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Tips for Finding and Retaining Top Talent

By the University Alliance at the University of Florida, Original Link Here

One of the leading challenges facing businesses in all industries is finding and retaining top talent. Human capital is one of an organization’s most valuable assets and its relative strength is a factor that can make or break a business’ success.

Despite that fact, the 2013-2014 Talent Management and Rewards Study by Towers Watson, a risk management and human resources consultancy, showed that 41% of organizations have trouble retaining critical skill employees. This percentage has been trending up for the last four years, according to the study.

Foster an Appealing Environment

A critical aspect of this challenge is the ability to recruit not just “top” talent, but the “right” top talent. This means that companies must adopt hiring practices dedicated to finding and evaluating potential employees who will be committed to the organization and its mission, and who are more likely to remain loyal to the company.

To attract and retain the right people, a fair and equitable paycheck will not be enough. Just as important will be the working environment that has been developed within the organization. Ideally, the atmosphere in your company should be one where people are nurtured and trained from the very beginning and encouraged to pursue continuing education, allowing careers to flourish. That’s the expectation that today’s top talent has of employers. Businesses that do not foster this type of working environment may find themselves competing constantly for a diminishing pool of the best and the brightest.

Rob Goffee and Gareth Jones, noted academicians of organizational culture and leadership with the London Business School, described in a 2013 article the kind of companies that top talent are most interested in. They are companies “where individual differences are nurtured; information is not suppressed or spun; the company adds value to employees, rather than merely extracting it from them; the organization stands for something meaningful; and the work itself is intrinsically rewarding.”

Look for the Right Skills

It’s also important for businesses to understand that delineating skills required for a particular job is only a small part of the challenge. Arguably, more important is actually establishing that candidates have the talent for the position, if not the expertise or experience, at the time the interview takes place. To this extent, the job description is important. This is where the specific skills are spelled out that all candidates must possess.

Beyond that, it is important to recognize the soft skills that the candidates possess that cannot necessarily be trained, as technical skills can. This requires inquiry into matters like how well the candidate can communicate at different levels within a company and how it has been demonstrated in the past? Other questions might be how their leadership skills have been exhibited or where they have shown an ability to inspire others in their job performance?

Get Creative with Recruiting

Finding the right people for the right role can be challenging. Once all of the information has been collected, hiring managers must align the hard and soft skills of a candidate with the culture of the organization and an understanding of motivations to ensure a good fit is there.

Finally, with technology continuously triggering shifts in how businesses run, it extends to how people are being recruited. Today, potential employees are being found, approached and recruited in ways that might have been considered unacceptable to employers and candidates just a few short years ago. The digital age, for example, has given rise to social media, which is a great way for companies under pressure to find top talent to locate prospects who might not be actively searching. A growing number of firms consider a LinkedIn profile, for example, increasingly satisfactory as a launching point for exploratory job discussions.

Along these lines, online candidate assessments and live video interviewing are becoming increasingly acceptable as technical capabilities grow. Both are effective means of assessing prospective candidates who might otherwise be out of reach, reducing unnecessary interviews and helping to boost the quality of hires.

The competition for top talent continues to intensify as businesses continue to recover from the effects of the recession. Businesses that carefully consider the combined experience, skills and potential of candidates, weigh how they’ll fit within the company culture and show creativity in how to seek out and vet prospective hires have a great chance at acquiring and retaining the best and most loyal talent.