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Acquiring top talent is obviously a high priority for any business. However, talent retention should be thought of with an equally high priority. After all, what is the point of recruiting, on-boarding and training "A Players" if you are unable to keep them for more than a year or two? After the hire, an organization must have a plan in place to focus attention on the employee, making sure they are engaged and motivated to continue working for the company long-term.
Pat Wadors, Senior VP - Global Talent Organization at LinkedIn has three (3) suggestions she feels are vital to combating the war on top talent.
Stay Aware of Competitive Hiring Practices -
Listen to your employees and be aware of trends inside and outside of your industry. When a competitor makes a change to their hiring practices, determine quickly how you plan to react in order to retain that competitive edge. Develop feedback tools to gather the information you need. We all know about using exit interviews to determine why an employee is leaving. What about an stay interview to determine why a candidate might consider accepting an offer and what you can do to keep him/her? When a top candidate decides to go work for someone else, you need to know why!
Look for Gradual Changes Over Time -
Employees will tend to exhibit changes in their behavior long before they are completely disengaged and looking for their next job. Like children who need the benefit of your guidance, this change in behavior could be a cry for help or attention. Do not dismiss it as a “needy” employee. Boredom can be your worst enemy when it comes to employee retention. Some of your best, most capable, and confident employees need attention from time to time. And, they are the very employees you want to retain the most.
Acquire Top Talent, Manage Top Talent -
Smaller company managers need to become exceedingly familiar with the talent within their organization and the real people behind that talent. Often times smaller companies may not have a 6 or 12-month talent plan as to where they are going or how to get there. Therefore, it is very important to get to know your employees on a deeper level so you can make them aware that there is a developmental "blueprint" in place for them and share it with them. Also share with them your commitment to the company and why you are planning to stay.
Larger organizations typically have a plan that has been communicated to their employees. What many organizations fail to do is allow the employees to take an active part in it. Be sure your top talent is well developed and promoted into positions where they can shine through and assist the company in reaching its goals. Other employees will see there is opportunity within the organization and will choose to work harder and become more valuable to the company. Be sure you mentor and reward these employees as well.