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  • Writer's pictureRobert White

Key Strategies for Attracting and Retaining Top Talent

With 2021 set to be one of the toughest employment years yet, there is no doubt that employee retention is at the top of many employers’ minds. One way or another, everyone wants to secure the best talent for themselves. This is especially true given the high cost of recruitment. It is evident that attracting and retaining quality employees is essential for the success of any business. However, top-quality candidates are always in high demand, and hanging on to the ideal employee can be challenging.

We know that happy employees stay longer, stay committed, work hard, operate efficiently, and provide organizational stability. Excellent retention can help reduce your HR costs, improve organisational operations, and increase your resilience. But how can you craft the best strategy for keeping employees happy and retention high?

A strong retention strategy is two-fold: it requires both a sustained investment in company culture and strong recruitment practices. These are the qualities that will draw in top-quality candidates and keep them with you for the long haul.

Have a Clear and Appealing Mission and Values

If you want to attract and retain employees who will remain with you for years of dedicated service, you need to show yourself to be an organisation worth sticking with. Just as you are unlikely to give your life-long support to a political party whose policies you disapprove of, most employees will not feel committed to an employer whose mission and values are unclear or distasteful.

You probably can’t guarantee universal approval for your organisation’s mission and values, but you can make sure they are clear and well-advertised. By promoting these aspects of your company clearly and prominently in your job advertisements and recruitment literature, you can make sure you are encouraging only like-minded candidates to apply. These are the candidates who will later become committed employees.

The need to promote a clear mission and values does not stop with recruitment, however.

Employees who feel that their experiences working with you in the first six months to one year of employment do not live up to their expectations are unlikely to stay for very long. It is therefore important that your advertised mission and values accurately reflect the realities of working with you.

Sustain a Healthy Employee-Based Culture

Employees don’t just want to be proud of the company they work for; they also want to feel supported and cared for. Recent research published by The Guardian suggests, for example, that employees are increasingly unhappy with inflexible nine-to-five workdays, long commutes, and soulless open-plan offices. Employers who take the needs and desires of employees seriously are more likely to enjoy high retention.

Employee-based culture can be defined as one grounded in empathy for employees and committed to praising and rewarding employee achievements. Strong employee-based cultures support healthy work-life balances, flexible working arrangements, a positive social atmosphere, and a culture of appreciation.

A strong, employee-based company culture requires effort at all organizational levels, from leadership and policies to everyday working practices. For such a culture to have an impact on retention, it must meet the stated needs of employees, being flexible enough to change with the times without resulting in organizational inefficiencies or chaos.

It is also important to advertise your employee-based culture to potential employees in your recruitment efforts. Doing so will help in attracting and retaining talent who are in search of the perfect long-term position.

Offer Continuing Education and Advancement

It is also natural that an employee will be more committed to your organization in the long term if you are equally open about being committed to them. Especially with the COVID-19 pandemic causing widespread employment uncertainty, employees want to know that they are more than just disposable resources. The best employees are looking for organizations in which they can thrive and grow.

Offering employees a clear path to promotion and self-development both acknowledges their value and shows a concrete investment that promises long-term commitment. These are the actions that will help employees feel secure in making a long-term commitment to you. They also help employees feel more confident in their abilities to do their jobs, making attrition due to job stress less likely.

Show employees your willingness to invest by providing training and development, offering continuing education opportunities, and demonstrating a clear and supported path to growth and promotion. This is essential to attracting and retaining talent that will be happier, more committed employees.

Be Transparent in Your Expectations and Communications

Recent research published by Glide reveals that many employees list ‘having enough information’ and ‘feeling … heard’ as top priorities for a happy employer relationship, but that these are the areas in which many employers struggle to meet expectations. While transparency can be a scary prospect, according to many experts, clear communication is an essential component of employee happiness. Clear and transparent communication not only improves collaboration but also establishes trust and creates a culture of engagement. These are the qualities that create a comfortable working environment, and which will support higher levels of retention.

Good communication begins at the recruitment stage. Make your expectations about roles and responsibilities specific and clear, and be transparent and realistic about compensation and benefits. Employees who feel in the dark, disappointed, or overwhelmed when they begin work with you will soon be looking for the door.

Acknowledge that Recruitment is Essential

Before any of these organisational efforts can pay off, however, you need strong recruitment practices that will attract and secure the best long-term candidates for your organization. This might mean making sure that your excellent values, a clear mission, amazing employee-based culture, fantastic advancement opportunities, and a culture of transparency are communicated effectively to recruitment candidates.

However, it also goes further than good advertising. To secure employees who are a good long-term fit for your company, you need a robust recruitment process that effectively screens for all areas of suitability, from skills and experience to cultural alignment and potential for growth.

Selecting the best candidates for your company ensures that they will stay with you year after year, providing you with the best and most relevant experience and skill set. Investing in employees who are the best fit for your company will improve retention and boost your overall business performance. To find out more about how our industry specialist recruitment agents can help you attract and retain the best talent, get in touch with Redimeer today.

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