Pub. 11 2021-2022 Issue 5


How to Attract and Retain Top Talent

When unemployment stood at 14.8% in April 2020, nobody imagined hiring would be HR’s greatest challenge just 20 months later. The sudden shift has employers seeking new ways to attract candidates and retain employees. Whether you are struggling to find top talent or enduring the Turnover Tsunami — we are all seeing the lingering effects of the pandemic through the tight labor market.

Rethinking Recruitment

Prior to the labor shortage, if you had an open position, all you needed was a brief job description and a platform to post it on. Now, employers post their job ads on every recruiting platform and still struggle to find qualified candidates. The pandemic changed recruitment and the days of posting an ad online and hoping for the best are over. Employers are being forced to look at recruitment through a new lens in order to be successful.

All of this being said, it is still important to continue posting job ads online and on recruiting platforms, but the strategy behind the posting needs to change. The job posting should expand on the culture of your workplace and highlight why people look forward to coming to work every day. Obviously, it is important to continue to share job responsibilities and outline expectations, but candidates are looking for what sets your Project Manager position apart from 50 other companies’ Project Manager positions.

In looking at your job ad, pay attention to the language you are using and what it would convey to someone who knows absolutely nothing about your company. A job ad is the first impression your company gets to make on future employees. By taking the extra step to ensure accuracy and formatting is correct, you will have more success with your job posting.

Where to Look?

Due to the labor shortage, you can expect job boards and recruiting platforms to be bursting with job postings, so the likelihood of finding quality candidates is slim unless your opening checks all of the candidates’ boxes. Studies show the three biggest recruiting challenges for employers are:

  • Finding candidates with the right skills
  • Hiring quickly enough to land the best talent
  • Finding candidates who complement the company culture

One route employers should consider when searching for top talent is hiring a recruiter. Recruiters have access to large networks of individuals with a vast array of skills and industries. The inherent ability to create relationships with almost anyone makes hiring a recruiter a seamless process. However, the effectiveness of a recruiter depends on your response time. A recent study showed that 39% of job candidates say 7 to 14 days is too long to wait for an employer’s response. While navigating the tight labor market, you should be prepared to move quickly because most candidates will receive several job offers after only a single interview.

Who's going to be called up next?

If the recruitment efforts take longer than expected, turn to your internal workforce. Companies are learning to do more with less and adapting their processes to accommodate a smaller staff and strained resources. While it is not ideal to ask your staff to buckle down and bear with you through this time, transparency will be important. Continue to keep your staff informed of your efforts and encourage them to make referrals or share the job postings to their networks. The increased communication will inspire loyalty and, in turn, increase retention.

Get Creative!

In response to the ultra-competitive talent market, we are seeing 57% of employers offering referral bonuses and 43% boosting pay. Apart from raising wages, companies are looking at alternative benefits to attract and retain employees. One of the most requested benefits is flexibility, but employers are taking a different approach in some industries where flexibility is not possible due to the nature of the job.

Forty-four percent of employers are taking the opportunity to upskill and reskill their staff members through different training programs. Organizations are becoming increasingly aware of the impact coaching can have on the employee and the business. By implementing a training program, you can show your investment in your workforce and care about their future with your company. The training opportunity can lead to increased morale and loyalty amongst the workforce.

Another differentiator when navigating the labor shortage is granting employees early access to their paychecks. Studies show that 83% of workers are eager to be paid at the completion of each working day. An accelerated payroll program allows employees to quickly gain access to their funds and encourages employer loyalty.

It may be easier to offer “fun” perks of happy hours and catered lunches; those tend to only be short-term culture changes. By providing long-term programs in your business, you show your employees and future employees that you care about their well-being and success with your organization. Whether through financial means or career development, candidates are looking for what your company can offer them beyond the typical benefits.