Recruiting and Retaining Top Talent – Part 2

Hiring is up across nearly all sectors of business in the U.S., according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and CareerBuilder.  While we all want a healthy economy, companies must come to terms with the fact that an improving economy leads to greater turnover. That’s why the two most important things companies can do are (1) retain the most talented workers within your organization and (2) spend time preparing for inevitable turnover by investing in talent management and acquisition strategies.

In this two part series, we delve into how to accomplish this dual-strategy. In Part 2, we provide key action items to recruit top talent. If you missed it, here is Part 1.

Recruiting the Best Workers

Always be prepared to hire. Unfortunately, people will leave your team no matter how effective your retention efforts. Make sure your Human Resources or Talent Acquisition department is fully staffed and prepared for necessary replacement activity. Many Talent Acquisition departments are tapping into their Recruitment Outsourcing Process (RPO) business partners and staffing firms to help with the shuffling of employees. 

It’s natural for people to find opportunities that will help them advance in their career. If an employee truly finds a great opportunity, congratulate them. Then, immediately fill the open position with one of the many quality professionals within your network. Be in constant connection with top performers who don’t work for you, or stay connected with the people who have access to these top performers. Here’s what you can do…

Become actively involved in an association

You may already be involved in some sort of networking or business association. If you wouldn’t describe yourself as “active,” then get involved locally. It can be difficult to devote time to an outside organization, but the investment of time is well worth it. A professional association gives you a pipeline and network of people who can help you reach out to potential employees when an opening becomes available in your company or department.

Get connected online

There are several social networking sites and blogs that can keep you well-connected and updated on industry trends. By far, the most common online tool used for networking and recruiting is LinkedIn. If you haven’t created a LinkedIn profile, now is the time. It doesn’t take long. Make sure you upload a professional photograph and your basic information. If you’re new to networking online, keep it simple to start with and then learn more tools and tricks to enhance your networking and recruiting capabilities.


Establish (brand) your organization as an employer of choice

One of the final steps in becoming an employer of choice is to let others know about your organization. There are a variety of ways, but the most successful is contributing online content. Post comments to online articles or provide content for newsletters and blogs. If you aren’t savvy at this, it’s a perfect project for one of your top performers with strengths in communication or writing. Share information about how you built a successful work environment. Don’t treat newsletters or online blogging as an advertisement. The content should offer valuable information to both passive and active job seekers, not just a company plug. You want the reader to come back to you for more information, which leads to more networking opportunities and a broader pipeline.  

Actively recruit with very specific advertisements

When the time comes to fill an open position, be very specific about what it takes to be a top performer in that position—the skills, knowledge, experience, and personal characteristics—and don’t settle for anything less from a potential candidate. Recent data shows that 98% of “Best Place to Work” organizations use social media sites such as Facebook and LinkedIn to recruit top performers, and 84% have a “careers” website or online career center. Don’t be afraid to advertise your position via traditional career posting sites, as well as social networking sites.

The Time Is Now

The job market in the late 1990s was similar to today’s circumstances. Companies that were losing employees started to offer concierge services and hiring bonuses in a mad scramble to retain employees and recruit new ones. This trend has already started to come back as the job market improves. This time around, however, it’s expected that companies will also try to deal with more nuanced employee requests, such as lowering stress at work, improving work-life balance, and creating more opportunities for career advancement within the company. Companies that implement aggressive retention and recruiting efforts will be the ones experiencing far less turnover than the national average.