Innovative ideas for hiring & keeping great people

  • The labor market is hot, and talent shortages can restrict your growth.

The latest hiring statistics are pretty alarming. Despite overall economic growth in the United States being softer this year than expected, unemployment is at 5% and 3 in 4 employed workers are either actively seeking or are open to new job opportunities. This “churn” in the labor market is a great indicator of sustained economic recovery and overall individual/consumer confidence, however it’s not a great indicator for employers!

As a business leader, you must focus on both recruiting the most talented people for your open positions and on retaining the top players who are already on your team. If you don’t, you won’t be poised for the more aggressive economic growth that’s anticipated in the coming years.

Focus on two concepts for better results

If you continue with the status quo and don’t innovate your talent strategy—likely treating your people as an afterthought and taking a tactical approach—you’ll struggle to get ahead.

First, ask these questions, to assess your needs and remove the talent discussion from the back burner:

  • How many people will we need over the next few years, and in what positions?
  • What specific qualities are we looking for in those people, and how will we know when we find them?
  • Does our organizational structure support our talent strategies and, if not, what should it look like?
  • How effectively does our current candidate and leadership pipeline ensure we find and develop key talent?
  • Who has ultimate executive responsibility for our overall talent strategy? What internal/external resources do they need?

Then, consider innovation in these two areas, so you can find and keep the very best people for your organization.

Treat recruitment like an ongoing, strategic sales process

Do you spend time and energy on employee attraction, just as you do on customer attraction? Establishing and maintaining a strategic and ongoing recruitment process ensures you’ll hire and retain talented individuals to fit your unique culture and help drive your company’s growth. You’ll address immediate hiring needs and have a pipeline of candidates available when you need them. This process will force you to be proactive, vs. reactive. It will allow you to uncover the most talented people, likely passive candidates who are too busy helping another company succeed to actively seek new opportunities.

Assess, enhance and leverage your employment brand

It’s an employee’s market, and employees want much more than a job. They want an experience, in order to work for you and stay engaged. Evaluate your company culture and understand how employees view you as an employer. Bersin, a division of Deloitte, has done extensive research on what it takes to be “Simply Irresistible” as an employer and has identified these five key areas of focus: meaningful work; great management; fantastic environment; growth opportunity; and trust in leadership. How well do you do in these areas, what do your employees think, and what can be improved? How can you use strength in these areas to differentiate from other employers and offer current/prospective employees the most compelling value proposition?