Talent Series: Strategies for Attracting and Keeping the Industry’s Top Performers

Our paper will emphasise the significance of talent in contemporary organisations and investigate this notion from diverse outlooks. Our objective is to acquire deeper insights into talent and its influence on the workplace, while considering methods to foster and maximise its potential.

Being a business owner or manager, you are undoubtedly familiar with the challenges of building a thriving team from scratch. PwC’s latest survey has divulged that 77% of CEOs perceive the insufficiency of personnel with adequate proficiencies as the most significant hazard to their company.

In previous times, finding the most appropriate candidates for specific job positions was a daunting task. The recruitment process became even more arduous due to a limited job market (especially in the technology sector), fierce competition and a shift in the job-seeking behaviour of individuals. However, even in the most favourable scenarios, discovering the most skilled applicants remains an intricate process.

It has been proposed that the commercial impact of the Covid-19 pandemic may facilitate the recruitment of specific types of experts. While there may be some truth to this notion, it is essential to acknowledge that various factors beyond the availability and eagerness of potential candidates must be taken into account. Indeed, a fruitful recruitment process does not solely rely on the present circumstances, and providing an appealing remuneration package and benefits is insufficient to appeal to top-tier candidates.

If we desire to enhance our genuine expertise, it is imperative to scrutinise the supposedly undisputed basics. Several deliberations are enumerated below.

Alterations in Employment

Unfortunately, the concept of having a lifelong career is no longer realistic in contemporary society. Previously, it was typical for individuals to commence their employment with a particular organisation in their twenties and continue working there until their retirement. Nonetheless, this is no longer feasible due to the evolving economy and the employees’ heightened aspirations.

The developments in our ability to recruit and retain skilled individuals have yielded a notable influence. As a result, companies are persistently advertising employment opportunities and have observed the emergence of a fresh category of “passive candidates”.

The persistent state of the job market is causing mounting trepidation among personnel across all industries. As applicants are actively engaging with rival offers, they may potentially depart from their present employment at any given moment. This heightened degree of job mobility is encouraged by the aspirations of the present workforce generation, who seek to advance their careers over the near and distant future.

Frequently, companies find themselves entangled in a pattern of battling for talent, luring staff away from rival organisations only to be targeted in return. This can render the task of enticing high-quality candidates a challenging one. Fortunately, it is feasible to break this cycle and employ alternative means of locating suitable applicants.

Organisations can broaden their scope of talent acquisition and break away from the conventional hiring cycle by adopting a more strategic route to recruitment. This can be accomplished through various means, including tapping into internal talent, simplifying the recruitment process, and evaluating the efficacy of diverse recruitment strategies. For instance, companies may contemplate employing mechanisms such as job boards, recruitment agencies, or networking events to scout out the best talent. Additionally, businesses should gauge the efficacy of initiatives like diversity and inclusion programs, which can ensure that all candidates are offered equitable opportunities. Ultimately, by embracing a more proactive methodology to recruitment, businesses can access top-notch talent and cultivate a retention strategy for the long haul.

  • Pragmatism Is Key When Setting Goals.

    It is increasingly apparent that numerous companies are establishing unrealistic employment standards, a fact that can be deduced from a cursory Google search. Companies that adopt the “have your cake and eat it too” approach in their job postings frequently deter exceptional candidates from applying. The ads pose a perception that the employees are treated as insignificant by offering them free food and beverages but not granting them a life outside work. It is unnecessary for employers to intentionally exclude top-tier candidates. Employers often require a vast array of experiences, which is not always necessary. To attract the best candidates, it is vital to set up job postings thoughtfully and to be realistic about role expectations. Companies must emphasise the core competencies that are mandatory for the position and avoid creating elaborate lists of trivial prerequisites. It is essential to bear in mind that the best-suited candidate may not fulfil every single requirement, and employers must welcome all potential candidates who match their criteria.
  • Referral Programs Are Effective, but Their Use Must Be Appropriate.

    Employee referrals undoubtedly serve as a valuable source of talent, exemplified by Works‘s referral programme. However, it is important to acknowledge and take note of the program’s limitations. Although it can be an excellent vehicle for recruiting, it should not be the sole recruitment tool. Moreover, referrals are more likely to come from close acquaintances or relatives, resulting in a less varied workforce. Therefore, it is advisable to diversify the recruitment process by searching for prospective candidates who possess unique backgrounds or are involved in new fields and belong outside your current network. Additionally, the mechanisms of the referral program must also be considered. It is customary to compensate the referrer; however, their role in onboarding the new hire should not be overlooked. Studies imply that referrals outperform other types of hires due to the referrer’s personal investment in the new recruit’s onboarding. Incentivising the referral for their involvement in the onboarding process and mentioning it in the programme can ensure that the referrer has a vested interest in the new recruit’s success.
  • Prioritise Current Personnel When Filling Vacancies.

