6 Ways to Attract and Retain Top Talent in a Competitive Market

In today’s competitive hiring market, attracting new, qualified team members is only part of the equation. Keeping costs down, maximizing productivity, and fostering satisfaction and growth requires strategic efforts to retain top talent.

Strategies to Retain Top Talent Are Essential

Engaged, productive, and loyal employees improve operational efficiency and bolster profitability. The soft and hard cost of hiring a new employee ranges from around $4,700 to three or four times the job’s annual salary. When you add in first-year turnover and the average employee tenure is four years, these costs can skyrocket.

Disengaged employees cost businesses money. According to Gallup’s 2023 Report, employees who are not engaged cost $8.8 trillion in global lost productivity.

However, engagement without balance takes its own toll. Burned-out employees, whether engaged or not, are at risk for leaving.

Best Talent Retention Strategies

1. Make Sure Your Salary and Benefits Are Competitive

While your compensation package isn’t the only factor that impacts retention, employees who perceive they are being paid fairly are more likely to stay. A recent report found that when an organization communicated how pay is determined, how it can be progressed, and why it is competitive, intent to leave went down by 27 percent.

While salary is a significant factor, many great candidates also prioritize other aspects of the compensation package. You can win and retain top talent by understanding employees’ priorities and structuring their total compensation package to support their well-being and life.

2. Take Culture Into Consideration

A strong, positive corporate culture can be the glue that binds teams together, driving performance, innovation, and long-term loyalty. When you hire candidates who are a good cultural fit and add their unique strengths and perspectives, you increase the chances they and their team members will be happy and engaged.

During the interview process, assess cultural fit like you do with technical skills or experience. Employees can learn new skills but are unlikely to change their values or work style after you hire them.

Implement strategies to build and reinforce a vibrant company culture. Examples include regularly engaging employees through team-building activities, feedback sessions, or encouraging work-life balance.

3. Perfect Your Onboarding Process

An impactful onboarding process eases pre-hire jitters, gets employees up to speed faster, and helps forge peer-to-peer relationships that enhance teamwork and job satisfaction.

A mentor or buddy during onboarding can bridge cultural gaps and give new hires an “in” on how things are done in your company. Regular feedback and check-ins give your HR and management teams insight into how new employees are adjusting and position them to troubleshoot any issues before they fester.

A robust onboarding process is an iterative process that you can improve, refine, and update over time.

FREE DOWNLOAD: Onboarding Checklist For Managers & HR Teams

4. Offer Professional Development Opportunities

Providing employee development opportunities is an effective way to retain top talent. Skilled, capable people want to see a visible path to future development. In a 2021 poll, 63 percent of employees who quit cited a lack of advancement opportunities as the primary or contributing reason for their departure. Here are some tips to get started:

  • Work with employees individually to identify their goals and create a development plan for achieving them.
  • Offer live, in-person, or online training opportunities for employees to develop new skills and build their career knowledge.
  • Create a mentorship program.
  • Encourage managers to offer “stretch assignments” to capable team members that challenge them a little beyond their comfort zone to build skills and confidence.
  • Show your dedication to supporting career advancement by promoting from within.

5. Recognize (and Celebrate) Your Employees

Employees who feel valued and appreciated for their contributions are more satisfied and motivated. A recent Gallup report shows the following:

  • Employees who feel recognized are nearly four times as likely to feel connected to their company’s culture.
  • Recognized employees are 20 times more likely to be engaged than those who don’t receive good recognition.
  • Of those employees who report their organization does a great job at recognition, 72 percent report receiving acknowledgment on “the little things.”

A comprehensive employee recognition program does more than make employees feel appreciated and part of the team. It ingrains a culture of appreciation throughout the company. A few elements of an outstanding employee recognition program include the following:

  • Personalized awards honor the fact that every employee is unique. For example, some want public praise, while others cringe at the thought.
  • Celebrating milestones acknowledges their commitment and reinforces their value to the organization.
  • Recognizing the successful completion of significant projects or milestones celebrates the achievement, the teamwork, and the effort and dedication that went into it.
  • Peer-to-peer recognition programs foster a sense of community and highlight the value of teamwork.
  • Monthly or quarterly awards to recognize top performers, team players, or innovative thinkers keep morale high and employees motivated.
  • Tangible rewards like bonuses or incentive programs are a great way to call out and encourage exceptional performance.
  • Channels for employees to suggest improvements to the recognition program ensure the program remains relevant.

RELATED: Developing a Recognition and Reward Program at Work

6. Embrace DEIB Initiatives

A survey of employed adults found that 56 percent value diversity and inclusion in the workplace. When companies embrace diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEIB) initiatives and employees feel their perspectives are valued, they are likelier to be committed, engaged, and contributing to the company’s success.

Leadership sets the tone for an organization. When a company’s leaders show their commitment to DEIB through their words and actions, the initiatives are more likely to succeed.

The Effort You Put in Pays Off

At Insight Global, we are a people-first recruitment company. We know the value of skilled employees who fit into the company culture and contribute their best. If you are ready to add to your team and want to find and attract top talent, we can help.

Need to Attract Top Talent?

Let us know your hiring needs below. Questions? Call us toll-free: 855-485-8853