Wood Words

Want to Attract and Retain Better Employees? Start by becoming a “talent magnet”

Competition for great talent is a top hiring challenge for Middle Tennessee companies – and employers across the nation.  According to HireRight’s 2013 Employment Screening Benchmarking Report, finding, retaining and developing quality talent was cited as the biggest business issue for 52 percent of employers surveyed.

We’ve known for some time that, in many industries, the recruiting pendulum has swung. How will your company address the talent challenges ahead?

One of the best ways to attract and retain high performers is by becoming an “employer of choice” – one that offers the culture, work environment and development opportunities high performers want. Use these tips from Wood Personnel to become a true talent magnet and keep your best employees working for you:

  • Improve your corporate culture.  Conduct a brainstorming session to critically examine your work environment and identify opportunities for improvement.  Ask employees for ideas on how to enhance teamwork, autonomy, flexibility and work/life balance.  Once you know what’s important to employees, assign them responsibility for implementing the culture changes that make sense for your organization.  People are more likely to stay working in a culture that reflects their own preferences and priorities.
  • Proactively develop your best talent.  High performers naturally crave challenge – and if you don’t provide it, they may seek it with a competitor.  Nurture top talent by assigning them responsibilities that broaden their knowledge base and make them more versatile.  The more these employees feel they are making a real difference within your organization, the more engaged and loyal they’ll be.  As an added benefit, cross-training helps you protect against knowledge loss and benefits your succession-planning efforts.
  • Recognize accomplishments. Develop a formal plan to recognize both team and individual accomplishments in your organization. Make your program consistent, timely and in-line with your company’s ideals.
  • Create clear, long-term career paths.  Meet regularly with each key employee to discuss his career “big picture.”  Discuss where he is now, where he’d like to be, and how you can help him get there.  Work together to develop a three- to five-year career plan, and then provide the mentoring, educational and other professional development opportunities he needs to achieve those goals.
  • Listen to your employees.  Your most talented professionals have lots of great ideas.  Do they have a mechanism for sharing them?  Encourage your staff to come to you with their suggestions.  Keep an open mind and listen to what they have to say – then implement their best ideas!  Make your company one that leverages the intelligence and insights of its natural innovators.
  • Offer a competitive salary and benefits package.  Money isn’t everything, but it is important.  To truly become a best place to work, you should offer a comprehensive and competitive compensation package that reflects the value you place on your most important asset – your people.

Once you’ve implemented the steps needed to become an employer of choice, your best employees will become advocates for your organization. Over time, your reputation as a great place to work will grow, and recruiting high performers will become easier.

Still, finding the best will likely remain a big challenge for some time.  When you need help, give Wood Personnel a call. As a top Middle Tennessee recruiting and employment agency, we have the experience, resources and talent network to deliver high performers who will thrive in your organization.