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Recruiting and Retaining Top Talent

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retaining-top-talent-managementBy Ann Lambert Nelson, PhD
Faculty Member, Human Resources at American Public University

Creating a workplace that attracts and retains top talent starts with the hiring process. Job applicants start to form opinions about an organization as they consider whether to apply and their perceptions continue to be shaped throughout the application and hiring process. The quantity and quality of the candidates that ultimately accept employment offers can be affected by their preliminary encounters with the organization.

When a prospective employee fills out an application or submits a resume, he or she begins to form an opinion about the culture that exists at a company. Is it formal or informal? Is hiring a team decision or the role of one individual?

Based on the staff members encountered, the potential worker forms opinions about acceptable behavior and dress as well as the work environment. Do current employees appear to be happy with their work? Is work done collaboratively or is the focus on individual contributors?

The business unit I work for has found that word of mouth from our current labor pool is the best way to attract talent. Our refrigeration construction crews travel throughout the southwest during the course of their employment. Their satisfaction with our organization is evident when they interact with other trades on a job site. That influences others to apply for work with us. Our employees–not the human resources department–have recruited some of our best leaders and talented individuals.

Once talented employees are hired, keeping them is the next challenge. Top talent should be involved in the development of organizational strategy (Martin &Schmidt, 2010). By including them in discussions allowing them input into strategy, and involving them in other key activities, top performers are more likely to remain engaged and feel as if they are making a difference.

Top performers want to feel valued. Schiff (2013) advised that, if possible, offer them flexible work schedules and invest in their training and development. Acknowledge their contributions and provide a competitive compensation package.

Retaining top employees involves a conscious effort to provide both the measureable benefits and the engaging opportunities that make them feel valued by the organization.

 

About the Author:

Ann Lambert Nelson, PhD, SPHR, GPHR worked as a Senior HR Generalist for a multinational corporation for 7 years. She has a PhD in Business Administration with concentrations in organizational leadership, financial management, and industrial / organizational psychology for Northcentral University. She also has an MBA in Human Resources from the same institution.

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