Michael Chalmers on Emerging Trends Transforming Talent Recruitment & Retention

Michael Chalmers

Friday, November 7th, 2014

Awakened to a new economic landscape, American business has shifted from a recession mindset to one of growth and opportunity. In this new reality, the value of the workforce to turn opportunities into success, drive innovation and fuel market expansion has become abundantly clear. It is clear both to workers re-evaluating their current employment situation and to employers faced with mounting challenges to attract and retain the talent they need to succeed.

Retention Is as Important as Recruiting

While most talent discussions start with attracting talent, doing so ignores a significantly bigger issue. No matter how successful an organization is at attracting great talent, the ability to hold onto that talent has wider implications. Unhappy employees are less engaged, less productive and less likely to wow your customers. When unemployment was high, competition for career mobility was intense. That situation has changed, yet many employers continue to feel secure in the stability of their workforce, ignoring the need to step up retention efforts. While 52% of employers say finding and recruiting talent is a top HR concern, only 23% say turnover/retention is. Exhibiting decidedly less effort and enthusiasm for retaining the talent they have than recruiting new talent, few companies survey workers to determine retention drivers. This contributes to continued disconnects between employees and employers. 

The Silver Lining

The most critical downside to putting in little effort to reduce turnover is that workers themselves are quite aware of this lack of effort. In fact, 25% say they are likely to look for a new job in the next 12 months. Understanding the factors that attract new workers can increase your ability to retain the strong talent already resident in your organization. 

Attracting & Retaining the Best Talent

What can companies do today to find new talent and help curb potential retention failure? It should come as no surprise that salary reigns supreme when a job candidate is contemplating a new position. Next is commute or employer location. We believe this is due in part to the increasing desire and expectation among workers today to have work/life balance. The bottom line: a long commute interferes with work/life balance. The ability to work from home full or part-time can improve balance. Perhaps that is why more than 50% of workers weigh these options before taking a job.

The Impact of Social Media on Reputation

In the age of the digital job search, online reviews are what job seekers turn to in order to identify the companies most worthy of their talent. They want to hear from other employees about benefits, business practices and working conditions. It is these employee reviews that make a company’s reputation in the job market so valuable. Promoting an environment of trust and collaboration in which employees feel valued for their contributions will be reflected not only in what they say about you online but in higher retention. Perhaps that is why our study found more than six-in-10 companies today now have a dedicated resource to manage their online reputation and are beginning to track and measure that reputation. The message here is that if you haven’t begun thinking about this function in your own organization, don’t wait any longer. 

Rejecting One-Size-Fits-All Strategies

As companies vie for top employees, any competitive edge that facilitates the acquisition—and subsequent retention—of talent can have financial implications for the organization, making tailored efforts a must-have in today’s landscape. Workers of different professions and ages are attracted by different things. Yet, for many companies a sterile, one-size-fits-all approach continues to dominate, despite the need to appeal to a diverse array of talent. In fact, less than half (45%) of companies utilize tailored recruitment strategies. Understanding different worker groups will determine how well you can source and attract from those segments. 

Explore the Spherion Emerging Workforce Study

Innovative companies have accepted that greater specialization is required today to adequately recruit and retain the best talent. To garner additional insights uncovered by the Emerging Workforce Study—including the impact of social media, generational and professional differences and work/life balance demands—visit us online at www.spherion.com/ews.