6 Tips to attract and retain the right talent

You’re only as good as the people you hire – Ray Kroc, McDonald's

Successful businesses that have flourished and grown over decades, built enviable reputations, have something in common. They all have a consistent record of delivering on “pairs” of discrete parameters - Revenues and profits, market share and growth, products and innovations, customer acquisition and retention, business ethics and practices and such. What is also common to these companies, though not written about often, is the consistently high quality of their human assets. As a company moves ahead on the path to greatness, its workforce needs to acquire new skills, knowledge and ability to lead the way. Getting the right talent might be easier. Grooming, growing and retaining them, is however a different ball game altogether. This is the single-most important success mantra common to all the great companies across the world.

Workforce and business environments have long since moved from the concept of ‘employment for life’. Today’s workplaces are dominated by millennials for whom the current role is often a stepping stone to career growth. For both old and new companies that seek to join the pantheon of great companies, attracting and retaining talent is the biggest challenge. Though financial remuneration plays a big role, HR’s approach needs to be in tune with the changing times.

Tips To Attract and Retain the Right People

Cognitive abilities, technical skills, domain expertise, experience et al can be assessed well at hiring stage. Determining the level of passion, purpose and ambition and their match with organisation’s requirements is more of an art than science. Employee on-boarding process plays a critical role in ensuring compatibility. Some of the best practices used in HR strategy at great companies include:

* Matching vision statements to actions: An organisation’s culture decides the team. Values embodied in a company’s vision determine the talent it will attract. A management that encourages diversity and creativity will be a magnet for building a wider and deeper talent pool

* Commitment on career growth and development: Great companies provide defined roadmaps, resources and infrastructure for professional and personal growth of people. Giving the prospective/new employee a clear idea of growth possible over next 2/3 years will bring on board enthusiastic people

* Training and mentoring: Companies that have successfully survived and grown over decades have a strong culture of skilling and guiding their people continuously. An enabling environment which encourages people to augment their skills, empowering them to self-build individual career-paths, will always be a hot spot for talent

* Communication and trust: Transparency and consistency in dealing with employees is a hallmark of a truly great company. Inculcating trust, creating a work environment based on mutual respect, keeping communication channels open, with positive affirmations and regular two-way feedbacks, promotes team work and cooperation, building a cohesive and united work force

* Innovation, creativity and handling challenges: An environment that empowers people to innovate and be creative builds a team of confident problem solvers. Conformity, though necessary at times, is often overrated. Encouraging independent, out-of-box and diverse thinking within the overall framework on an on-going basis fosters a culture of accepting responsibility and responding smartly to challenges. Inspire the team to ideate. And watch the team flourish!

* Flexibility and independence: The Millennial workforce thrives on flexibility. Encourage work-life balance. In a digitally connected world, flexible hours and work-from-home options offer employees a choice. Delegating responsibilities and allowing autonomous decisions creates an enviable workplace which attracts the best. Deliverables matter more than a rigid insistence on work hours/location. Empathy plays an important role here

* Rewards and recognition: Feeling appreciated is a fundamental expectation of every person. R&R is an implicit certificate of that appreciation which is cherished by every employee. It is also a great motivation for people to continue working and to grow in the company. An innovative and multi-faceted incentive program that includes financial compensation, benefits and rewards such as gift cards and vacations, public acknowledgement and recognition of contributions and performances is essential to retain talent. And an inimitable, unique way of showing appreciation and recognizing an employee’s contribution is through personalized gifting. An exclusive gift card personalized with the employee’s name, for instance, would spell, loud and clear, the employee’s contribution and the appreciation and gratitude of the company

Qualifications, expertise and knowledge apart, the best people to have on a team are those with the passion and drive to deliver, who are aligned and committed to the company’s values and vision. And these best practices encourage people to grow, seeking and overcoming fresh challenges on the road to success.

As Jim Collins, author of ‘Good to Great’ said - The old adage ‘people are your most important asset is wrong. People are not your most important asset. The right people are’.

Suvodeep Das

Vice President - Marketing
Benefits and Rewards Services