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"How to Attract and Retain Top Talent" - Presentation

"How to Attract and Retain Top Talent" - Presentation

Posted on 28/02/2019 by Entree Recruitment

How to attract and retain top talent

On Wednesday the 27th February, Entrée Recruitment hosted a Business SA Chamber Networking Event. Renae Sullivan, Senior Consultant, gave a presentation discussing "How to Attract and Retain Talent". That presentation, for your knowledge, is below. Enjoy!

"Entrée Recruitment is a South Australian owned and operated recruitment agency dedicated to finding the best talent for temporary and permanent jobs. What makes us different to work with are our philosophies around building relationships and treating people with honesty and respect. We understand that the quality of our service is critical in attracting the best talent in the market as well as the best employers to work for right here in Adelaide.

Our average length of service within our team is 6 years and our consulting team combined have over 80 year’s recruitment experience. We boast a really great culture, and if you follow us on Facebook or LinkedIn, you’ll see we celebrate success and achievements of both our team members and our team as a whole. We all love working here – we love what we do and the people we work with.

Because of our own love for our workplace, one of our first questions when taking a new client’s job brief is: why should an employee want to work here? And I’m a little shocked if it takes them awhile to think of the answer. Ideally, it should be something all your employees can answer easily – and outsiders can see it in your branding and reputation too.

So this leads to my topic for tonight:

How to attract and retain quality staff.

Talent acquisition and employee retention are two sides of the same coin

Employees stay where:

  • They feel their work is meaningful
  • They believe in what their organisation is doing
  • They feel appreciated, and compensated fairly
  • They have opportunities to grow

Employee turnover is expensive, no matter what type of position an employee holds, so as a business owner or leader, it’s important that you understand the true value of hiring and retaining talent in today’s competitive workforce. Retaining talent maintains comprehensive knowledge of your business, and is one of the ingredients for high morale. A constant turnover of staff can be a drain on the bottom line and limit productivity.

The most common causes of employee turnover are reported as no room for growth within the company, the pay isn’t great, an unfavorable work environment, inadequate supervision or training, and the feeling of being under appreciated by leadership…so how do you overcome these common workplace challenges?

1. Treat your talent search as if you were marketing your company.

In a competitive market, you want your job posting to stand out. Those who are really good at what they do will be interviewing the company just as much as they are getting interviewed for a job, so you need to put your best foot forward and take pride in your how you advertise your roles. For us, we write a compelling job advertisement that really sells the benefits of working for the organisation and the type of work. We’re also having huge success with video job advertising. Video is more engaging content than written text. Video sparks interest through emotion. Studies show that job seekers will spend on average 55 seconds viewing a text job advertisement but will spend an average of 2 minutes and 54 seconds watching a video job advertisement. Our video job ads have been viewed up to as many as 3,777 times each. So not only do video job ads benefit our clients from a branding perspective but more so, they boost engagement on our job ads, presenting the advertisement to a larger number of people (particularly passive candidates) and bringing in more applications. Here is a sample of an Entrée video job advertisement.

2. Evaluate your culture

Can you clearly articulate what your organizational culture is? What are the aligned values, beliefs, behaviours and experiences that make up the organisation's environment? Is this communicated internally as well as externally?

Culture fit is so important for recruiting and retaining great talent. Hiring employees that don't mesh well with the existing or desired company culture leads to poor work quality, decreased job satisfaction and a potentially toxic environment.

On the other hand, hiring employees that fit well with the culture and share a strong belief in the values will most likely flourish.

It all starts with asking the right questions. Questions not just related to the candidates technical experience. Of course there can be fun ways to assess an individual's personality to see if they fit with the team environment. Take them on a tour of the office. Let them sit in on a meeting or have them join you for a team lunch. Assess their comfort levels in different environments. If collaboration is a critical part of the company culture, ask them questions about how they like to work. Ask for specific examples and experiences.

Hiring based on culture and values increases retention immensely. But it's not just about what's right for the company, it's also about what's best for the candidate. If you bring them in for their expertise, knowing that they possibly aren't the best culture fit, that isn't fair to them either. They will thrive more in an environment that suits their beliefs and values. So let them spread their wings somewhere else and find the individual that will be with you for the long haul.

3. Restructure the 9 to 5

There is often the concern that when employees leave early for the day or aren’t in the office from “9-5,” work is not being completed or that it is not of quality, but studies show that flexible scheduling and working remotely actually improves employee output. Are your employees praised for “taking one for the team” by working late? That’s a dangerous precedent to set. If you don’t afford your employees enough time to pursue their passions and recharge, they’ll eventually burn out. And when they do, they’ll leave. To help restructure the “9 to 5” mentality, ask yourself, “Is this employee getting their work done?” and “Is this employee meeting or even exceeding my expectations?”

4. Develop your Employees Potential.

I see this as a shift from a loyalty mindset to a commitment mindset. In a 'loyalty' mindset, people are rewarded for simply being there a long time. In a commitment culture, organisations clearly define what the individual is being offered in return for their services and provide internal career coaching to empower people to manage their own careers. How do you build career entrepreneurship? Allow people to set their career goals, provide them with the tools to reach those goals and let them measure their accomplishments. Helping people set their own roadmap and then allowing them to succeed will ensure that people are engaged. By connecting employees with development opportunities your business will see the fruits of your labour as your employees continue to grow and become more knowledgeable. In fact, we see this as such an important area, we’ve now started an entire training & development division.

5. Recognize and Reward.

Employees want to know that they are appreciated and that if they put in the effort to produce great work, they will be rewarded as such. A successful reward doesn't always have to be monetary to be successful. Sometimes just recognizing an individual's great work in front of their peers shows how much value you place on them. I’ve met employees that didn’t KNOW what their achievements were because it’d been so long since an employer had celebrate or recognised their contributions and explained how they fit into the bigger picture. Nobody goes to work and says to themselves in the morning, "Gee, I want to be really mediocre today." Recognition is an important component to meaningful work. When you recognize people for their accomplishments, they feel that their work has significance.

6. Streamline the hiring process

We see some organisations take several months to go through the decision making process for most organizations is now taking several months. When hiring, it seems that everybody has to be part of the interview and decision-making process, even the cleaner! People respond positively to the organisation when you streamline the process and get back to people quickly, even if they did not get the position. Also, moving quickly gives you a significant competitive advantage over your competition. 

7. On boarding

Once you have brought somebody into the organization, you should have a 90 day plan worked out for them even before they start. Some effective techniques are providing them with a mentor/buddy who can help them adjust to the new workplace. A number of studies have shown that the first 90 days are critical for helping people feel 'part of the team' and, when they do, they are both more engaged and committed to the organization and its goals.

When you create a culture where people are recognized, engaged and they believe in what they are doing, people not only stay with the organization but attract others there as well.

In conclusion, one of the most effective ways to lower the cost of turnover is to lower the rate of turnover- no matter the size of your organization. Focus on fostering an engaging, rewarding and balanced work environment that inspires employees to stick around and do their best work while they’re on your team. If the employees in your organization are highly engaged, they’ll often become some of your best brand ambassadors."