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3 Ways to Win the War for Talent

There’s a lot of rapid change happening in the market. Many of you might be seeing it right now in your current organization, while others will be seeing it in upcoming years. There’s also a shortage of workers, especially in new and growing industries and technologies who want to attract talent. Workforce demographics are also changing making it difficult for organizations.

A recent PayScale study detailed the top reasons an employee leaves an organization. Money is important, but it’s not the only factor. Indeed, 25 percent of workers said they left a job was  because they wanted more money. However, the second biggest reason people left is that they were simply unhappy at their current organization.

Attracting, retaining and motivating talent is not a one-part equation. More and more, employees are expressing a desire to be part of a mission and vision in the work they do. Thus, there’s a great opportunity for employers to think about what their pay brand is.

Here are three areas where companies can focus to win the war for talent.

Brush up on Your Recruiting Tactics

Recruiting is everyone’s responsibility. The role of the talent management team is simply to facilitate the process. Their job is to make sure everyone has the tools in place for an effective and efficient process. 

The first part is understanding the job and knowing what to look for. It’s also important for recruiting to get aligned with the hiring manager on exactly what they’re looking for. You’ll want to make sure you know what the behavioral elements of job are. Are you looking for a decision maker or an executor? Someone who’s detail-oriented or flexible and spontaneous. 

In addition to behavioral elements, you’ll need to think about what skills are necessary in the job. How complex or strategic is the job? 

You can then use these assessments to establish your behavioral and cognitive targets for the job. Combined, these data points will help determine a candidate’s success in the role. However, when looking at candidates, it’s important to look at the whole person – not just the skills, but also the values and experience the candidate brings. 

It’s also necessary to have a strong employer brand. What do you value as a company? Candidates are not only interviewing for a job, they’re interviewing to be part of a company. It’s easy for companies to say they have a great culture, but it’s important for companies to be specific about what those strong points are.

Create a Compelling Total Rewards

Benefits should be thought of as a foundational piece of total rewards, not just the “topping on a sundae”.

Understand your target employee profile. Most organizations have a mix of demographics, life stages and priorities. One of the simplest things you can do is simply ask candidates or new hires or current what they want to know about benefits. Which benefits are driving them? Understanding what’s motivating them can help you steer the conversation.

When it comes to recruiting and attracting talent, you must understand how you’re defining your competitive set or labor market. Do a quick assessment, where do you think you’re competing for talent, vs. comparing for talent.

Are the company values you talk about publicly on your website, for example, still in alignment with reality. If not, it might be time to revisit those.

Of course, communication is key to making employees feel engaged. You’ll want to talk about compensation early and often. In order to do that, you’ll need to make sure your managers feel prepared to have tough pay conversations with employees, and have tools such as total compensation reports available.

Once you have established a strong compensation philosophy within the organization, you can use that to market your total rewards package externally to attract top talent.

Invest in Your Employees

Once you’ve gone through the effort of attracting and hiring talent, you’ll want to make sure to keep them engaged enough to stay. Once of the best ways to do this is by providing employee development opportunities.

Job-specific training can help boost employees skills, learn new technology or even different areas of the business. It’s also important to have regular career development conversations with employees. This ensures that employees understand that the company is committed to developing the whole person.

It’s also important to give people flexibility in their career path. Here’s an area where you can be proactive and plan for the future. For example, you can have one job description for the work they’re currently doing, and one for the work they might be doing in the future. As they grow, they can expand their role and responsibility.

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For more information, watch the webinar, 3 Ways to Win the War for Talent.

Conrado Tapado
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