At the start of 2020, many experts were talking about the importance of attracting and retaining top talent in the face of record low unemployment and a competitive, candidate-driven labor market. Of course, thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, the economy and job market have changed dramatically over the last nine months. But the need to attract and land top talent hasn’t. Let’s review the three keys to finding and hiring great talent during the pandemic and beyond.
A decade ago, company culture was one of those nice-to-have features that helped businesses set themselves apart from their competition. Today, in a world focused on transparency and corporate accountability, a strong culture is no longer optional. Culture drives real business results and studies have shown that companies with a robust and well-defined culture tend to not only perform better financially, but also have improved customer satisfaction and better results attracting top talent.
In a 2019 multi-country survey organized by Glassdoor, three in four adults said they would consider a company’s culture before applying for a job. The survey also found that culture mattered even more to younger professionals in the Millennial generation. This data suggests that negative perceptions around your organization’s culture could significantly hurt your ability to connect with and land top talent.
Experienced professionals also want to work for companies with a clear mission and values. The same Glassdoor survey found that nearly 75 percent of respondents would not apply to or work with a company unless it aligned with their own personal principles. That’s why having a strong culture with a clear mission is more important that ever. Companies need to be able to show how the world is better because of their business while also demonstrating to potential employees how they would fit into the vision of the organization. Ultimately, mission is a strong driver of employee satisfaction and employees who are satisfied and engaged at work make great brand ambassadors who can help attract other top talent.
Okay, so you’re focused on building up your company culture to find and hire great talent. Good move, but don’t forget about your current employees in the process. Talking to your teams and collecting feedback is actually one of the best ways to figure out what’s working and what’s not. Your current employees are committed to the company and want to see the business succeed, but they can also tell you where there are real issues that need to be addressed.
There are lots of ways to communicate with your teams and collect feedback, so you’ll need to determine what works best for your organization. Maybe you have weekly one-on-one meetings with staff to check-in and address any challenges individuals are facing. You could also conduct company-wide surveys to get anonymous, honest feedback or hold exit interviews with departing employees to learn where you could improve. All of this feedback helps address problems and create a better work environment for your employees.
Potential employees want to know that when they join your company, they’ll have a voice and the opportunity to provide feedback that is actually acted on. As this pandemic has taught us, both economic and life circumstances can change quickly. Companies that are able to collect feedback, act on the information, and adapt to shifting situations are the ones that will succeed when it comes to hiring and retaining great talent.
In addition to a strong culture and the ability to provide feedback, opportunities for advancement are another important factor in attracting potential employees and retaining your current ones. If you don’t already have a career development program or career tracks within your organization laid out, now is good time to get started. Talented professionals want the opportunity to learn new skills and grow within an organization.
Do you offer in-house trainings, reimbursement for external skills development, or continuing education? Do you have clear career paths that allow employees to imagine their future with your company? A lack of growth in either skills or job responsibilities is a common reason an employee might leave a company. If you don’t invest in your employees or show potential team members the career they could have, you won’t attract top talent and you might lose great employees to organizations that can offer them the growth and opportunities they seek.
While these three areas can help you attract top talent and retain great employees, your ultimate goal should be to focus on being a great company that top talent would want to work for. What makes a company a great place to work? The answer varies, but an empowering environment, work that motivates, and authentic leadership are a good place to start.
Searching for top talent for your company? IDR is here to help you connect with and hire great employees. Reach out to us today to get started!