There are any number of essential business commodities, but one that can’t be underestimated is talent. While a business might have a great product, service or offering, it’s nothing without its people. As technology continues to thrive, recruiting, managing and retaining talent is crucial for business success. By 2020, it is believed that the “pen and paper workers” of the past will be out of the workforce almost entirely as it becomes dominated by digital natives. Millennials and Generation Z, who have grown up with technology at their fingertips, have vastly different expectations of the workplace than their parents and grandparents. Inevitably, this is presenting a number of challenges for employers that may be significantly closer to the Baby Boom generation than the incoming talent.
The job market has seen a steady recovery since the recession of 2008, with unemployment dropping by 52,000 in 2017, but an increased availability of jobs means prospective employees are able to be more selective. The most talented professionals can choose who they want to work for, forcing companies to fight for their attention and services. Attracting high quality talent has become high on the to-do list of every organisation – but how are the best businesses doing it?
A decent pay-packet is no longer enough for the sort of talent your business wants to attract. Millennial workers search for roles with a work environment that challenges them and allows for innovation, but making work fun and providing a good work/life balance is key. Money is important but a good annual leave allowance, time to volunteer, or flexibility over their working life are no longer classed as “good to have”. They have become essential offerings.
Top talent will be high in demand, so moving quickly through the hiring process is imperative to avoid losing them to a competitor. Talent is inspired by talent too, so showcase the people you already have on your team to increase interest from the cream of the crop. Taso Du Val, founder and CEO of global tech industry network Toptal told Business News Daily: “Talented individuals want to work with top talent, so showcasing the all-stars already on your team can help validate why other high-quality candidates should hop on board”.
And don’t just think about skills when you’re recruiting. Finding someone who will be a good cultural fit is just as important as a candidate’s ability to do the job well.
Managing & Retaining
Once you’ve secured the talent, you need to manage them effectively to help them achieve the best from their skills for both personal and business objectives, and retain them. Once you’ve worked so hard to get talent on board, momentum should be maintained to retain them. For that reason, talent management should be seen as a key part of the employee journey and a business focus.
The Balance recommends providing new hires with “effective employee onboarding and ongoing training and development opportunities that reflect both the employee’s and the organisation’s needs” and “provide on-going coaching, mentoring, and feedback so the employee feels valued and important.” They add that quarterly performance development should focus on the employee’s interests for career development, and “effective compensation and recognition systems that reward people for their contributions” should be designed as a key business priority.
Finally, they advise employers to “provide promotional and career development opportunities for employees within a system that includes career paths, succession planning, and on-the-job training opportunities”.
Employment expert Anne Loehr describes talent as “gold and silver” for businesses, advising that it “is a unit of value equal to the weight of your organisation”. Her top tips for retaining talent include treating your team with respect; communicating effectively; listen to your people; be purposeful; and acknowledge your talent with honest, direct and specific feedback.
Find Out More
If you’d like to know more about the future of talent and how business approaches to talent management are changing, join us for the next in our Midtown Big Ideas Exchange, as we explore these issues with a panel of engaging business leaders from a variety of sectors, including Sir Vince Cable. Register now to join us on 24th January at Pearson College from 6.30pm.