Attracting and retaining your top talent
As we come to the close of 2016, the last 10 months have seen many businesses across New Zealand face
a variety of, sometimes overwhelming, but always unique challenges. Through this, the ability to engage and
retain valuable employee’s remains a critical risk for all, not only for the financial impact; but also as it
adversely affects employee morale.
Renewed hiring confidence in our market place has resulted in a shallow pool of trained staff, particularly in
areas such as construction. This has meant that the balance of power is now in favour of the candidate. As a
result of this shift, the importance is clear that stronger emphasis needs to be put on attraction and retention
efforts in order to hire (and keep) top employees.
The first step, before even going out to market, is understanding what candidates are looking for.
Opportunity for growth and development remains one of the top influencers in an employee’s decision to look
elsewhere, or in accepting a new position. Despite this, many employers rank career growth low when
thinking about what candidates are looking for (instead ranking salary and benefits much higher) creating a
disconnect between potential employees and employers.
Another critical factor for employers to get right is the need for speed and communication throughout the
hiring process. A standard (permanent) recruitment process typically takes 5 weeks, and throughout this time
there are limited updates to individuals. Failing to keep a candidate in the loop, and long lead times until an
offer, can result in frustration and all too often an employer will make an offer only to find the candidate has
accepted another role.
Attracting top talent is only one piece of the puzzle however. If a new starter feels undervalued once they are
an official employee it is likely in today’s market they will take their talent elsewhere. In order to keep prized
employee’s, employers need to start their retention planning as soon as new hires start.
Retention strategies can range from the traditional offering of coaching and mentorship programs, through to
providing rotational programs that give employees exposure to different areas of the business. Further to
this, support (financial or other) for additional training, and fostering opportunities for colleagues to
collaborate on key projects will have a positive impact on engagement and ultimately long term retention.
Remember, actions to retain staff don't have to be time consuming or expensive, see some simple guidelines
1. Create a vision – vision feeds financials and not the other way around.
2. Provide a sense of purpose – create a simple, actionable, and meaningful connection to the company.
3. Genuinely listen – the most inexpensive solution to increase people engagement.
4. Foster effective motivation – encourage intrinsic motivators over the traditional ‘carrot & stick’.