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From Candidate to Leadership: Retaining Your Talent

Clare Hopping

Dawn Huczek/flickr To retain talent, always be mindful that your team is “in step” with management – Dawn Huczek/flickr

A huge part of recruitment is preparing for the future by finding young, tech-savvy job candidates with the potential to quickly climb the leadership ladder. Here are some tips for how you can retain your talent and continue to grow your business in the right direction.

Tomorrow’s leaders will be today’s forward-thinking applicants. There’s no doubt that the recently graduated Millennial demographic possesses a significantly different perspective on the workplace than the one that currently occupies the “top” of the food chain.

This makes finding and retaining the right talent now more important than ever – your company can help take these varying outlooks and mold them into perspectives that best suit the values of your company.

Working to retain the talent you find will also help you out economically. According to statistics provided by the School of Human Resource Management, “Direct replacement costs can reach as high as 50% - 60% of an employee’s annual salary.” Okay, so we know continuity is important, but how exactly do you persuade the top talent to stick with your company for the long term?

Defining Growth

A CareerBuilder survey found that a startling 45% of workers are “dissatisfied with advancement opportunities at [their] current company,” with only 13% having even been at the same company for five years or longer. One prominent issue is that future opportunities are often left vague and nondescript in the eyes of employees, who feel that they’re being led on by a dangling carrot for an indefinite amount of time.

Communication is the big solution here – employees are happier when they have a balance of rigidly set short-term goals and individual long-term plans. This balance can also help your company in the long run because it allows you to communicate with your employees and really find out if they’re interested in taking on leadership roles in the future.

Focused Compensation

More than ever before, there’s truth in the saying, “If you don’t look after your employees, then one of your competitors will.” Generous compensation not only shows your workers that you value them, but it also sends a message to prospective leaders that you’re a company that rewards hard work.

While there are certainly some unavoidable and inexplicable reasons that an employee may choose to move on, it’s how you address the avoidable reasons that will make you stand out from the crowd.

Contrary to what you might think, “compensation” doesn’t necessarily just mean higher wages. Studies show that three out of five American workers would rather spend a night in jail than go without company benefits, and 68% of job seekers claimed that they would accept a lower salary if their employers made a great impression on them at some point in the hiring process.

Tailor compensation packages on a case-by-case basis, taking into consideration whether your candidate is a commuter, a parent, or looking for a more flexible work schedule.

Get Them Involved

The best candidates to target for leadership positions are often those most eager to show that they can effectively perform and get to the top – if this eagerness isn’t indulged or acknowledged in some way, it can often lead to dissatisfaction.

Kent Elliott, founder of RETS Associates, advocates giving top talent a “peek behind the curtain,” explaining on Builder that “successful companies find ways to incorporate the feedback from Millennials and Gen Xers who want to be involved with and contribute to their employers’ future.”

Kent believes that by using this feedback, you can synthesise your team’s vision and ensure not only that the candidate shares your goals, but that they get a small taste of the life of leadership they desire.

Conclusions: Hire the Best

Caption: Birds of your company’s feather ought to stay together! – Gidzy/flickr Caption: Birds of your company’s feather ought to stay together! – Gidzy/flickr

By taking new approaches to your initial recruitment process and emphasising not only what you’re looking for in the present, but also in the future, you can make sure that you’re hiring candidates who are personally and professionally motivated to stick with your company. If you want the future of your company to be bright, then you better make sure your recruitment strategy is as well.

Clare Hopping

Clare Hopping has been involved in the recruitment of both full-time employees and freelance staff for ten years. She specialises in recruiting staff via social media and digital platforms.