September 29, 2021

Finding, Recruiting, and Retaining Top Talent

Written by Lisa Jaster

Finding, recruiting, and retaining top talent requires something more than just a large salary and corporate perks. The equation for a successful placement for career-oriented people has three significant variables with a lot of permutations. The variables include salary, location, and job satisfaction. If you are trying to find top talent, you need to advertise around those variables and be honest.

Most positions can provide two out of three, but rarely do all three fall perfectly into place for a specific person. Two is usually enough if job satisfaction is one of them. But attracting and retaining the right talent requires being transparent about all three.

What is Top Talent Looking For?

I used to laugh when people said that “money can’t buy happiness.” My response was always, “but money can buy things that make me happy.” Money is a huge driving factor for many people. They need to provide for their families, they want to maintain a certain quality of life, or they don’t want to deny themselves certain pleasures.

Top talent understands the importance of non-monetary perks and wants to thoroughly understand what your organization has to offer. Do you have liberal vacation plans, flexible work schedules, discounts on fitness clubs, catered lunches on Fridays, excellent medical insurance? Do you cover your professionals should they need to seek legal counsel?

Don’t be afraid to advertise the non-traditional benefits. Those carrots will attract more prominent and more loyal team players than just a good salary. Top talent will evaluate the total compensation package, not just salary.   

Take That Extra Step- Provide Unique Benefits

Often an employer cannot impact job location. Your business is where it is. Of course, there can also be flexibility in this area, and I am not just talking about virtual work or business trips to cool locations. If your organization’s work is in a non-ideal place, transform your team into a community where people want to be.

If you are recruiting people to the middle of nowhere, but want talented young professionals, have company trips to a local sporting event, sponsor a community function, or develop a mentorship program. Feeling part of something helps change a place from a bad location to a bonded, unique, and thriving community.

Even if you pay well and are in a fantastic location, truly talented employees aren’t interested in hiring or staying with a company that doesn’t provide job satisfaction. As a hiring manager, it is your job to advertise your organization’s glide path to ensure the right people are interested in joining the team. High achievers need to know that there are growth and development options available and that company leadership is willing to invest in their people by training and developing staff.

Increase Job Satisfaction

Job satisfaction requires expectation management during the interview process. Don’t hire for growth and then limit someone’s influence. Don’t hire for stability and then ask for innovation. This leads directly into another aspect of job satisfaction that TWG has previously discussed extensively in this vlog called “Leaving a good company because of a bad boss.” Being a consistent and competent leader who communicates clearly and effectively is part of being a good boss. Job satisfaction starts with knowing what you are getting into and then building and growing with the organization.

Even the best prospective employee is a bad hire if they don’t find the job you are offering satisfying with adequate pay and in a decent location.

Treat Your Employees Like the Top Talent They Are

Recruiting efforts need to include more than just a list of job requirements. Include information about the area, community activities, examples of work and projects completed by the organization, and testimonials by current employees.

Creating a culture top talent wants to join also means creating a culture top talent wants to stay in. A leader is only as good as his team is. Treat your employees like the A-Players that they are. Be a good listener, adjust as you may see fit, and protect your culture at all costs.

This article can also be viewed at Medium.

Lisa Jaster graduated from the West Point Academy with a BS in Civil Engineering and was commissioned as an active duty engineer officer. During 2003, Lisa deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom as a company executive officer, later serving as the battalion operations construction officer. She attended the Army Engineer Officer Advanced Course at Fort Leonard Wood, MO, and earned her MS in Civil Engineering from the University of Missouri-Rolla in 2004. After leaving the Active Army, Lisa was employed by Shell Oil Company for 12 years. From April to October 2015, she took a six-month leave of absence and attended Army Ranger School, being one of three females that graduated from the first integrated Ranger School course. Lisa is married to a fellow reserve officer and has two children. She lives an active lifestyle competing in anything from ultra trail runs to CrossFit competitions. She loves martial arts training, specifically Jiu-Jitsu, and is always looking for the next challenge to tackle.

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