simply want to work in your company because it’s a great place to work- they will remain in your organization for the right reasons.


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