5 Ways to Recruit and Keep Productive Talent

by Howard Shore, Date: Jan 07, 2013

5 Ways to Recruit and Keep Productive Talent

One common challenge I am hearing daily from CEOs is whether there really are any secrets to getting better talent. In addition, wages are starting to increase as the job market continues to tighten, and you’d better believe that wage inflation will go up. What are some things you can do to win the war on employee talent?

How to Recruit & Retain Talented Employees:

On the employee recruiting front, some companies are having an easier time than others. There are some companies where no matter how much they are willing to offer candidates, they can’t seem to find any. I reached out to some of our best middle-market ($10M to $100M in revenue) clients to gain insight into why they are having better success. A few things we noticed about companies that are able to recruit and retain talented employees:

1. Great place to work

All of the clients that can fill positions quickly and with quality people are great places to work. People love to work for their managers, feel they are treated fairly, and feel respected.

2. Wages were average

Contrary to common belief, these companies were paying the average market wage. They found that being a great place to work allowed them to keep wages at a reasonable level.

3. Plenty of employee referrals

Candidates were coming from employee referrals. Some companies have decided they would rather give large referral bonuses (sometimes as much as $20,000) to their employees for filling key positions than pay recruiters. This was considered a double play. The employee referrals tended to be better candidates and had a high close ratio.

4. Leaders must bring in candidates

A critical measurement for leaders in high-performing companies was the number of people leaders were meeting with in the community that could be potential employee applicants. This was a key performance factor on every leader’s scorecard.

5. Healthier Workplace

Another area for differentiation in companies is developing creative ways to offer something other than healthcare as benefits to your employees. While health benefits have gotten to be an expensive offering, they are just table stakes at this point. In addition, health insurance does not produce healthier and happier employees. However, healthier and happier employees usually lead to higher retention and greater productivity.

Cost-Effective Tips for Retaining Top Talent

Again, we did some research to identify some things you can do that may not cost a lot of money and could have huge benefits toward winning the war on talented employees. Here are a few cost-effective suggestions for retaining top talent:

One of my clients, Sapoznik Insurance recognized this issue several years ago and stopped focusing on just selling insurance. They designed and developed programs that help foster employee engagement. They realized that wellness programs were a great way to do this and had an extra benefit for employers — it could help them reduce costs in their company. Most importantly, companies with robust health and wellness programs find that employees feel engaged and cared for by their employers.

I have worked with Sapoznik for several years and here a number of ways I have witnessed them create wellness programs:

  • Provide branded water bottles – This is a trifecta; promoting hydration, sustainability, and company pride in one by giving your team branded reusable water bottles.
  • Provide your employees with healthy office snacks and stop offering low-quality snacks – Healthy snacks aid in weight control, improve mood, and boost energy.
  • Offer almond and coconut milk in addition to regular creamers and milk – Be mindful of the vegans and dairy intolerant folks.
  • Publish a workplace wellness newsletter – Highlighting the best fitness, nutrition, and educational content. There is a lot of free content you can gather on the internet.
  • Offer standing desks – Some of these desks allow users to easily switch between standing and sitting while working.
  • Order in lunch for the office, especially during crunch time on big projects – Keeping people in the office allows them to get home earlier, and you can help them make healthier choices.

If you are not getting the results you want or are not getting and keeping the talented employees you need, it is time to act! Be creative, and the results will show.

Need help with Employee Recruitment & Retention?

Call Howard Shore, one of the top executive coaches in the United States, for a FREE consultation at 305.722.7213 or contact Activate Group today to see how an executive business coach can help you run a more effective business and become a more effective leader.