Talent Acquisition- The Secret Weapon to Talent Retention

For the life of them, some companies just can't hold onto good talent. I have a friend who works for a company that feels like a revolving door.  She meets the new hire, learns their name, and just as quickly, it's as if he or she never existed. Some companies are notorious for this constant flow of new hires.  It must be exhausting having to see people come in and out on an almost never-ending basis.

Whether poached, enticed, or shown the light, talent leaves most of the time because they're disengaged and dissatisfied.  If your employees get the idea they can do better, they will certainly try.  So how do you stop your talent from walking out the door?  The answer is to look to your secret weapon- the Talent Acquisition department. 

Talent Acquisition Knows the Secrets to Talent Retention

Talent retention isn't something you focus on once you realize you can't keep bodies in the seats.  It's something you commit to as a priority from the get go.  But other than throwing obscene amounts of money at employees, how do you keep them focused and engaged?  Talent Acquisition knows the secret can be how you start, not how you finish.  Try these tips to retain your talent better.

  • Improve your hiring process. Talent Acquisition plays a critical role in talent retention because they're the representative of the employer brand.  These are the people on the front lines who are framing candidates' expectations of the organization and determining who might be a great fit at the company. A new hire can fail if Talent Acquisition hasn't properly communicated the role, the team, and the company to that employee.  Consider investing some time in improving your hiring process.  By enhancing your transparency and communication, you'll be able to attract the employees who want to invest time in your company.  If your company is fast paced and deadline driven, your hiring process should communicate that. There are many employees who crave this kind of stimulation.  Don't paint the wrong picture because you think a candidate wants to hear something else.  The employee who will be successful in that kind of culture is going to be among a special breed. Find that special breed.
  • Enhance your employer brand. It's all about the employer brand.  A good employer brand can attract candidates who want to be a part of the company and its culture.  A poorly constructed employer brand is at odds with the talent brand, which will only drive employees away.  By enhancing your employer branding, your company could attract the candidates that will want to work there and stay there.  Consider the way in which your company communicates they value employees. Is this through bonuses, high salaries, fun team events? Are these reflected on your hiring site, in your interviews, your communications? Or are employees leaving because they feel like an afterthought, that the promises your employer brand are making ring hollow? Spend the time to create an authentic feeling employer brand and build upon that.
  • Recognize your star performers and make them a part of the process. Your talent brand can either support or kill your employer brand.  So why not build your talent brand with the people who make it great? These employees can become ambassadors for your company, helping to usher new excited employees into the fold and encouraging existing employees to engage as well.  Your company of "mean girls" will certainly turn around when it becomes their business to engage and help others.

Talent Acquisition has an opportunity to influence new hires.  But they also have an opportunity to help HR influence the existing team.  Invest the time in Talent Acquisition and your company can save time, save money, and keep more people engaged.

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Comment by Katrina Kibben on October 27, 2015 at 10:26am

Another great post, thank you.

You make a great point about star performers and the employer brand. I'd vote star performers are part of the employer brand, especially on the website. I saw an example from NBC Universal where they told an employees story and then showed their career progression on a flow chart. Something like that does a lot in way of educating employees and showing them the value in staying at the company. 

Do you have any examples you recommend for people looking at models to replicate? 

Comment by Catherine Hess on October 27, 2015 at 11:59am

I think they can be a part of both the employer brand and the talent brand.

As far as models, there are lots of great examples of large companies who are featuring their teams on their careers sites, involving them in the process of chatting up new candidates, and even inserting them into the hiring process. One of these is Zappos, who seems to have built a culture they are really proud of based on this kind of employee engagement.  Another appears to be iCims.  Their talent and employer brand are quite good.

Comment by Nicole Antonio-Gadsdon on November 2, 2015 at 10:06am

A lot of fabulous brand-brainpokes in your post. Thank you!

Golden nugget quotes like "Your talent brand can either support or kill your employer brand" and vice versa! I believe one cannot exist and thrive without the other. Your comment is right on track and is the pointy end of an important conversation about the challenges / opportunities facing HR.  Recruitment/Talent Acquisition and HR Tech seem strides ahead of the 'rest of' HR when it comes to leveraging the latest business developments, leading talent capture decisions, contributing value and earning the respect from business and employee communities.

We need to work together to replicate successes to make the rest of HR as 'sexy' :-) and as relevant as Recruitment, Talent Acquisition.

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