A company is only as good as its people. This should be front of mind for those in charge of hiring and retaining top talent at any organization. But what does it take to find, nurture and keep top talent, especially in these uncertain times? And what can leaders of organizations do to open the doors to new talent and help a new generation of leaders to grow?
Jozef Opdeweegh, a C-suite executive with experience in developing, leading, and growing global private and public companies, shares his thoughts and provides tips for hiring and retaining top talent.
Hire For Fit
Leaders should hire for fit, keeping in mind that retention starts at the recruitment stage, and this is when organizations should identify a candidate’s fit to the company culture, core values, and objectives.
“In today’s organizations, we must create cultures of diversity and inclusion, where we can simultaneously be ourselves while welcoming difference and acknowledging that fresh perspectives from different backgrounds and experiences are an immeasurable benefit,” says Jozef Opdeweegh.
“In practice, this means that determining a fit, is best done in reverse. Instead of searching for a perfect match, companies should instead screen for poor fit to company culture,” he adds.
Opdeweegh explains that this approach helps ensure organizations attract not only the best talent but also the right talent that will contribute more constructively and stay longer with the company.
Growth and Advancement
Leaders should encourage the development and implementation of programs designed to provide their people with opportunities for learning and advancement.
“Let your employees know that you value them and that they play a vital role in the company’s success by sharing the strategic goals, explaining how they are indispensable in achieving them, and providing them with opportunities to learn and advance,” Opdeweegh says. “You can take this one step further by tailor-fitting professional development opportunities to their needs.”
Apart from career growth and continuous, on-the-job education, Opdeweegh suggests providing employees with other benefits and flexibility, such as remote work options, out-of-work support, and family-friendly policies, in addition to the baseline of competitive compensation packages.
“Since you are competing with more companies than just those operating in a specific location for talent, both in hiring and retaining, you have to be prepared to provide your people with other benefits and reasons to stay,” Opdeweegh points out.
Engage and Ask Questions
Keeping employees engaged is one of the best ways to retain top talent. Leaders always do well to reach out to their employees, update them on the company’s performance, and, most importantly, listen and respond to their suggestions and sentiments.
“Sharing goals and initiatives, and soliciting feedback are essential to talent acquisition and retention. Only by regularly asking the right questions in an open-minded approach, can leaders gain insights into what leads to job satisfaction for their employees,” Opdeweegh says.
In addition to regular company-wide state-of-the-business gatherings, leaders should hold smaller, more intimate meetings with departments and teams and even one on ones. That way you get specific feedback and can sense how teams and individuals feel about direction, progress and opportunities
“Your people are interested to know what is going on with the company, so make it a point to include them and ask them for ideas. Making them feel they are a part of something big goes a long way to retaining them,” Opdeweegh suggests.
Prepare and Plan
No talent hiring and retention strategy are foolproof. With this in mind, it’s prudent to prepare a succession plan for when top talents leave.
“It can be tough when key talent leaves despite doing everything that can be done to persuade them to stay. Therefore it’s best practice to have a succession plan, especially for those critical positions in a business,” Opdeweegh says. “It is good insurance to assign an understudy to each key role in the company, not only because it helps ensure a smooth transition and avoids sudden gaps in operations – but also because it builds your pool of talent for other roles too.”
Having this sort of contingency plan in place is an incentive to those employees aspiring to become top talents.” It motivates those who are willing to step forward and assume more responsibilities, by showing your faith in their abilities as well as providing an opportunity for advancement,” Opdeweegh points out.
Leaders have at their disposal a wide array of methods for hiring and retaining top talent. But they must always bear in mind that the best and most effective of these is the willingness on their part to determine what causes top talent to leave and to implement plans that would reverse that decision.