The Exceler8 HR Happenings Blog

Attracting Employees & Top Talent

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2021.  With the ‘training’ we all received in 2020, we thought 2021 was going to be cinch. Wow, how wrong we were. Now the challenge of attracting employees is rearing it’s head. For any business trying to recruit at the moment, it’s not about finding top talent…..any talent is proving difficult. Unlike a peacock, you can’t just rely on one attraction strategy 😉.

It may come as a surprise but attracting employees starts with retaining your current talent.  “Well, if I had the right talent I wouldn’t need to attract it, would I?”, I hear you saying.  Ever heard it’s cheaper to retain a customer than acquire one?  Change the word customer to employee and it’s exactly the same concept.  And with the ‘Great Resignation’ being predicted in 2022, it’s important to consider employee attraction AND retention.

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Employee Retention

Do you know why your employees stay?  Why did they join the business in the first place?  What is their workplace experience?  Measuring your employee’s retention risk through retention interviews helps you to understand what makes your workplace a great place to work.  It can also uncover issues you weren’t aware of, or make you face the reality that the buck stops with you.  Most people leave a job because of their boss.  Get in touch and we can chat all things retention.

Employer Branding

Understanding why your top talent likes working for you through retention interviews is a great platform to formulate an employer branding strategy.  Have I lost you?  It’s the same as a branding strategy to your customers, just targeted at future employees.  Now I’m not talking about an Origin Energy or Woolworths style campaign. It’s about ensuring you think about ‘marketing’ your business as a great place to work for your potential employees. 

Consider promoting location, training and advancement opportunities, responsibilities, customer market, scope of business, size of team and work environment including workplace flexibility.  It’s a little more that your ‘About Us’ page on your website….although that is a great place to start. Hint, ensure you have an on-line presence including social media. Potential employees will look for that social proof.

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Flexible Working

On workplace flexibility (working from home), it’s now a must-have for employees. Latest stats are telling us over 50% of job seekers will be looking for hybrid working (check out some amazing findings in this article about WFH productivity). I have found this can be a really difficult concept for some small to medium businesses to implement.  Whether it’s operational or people management capability restrictions, having a remote workforce seems too hard.  It does require a shift in culture, systems and most importantly, people management skills to make it work but it will be a non-negotiable for that top talent.  Check out our blogs Making Working from Home Work and When Working from home bites you in the a$$…..literally.

Workplace Culture

This then leads us onto workplace culture which is really the basis of any recruitment or retention decision; do I/they fit into the culture?  How do you measure your culture?  If you were to ask different people, including advisors, customers and employees, would they say the same thing? 

Like most things in business, if you don’t measure culture, you can’t manage it. 

And, if you don’t manage it, you don’t have proactive influence over it.  You need to control your employer brand and what gets out to the market.  Measuring your employees’ and managers’ workplace experience is vital in ‘matching’ and ‘selling’ your employer product to your top talent.

The Recruitment Logistics

Finally, and more a practical tip, writing your job ad.  Yes, they are still valid and if you are in the small to medium employer market, Seek and/or LinkedIn will be your best platforms to advertise.  When writing your job ad, consider the following:

  • What’s in it for me?  Your top talent will be looking at job ads with a “why do I want to work there?” lens.  So make sure you outline why they should choose you; its all in your employer branding strategy and role accountabilities and responsibilities in your PD (see recruitment tools)
  • Write the ad with the type of personality profile you are looking to attract.  What will the personality profile you are looking for want in a role e.g. people or process focused, fast-paced or steady environment, big-picture or detail-orientated.  Using language that will appeal to your ideal personality profile for the role will make a huge difference to the responses you receive.
  • Be truthful.  Your top talent will see through any un-truths very quickly so ensure you give them as much reality as possible.  Your top talent is only your top talent when they accept the role with its pros and cons.

The final dot point is so important.  If you do not understand the reality of working in your workplace, you can’t possibility retain your top talent.  During an exit interview, you do not want to be hearing ‘this isn’t what I signed up for’ or ‘this isn’t what they explained during the recruitment process’.

Remember, attracting top talent is useless without talent retention. 

Melissa Langton - Exceler8

Hi! I'm Melissa

I'm a sought-after HR coach, advisor and strategist. I'm also the director of Exceler8. My clients call me their people paracetamol because I help them say 'goodbye' to HR headaches and 'hello' to the perfect people formula to support their business. If you're ready for HR help or transformation, please get in touch. 

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