    It was once conventional wisdom for companies to look internally when drawing up a shortlist for a new position, under the impression that the ideal candidate was already on their payroll. However, recent studies reveal that only 28% of HR experts perceive internal candidates as a feasible source of new hires. However, this does not imply that external applicants are inevitably the superior alternative; there are numerous instances where an internal contender may be best suited to the job. Additionally, if internal evaluation of talent is impeded by a lack of specialised skills, a business may opt to implement upskilling and reskilling programmes that offer the necessary skills. Such programs enable personnel to take on novel roles, promote a sense of involvement with the company and can aid in the retention of talent.
  • Avoid Focusing Recruitment Efforts on Those Not Actively Seeking Employment.

    It is understandable why businesses may turn to headhunting skilled employees to fill specialist positions as it can be challenging to find experienced and highly-skilled personnel. Nevertheless, it is essential to acknowledge the potential pitfalls that come with such moves. There is a possibility that the employee may reject a seemingly lucrative offer or may shift to a higher-paying position elsewhere. Hence, it may be beneficial to look at the current crop of candidates. Though they may not have the same level of experience, they can bring motivation, initiative, and passion to the position, making them a better long-term prospect.
  • Leverage Current AI Resources

    Artificial Intelligence (AI) is making impressive strides in the Human Resources (HR) field and is gradually becoming an invaluable ally. At Works, we have witnessed the enormous potential of AI-driven candidate search algorithms in sifting through the pool of eligible applicants. This prompted us to create our own AI solution named ‘Staffing Hero’, which assists us in constructing proficient technical teams tailored to meet our clients’ specific requirements. The advanced machine learning-powered programme takes customer specifications as input and peruses our database of engineers to identify the most suitable match based on several criteria. Therefore, Staffing Hero enables us to enhance the speed, quality, flexibility and accuracy of our hiring process. If you seek to bolster and revamp your recruitment policies, it would be prudent to explore the potential of machine learning in this regard.

Ensuring Good Employee Retention Begins with Efficient Recruitment

This piece accentuates the significance of handpicking the right candidates during the recruitment process. By doing so, the likelihood of retaining personnel in the long run increases manifold as the ideal candidates possess the qualifications and expertise to drive an organisation’s growth and success. Therefore, when evaluating candidates for a position, it is imperative to consider a broad range of attributes spanning technical knowledge, soft skills, and cultural compatibility. Fostering strategic thinking is also critical since it enables identification of individuals who can contribute towards the achievement of the organisation’s goals.

It is entirely logical that exceptional individuals are seeking to leverage and enhance their skills in organisations that provide them with engaging challenges and promising opportunities. Therefore, it is critical for your business to initiate interactions with the right candidates right away to secure its sustained growth and success.

Investing in employee training and development is an effective technique for inspiring and enhancing productivity among current staff members while also serving as a compelling incentive for potential candidates. Unfortunately, employers often disregard these initiatives, despite their evident value to both the workforce and the organisation. Along with upskilling and reskilling initiatives, there are other ways to retain top-performing employees, such as providing a clear and fulfilling career path and offering incentives that align with their contributions.

It is wise to employ incentives strategically to retain employees; however, their significance must not be exaggerated. While a pool table and occasional work from home options may add some level of contentment among employees, they cannot compensate for inadequate support concerning workload and organisational culture. Therefore, though perks are a crucial element in the retention of top-notch personnel, they cannot be the sole factor taken into account. Instead, it is crucial to adopt a thoughtful approach to work, placing people at the core.

Lastly, at Works, we recognise the significance of preserving high employee retention rates, and offering opportunities for personnel to express their views regarding the company’s operations is a productive strategy for achieving this. There are numerous potential avenues for this, ranging from periodic manager-employee interactions to anonymous surveys and the implementation of horizontal approaches. The objective is to make each staff member feel valued because their input is undoubtedly valuable.

It is crucial to evaluate the data collected from such interactions to enhance decision-making and respond expediently to pressing needs, which can improve employee retention. To obtain the most valuable insights from this data, it is feasible to leverage Artificial Intelligence (AI)-powered analysis tools. To ensure employee motivation and dedication, it is vital to take into account and act upon any feedback provided.

The Pursuit of Talent

Finding and preserving talented and skilled personnel is an ongoing difficulty for any organisation. This challenge is further compounded by the fact that several companies still rely on outdated methods while recruiting new members of staff. To realize a significant enhancement in the workforce’s competence, it becomes necessary to re-evaluate the entire hiring process from its very foundations.

We hope that this article has offered valuable insights to consider; nevertheless, please do not feel compelled to limit yourself to the ideas presented. To track progress and pinpoint scope for enhancements, we recommend developing a set of metrics that can measure the cost-effectiveness of new hires.

Developing a positive work environment is essential to ensure that highly skilled employees are retained by the organisation. Implementing various strategies such as modifying the company culture, introducing training programmes, fostering a more transparent and open culture, and offering additional incentives can encourage job satisfaction and employee loyalty. By taking these measures, organisations can ensure the retention of their top-performing employees, leading to enhanced productivity and success.

Undoubtedly, staff turnover is an inescapable aspect of any business. Nevertheless, efforts must be made to minimise the turnover rate and ensure the presence of an efficient recruitment system that facilitates quick and easy replacement of staff when required.

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