3 Ways to Acquire and Retain Top Talent

Human capital is arguably any organization’s most valuable resource. Your people are the face of your company; your competitive advantage. Investing in talent acquisition and retention is just as important as your products or services. While there are a myriad of best of practices out there, these are a few of the vital actions we’ve seen have an impact on talent acquisition and retention in our own organization, as well as in our clients’ organizations.

Create a Better Hiring Process

At Volano, we hire the best programmers in the area. Not only that, our programmers are client facing, meaning they need to not only be great at their craft, but also be able to lead a meeting, help our clients discover and talk through their pain points and above all, make the client feel heard and taken care of. Needless to say, filling a position around here isn’t the easiest.

We realized very early on that quality talent isn’t just waiting around for you. They have jobs, they have offers, they have options. They won’t put up with a lengthy, unorganized hiring process. Soon after we beefed up our own hiring process, we had the opportunity to work with an other organization on their hiring process. The YMCA was experiencing headaches and candidate drop-outs with their software-as-a-service. We brought their vision to life through a custom web application that makes the hiring process flow with ease.

Invest in Technology

Today’s top talent isn’t interested in walking into a cluster of inefficient processes and operations workflows that just don’t flow. While your run of the mill candidate will take what they can get, your rockstars, your innovators, your bottom line impactors want technologies and systems that propel them. By 2025 Millennials will represent 75% of the global workforce. These are the folks for whom an iPhone is considered an extension of their being.

Not only should you invest in technology to attract and retain top talent, but it’s a vital requirement to stay relevant and competitive in today’s business climate. If you’re still depending on email and spreadsheets to get you by, you’ve already fallen behind just about every curve there is, including quality talent acquisitions.

Empower Your Team Through Accountability and Responsibility

It’s a little bit of a buzz term when it comes to workforce retention and leadership – “Create a culture of accountability”. But what does that even mean? Haven’t employees always had to be accountable? Well, the answer is a big fat “No”, they haven’t.

Workforce leadership expert and author, Julie Miller said, “Trying to instill a culture where people are accountable can be difficult. People will not be accountable unless there’s some system in place that encourages it.” That system looks different for every organization, but that’s what we do, we create custom workflow solutions.

Quality talent is optimized in an environment that encourages accountability. Not only that, they know their worth and they won’t pull the weight for everyone. Good talent wants to work with good talent. Keeping everyone accountable in a transparent way with effective systems firstly,  fosters retention and secondly, creates an environment that’s attractive to other great talent. Win-win.

Talent acquisition and retention are just two of the million issues business leaders need to stay on top of. Stop fighting your way through resumes, failing processes and increasing turnover. Instead, invest in improving your hiring process, offer innovative technology as a candidate incentive, and empower your team with tools and processes that encourage accountability.

When you think about lost productivity, you might immediately envision the ubiquitous, blue “f”. While Facebook, personal web browsing and general laziness are big time wasters at work, you can’t place all the blame on employees. Leaders, operations and outdated processes are very often also to blame. Check out these stats…

The highest-performing 10% of workers tend to work for 52 minutes followed by a 17-minute break. (Source: DeskTime) Tweet that stat!

So maybe next time you have to break up a water cooler chat about “The craziness that will be the Beyonce Formation Tour presale”, (which, who hasn’t had to this week?) Consider how productive your team has been lately. If you’re not sure, then the water cooler gathering is the least of your worries. On the other hand…

23.4% of workers cited socializing with co-workers as the second leading office distraction. (Source: TrendHunter) Tweet that stat!

Talk about knowing when and how to strike a balance! So you want to give them the autonomy of breaks to increase productivity, but you also have to be able to know when to reel it in. The key is to always have a finger on the pulse of the productivity of your team. That’s leadership.

Happy employees are 12% more productive. (Source: University of Warwick) Tweet that Stat!

How’s your employee recognition program working for ya?

23% of workers believe that time spent in meetings is a waste. (Source: Harris Poll and CareerBuilder) Tweet that stat!

How productive are your meetings? Are you using all of the tools at your disposal to reduce the number of, and time spent in meetings? If you’re having to hold meetings about the same topics, tasks or issues, perhaps an aging process needs to be addressed.

An average of $1,800 per employee, annually is spent on unnecessary emails. (Source: Atlassian ) Tweet that stat!

The majority of organizations we work with try to replace project or workflow management with email. It does not work! Sure, you could eventually get to Texas on a bike, but there are far better mediums to get there, right? That’s the difference between email and custom workflow software -A to B in the most efficient way.

The average worker spends 1.8 hours each day searching for and gathering information. (Source: McKinsey) Tweet that stat!

When is the last time you revisited your processes and how your information is being stored, organized and accessed? Odds are, it’s time to consider investing in a custom database.

As leaders, we can’t always pass the buck when it comes to lost productivity. Sometimes we have to look at the tools, processes and support we’ve made available to them. It’s not always easy to spot an archaic or inefficient process because we get comfortable and stuck in our ways. But, “That’s how we’ve always done it” is a very dangerous mindset.