Recruiting and Keeping the Best Talent in a Competitive Job Market

(DGIwire) – These days, competition for the best employees is intense. Companies must hone their strategies not only for attracting but for retaining top workers. How can managers keep their top-performing employees happy while attracting new talent to grow their businesses?

“The first step is to realize that, in today’s hyper-competitive landscape, employers need to make these employees feel valued,” says Rebecca Cenni-Leventhal, founder and president of Atrium, a staffing and contingent workforce solutions firm, notes in a recent article she wrote for “Not doing so is at the core of why employees leave. Employers should dedicate themselves to focusing on each employee as an individual and showing these employees they are valued in a way that is personally meaningful to them. Usually this happens through a combination of compensation, investing in their development and offering clear opportunities for growth.”

According to Cenni-Leventhal, there are a variety of things that managers can do or offer to attract new candidates and keep key employees engaged. The first is to give them a robust benefits package. A company’s employee benefits package is a key component to staying competitive in a candidate-driven job market. High performers are looking for complete job satisfaction. But to meet this expectation, companies have to offer more. As the unemployment rate continues to decrease and the economy improves, it is important for organizations to leverage employee benefits to attract and retain top talent. 

A second imperative, Cenni-Leventhal notes, is to give top employees the tools to succeed. A manager’s role is to set a strategy, provide the direction and give high performers the resources they need to succeed. Make sure they have the tools they require and remove any obstacles that stand in their way. Giving star employees special projects is also particularly helpful and can create great opportunities to stretch their skills and talents. This can be especially beneficial when a current promotional plan doesn’t support promotions at the speed with which they are desired.

At the same time, it can be extremely helpful to give these employees a clear-cut path forward. Motivated employees are willing to put in the time and even more energy than most, but they can often be more demanding. With high performers, it is important to clearly plot a course for them with tangible, agreed-upon metrics that they need to hit to move forward. Always ensure, however, that these metrics and goals are in full alignment with your HR policies and that you have support internally when it comes time for promotion. 

Finally, it can be tremendously helpful to create a new role for these employees. Nothing shows that an employer values an employee quite like creating a role that was specifically designed to meet the demands of their professional aspirations. If there is the flexibility to do so and a business case can be made to support the decision, it can be extremely motivating and empowering for the employee and the organization as a whole benefits as a result.

“Attention to considerations like these can make the difference between attracting and retaining top performers and losing them to the competition,” Cenni-Leventhal adds.