10 Ways to Attract and Retain Talent in Today’s Competitive Workforce
Uncertainty in the economy and job market is driving employers to be more aggressive in their recruiting efforts. In order to attract and retain talent, it’s important for businesses to focus on a few key adjustments in their current operations. Below are 10 of the best ways employers can compete with other companies vying for top talent.
Create a culture of transparency and communication.
Listen to the team and address their concerns promptly. Do not force or intimidate people into compliance; instead, be open to accepting suggestions from employees and work collaboratively with them on determining the best solutions for company issues as a team effort—and make it a two-way working relationship. Consider sending out regular surveys if you want to get honest feedback from your employees about the pros and cons of how you are operating, from top to bottom.
Offer competitive, above-market compensation.
It is a global economy and talent has options; if you want to attract the best people, be prepared to pay for them. An above-market pay rate is the top way to get fresh talent in the door. Offering opportunities for overtime as well can give employees the potential to control their earnings. However, there are still some workers who would rather be salaried employees (without overtime) than hourly paid ones, so offer both options and let your teams know about the choices so they can make informed decisions for themselves and their families.
Don’t neglect your benefits package.
Unfortunately, pay rates will only go so far when competing with other companies so, you also have to offer perks and benefits that people will value. Telecommuting is becoming more widely accepted as a work option, and many younger employees expect it or will not take jobs without it. If telecommuting is not an option, consider offering flexible hours or paid time-off, even for hourly employees. Other popular benefits that are becoming more standard include 401(k) matching, access to discount networks and free company apparel.
Encourage personal development by providing opportunities to learn new things outside one’s comfort zone.
If people are given opportunities within the company for growth, this will keep them engaged with their work and more likely to stay with your company versus jumping ship. Professional development along with opportunities for career growth are crucial to retention in today’s competitive marketplace. Ensure that all employees receive some type of ongoing training, whether it is in a classroom setting or self-guided online courses. Not only will this improve productivity overall, but will keep everyone engaged in their work.
Provide a sense of purpose to your employees.
Keep everyone on the same page with company goals. Give regular updates about how close you are to meeting them, or set up quarterly meetings so that people will feel more invested in their jobs. This will make them feel like they are part of the big picture and have a say as to how it is accomplished. Try getting their feedback on new products or services, or setting up brainstorming meetings with all levels of employees. It never hurts to have more vantage points and brain power.
Have clear expectations for each position.
Tell your new hires exactly what is expected from them when they start working there, so that no one feels like things are being left unsaid. Once they have been hired, make sure that you are not deviating from those expectations or changing them too frequently. This will only confuse and frustrate your employees who are already feeling overwhelmed by their new roles.
Treat employees like adults.
Give them room to make mistakes and learn from the experience, and give honest feedback when necessary about their performance or behavior. Transparency and direct constructive criticism is the best way to communicate with employees without demeaning or belittling. Let employees know that they have autonomy in their job but you are there to support them when needed. When people know that they are appreciated and trusted with doing the right thing, they will want to stay with you longer.
Train managers to coach rather than reprimand.
In a similar vein, if you have an employee that isn’t performing up to his or her potential, rather than firing or demoting them, help them find a new role or coach them through the transition until they have found something else. This will save you time and money that would have gone into looking for a replacement. It shows employees that you care about them as people beyond their positions at work.
Make sure management practices are fair and free of discrimination.
Diversity and inclusion are key pillars in today’s society as well as a key factor that potential hires look for when vetting companies. Make sure all managers are fair when it comes time for promotions and pay raises. This ensures that decisions aren’t based on favoritism, nepotism or discriminatory factors, but rather performance reviews and objective metrics such as sales numbers. One bad seed on the management tier can topple a whole arm of a company so be sure to do your due diligence when vetting and promoting managers. Take employee concerns and complaints seriously and don’t dismiss them before doing an investigation.
llow your employees to wear what they want to work (within reason)
In today’s competitive workforce, employers are constantly looking for ways to attract and retain top talent. One of the most effective ways to do so? Forget the strict dress code policies — let employees dress however they please.
A study conducted by the Work Institute found that allowing workers freedom in their dress code not only increases job satisfaction, but it also impacts productivity in a positive manner. Besides, who doesn’t like to show up at work in their favorite t-shirt and jeans?
The best part? It doesn’t cost a thing!
As your company continues to grow, it’s important that you continue adjusting and adapting so you can keep up with the changing needs of employees. It may be tempting to put off these changes until later when things start getting out-of-hand, but this strategy will likely cost more in the long run by way of decreased employee morale or loss of top talent.
Many of the changes and adjustments we’ve listed here are common sense tactics that you may already be doing. But it never hurts to review your strategy, especially if you want to maintain a competitive edge in today’s economy. It is important for companies not only to offer competitive salaries and benefits but also have an environment where employees feel valued. Is your company doing something unique that isn’t listed above? We’d love to hear about it.