How to Find and Retain Today’s Top Talent


In the recruitment world, recruiting and retention go hand in hand. Filling niche positions means getting the attention of some hard-to-find talent, and once you find them, keeping them. After all, you employees are your most valuable asset. In addition to the monetary cost of losing an employee (sometimes 2.5x an employee’s salary), the soft costs can hit hard too. This includes decreased team morale, lower productivity, and training costs.

What can you do to attract top talent, and how do you make sure they stick around?

Step 1 – Define “Top Talent” For Your Organization

  • The first step to attracting top talent to your company is to define what “top talent” means to you. What exactly are you looking for? The right candidate will look different to each company and role, which means you need to know how to correctly identify and advertise these qualities to get the attention of a good match.
  • A resume can be helpful to review a candidate’s past work experience, but you should also look for other qualities that could indicate a good fit: What soft skills do they have? Are they good at conceptual thinking and time management? Do their values and personality line up with your company culture and mission?
  • Look beyond the check boxes to learn about their inner workings and you will find a candidate whose strengths match not only your company’s needs, but also your motivations. Look for those who will be loyal to something they care about and are interested in what your organization is doing. Examples of this could include those who regularly volunteer, participate in community sports teams and events, or pursue dedicated interests outside of the workplace.

Step 2 – Competitive Pay, Unique Benefits, and Work-Life Balance

  • Jobseekers are looking for higher paychecks in exchange for their in-demand skills and experience. Competitive pay and unique benefits will make you stand out to potential candidates. It ensures they are more likely to invest in your organization and their careers, and that they feel supported by you, their employer.In the past decade, while recovering from the recession of 2008 and economic turmoil caused by the pandemic in 2020, US employees’ wages have increased minimally despite inflation and increased overall productivity. If you want to hire the best of the best, you need to be ready to compensate them accordingly.
  • In addition to health insurance plans and 401k matching, you could consider offering other benefits like gym memberships, on-site daycare, parental leave, discounts with partner organizations, stock options, access to therapy and mental health services, sign-on bonuses or rewards for staying with the company for a certain amount of time.
  • For example, Change.org offers a generous 18 weeks paid parental leave to employees, arguing that employees who can’t afford to take unpaid leave and are forced to return to work are resentful and distracted.) Often these additional benefits can be a cost-effective way to increase overall happiness and satisfaction of employees.
  • Offer remote and flexible work options. If it’s possible, offer remote work options and flexible hours as a part of the employment offer. This boosts employee satisfaction by giving them an opportunity for more work-life balance. Remote work also makes it possible to recruit from anywhere, finding the best candidates regardless of their location. That means you can focus on talent and skills!

Step 3 – Make Workplace Culture and Process Improvement a Priority

  • Make hiring for diversity a priority. This benefits your company by bringing a wider range of insights to your team while reducing hiring bias and improving workplace culture and morale.
  • Continuing training beyond the onboarding process keeps employees engaged and interested. Offer access to education and leadership opportunities that help your employees to develop their skills in the workplace, whether it be soft skills or technical.Current employees with access to education and mentorship will be better able to do their jobs and adapt to changes in their current role. It also helps them to be more engaged by getting them actively involved in their own career advancement.

Step 4 – Keep a Finger on the Pulse of Your Current Culture

  • If you are able, examine the data of your current and former talent pool-who is leaving? Why, and when? What can you do to address this and prevent losing talent? No advice is one-size-fits-all, especially when your organization has its own nuanced inner workings.Identify and recognize patterns within and use that data to make necessary changes. Don’t wait for an exit interview to find out specific ways you can hold on to productive team members and fix issues within your organization.
  • Transparency and honesty between employees and upper management – encourage a network to form, even outside your organization to others in the industry. Regular meetings and an open-door policy with managers foster an environment where employees can speak frankly about their concerns or struggles, and their triumphs!Enthusiasm for the company comes through in your employees too, and can be seen by your customers and clients. If they know your employees are happy, they will be more likely to want to do business with you.

Think Ahead, and Be Ready When The Time Comes

Retention should be your number one priority after finding the right candidate. Dig into the nitty gritty of your workplace culture, company values and strategies to ensure your top talent stays. Commit to providing an excellent candidate experience during the hiring process, and deliver on the promise of competitive and exciting benefits once a candidate is hired. Find the pain points in your team members and consider what you could offer or change to keep your team satisfied.

Putting effort into retention is cost effective because it offers a direct ROI to you as the employer. Decrease your turnover, in turn freeing up your recruitment budget for new positions that may open up or for improving current processes, instead of replacing people who only stick around for a little while.

Turnover happens. It’s unfortunate, but sometimes unavoidable. Sometimes moving on is a natural part of someone’s career path or a company’s growth. If you find yourself in search of top talent, use these tips to build a stronger team and attract qualified candidates who will hopefully stay for years to come!

Be prepared, know what you’re looking for, and when the time comes that you need to hire again, reach out to a recruitment specialist to get your jobs in front of hard-to-find talent.

Find your next great hire with YM Careers Network.

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