The success of a company lies with its people. You might have the best product, the best positioning, the best strategy, but you won’t succeed unless you’re attracting and retaining top talent. The more competent your employees are, the better your company will do.
Here’s how much it matters: A comprehensive study across hundreds of thousands of people and many different industries revealed that high performers can be up to eight times more productive than average performers in highly complex occupations such as IT. In other words, what would take eight years with average talent could be done in a year with exceptional talent.
But it’s hard to find exceptional talent. First, companies don’t have much choice. They have to choose from a shrinking and increasingly competitive pool of people with the right skills. Second, millennials and younger generations are much more comfortable switching jobs than previous generations were. If they don’t like working for you, they will leave. That’s why, if a company wants to scale successfully, it needs to understand how it can attract and retain extraordinary talent. And here’s how.
Commit to Your Mission
Younger generations, and a growing cohort of older as well, want to do something that matters. They want to make an impact. As a company, this means you need to create a compelling mission and fully live it. Doing so will build your employer brand. Consider Tesla’s mission: “To accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy.” Or the Alzheimer’s Association’s mission: “A world without Alzheimer’s disease.”
These missions are deeply motivating and will attract the right people to your organization. This, in turn, will help build culture. If you do it right, you’ll eventually have a workforce that’s intrinsically motivated because they’re passionate about the company’s mission. Even tedious jobs can be motivating if they’re for a cause that people believe in.
Give the Whole Package
Having a strong mission doesn’t mean you can skimp on the other benefits that superior talent has come to expect. More and more, top talent has the pick of top pay and top benefits so you’ll need to stand out accordingly. Competitive pay is still important, but so are some of the other benefits that may be expected for your industry: healthcare and dental insurance, stock options, a laptop and a phone, and even more intangible things such as flexible working hours or the ability to work remotely.
Even if your employees are happy where they are, you can safely assume recruiters are whispering to them about other companies. If what you’re offering isn’t competitive, they might be swayed to leave you. Employee turnover is often more expensive than paying your employees extremely well.
Offer Effective Onboarding
The work isn’t done when you’ve found and hired the right talent. You still need to make a good first impression. If your onboarding process is arduous, boring or lacking altogether, new hires could drop out before they’ve even had the chance to be productive. Or worse, they don’t become equipped to do the job you hired them to do in an efficient manner. Ideally, you want to automate the program to be exciting, interactive and engaging to get them learning and doing as soon as possible.
There’s another benefit to this: if you improve the speed of your recruiting and onboarding process, you become a more agile company. This is particularly important if you’re growing quickly. Don’t let your onboarding process become the bottleneck of your growth.
Provide Growth Opportunities
Few employees want to do the same job for decades on end. They want to get better at what they do and take on bigger and bigger challenges. If your company doesn’t visibly allow for that, top talent will eventually leave. You need to provide your employees with a clear trajectory for growth.
This means two things: First, professional growth. You need to provide your employees with continual learning opportunities so they can get better at what they do. Second, career growth. Don’t always hire external talent for new positions. Train and promote employees instead. Not only does it help retain talent, but it’s also faster and cheaper.
Being able to attract and retain talent is vital to the success of a company. You will find and keep talent if you live your mission, give employees a competitive package of benefits, offer effective onboarding, and provide them with plenty of growth opportunities.
Skill-Up Technologies helps with those final two variables. We work with brands such as Microsoft, Oracle, IBM, and Lenovo to deliver digital-ready learning solutions that scale globally. We help you develop the right learning strategies so you can build your employer brand and attract and retain extraordinary talent.