How to attract and retain top talent in 2023

How to attract talent in 2023

Why do people join and stay at an organization? Ask a hundred employees, and you’ll probably get a hundred unique answers, but most will boil down to one thing: a compelling employee value proposition (EVP). Your EVP encompasses all the benefits and opportunities your company offers to attract new employees and keep current ones. It goes far beyond the size of an employee’s paycheck to include whether they feel valued, engaged, and welcomed on a daily basis.

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Developing and communicating a top-of-class EVP leads to a better employer brand and, in turn, more candidates knocking at your company’s door, along with fewer employees looking for a way out. Here are 7 ways to attract and retain the very best talent at your company by creating an EVP that’s hard to turn down.

1. Prioritize culture when hiring — and afterwards

More than its industry, size, or even its mission, your organization is defined by its culture. It’s the water your employees swim in every day, and it influences every aspect of their work. If a team member doesn’t align with the culture your company has built, they’ll struggle to perform at their best, potentially cause discord in their team, and be likely to move on sooner rather than later.

That’s why it’s so important to prioritize cultural fit as highly as skills or experience when hiring. Keep culture in mind during each stage of the recruitment process, from crafting the job description, to interviewing candidates, to onboarding and beyond. Transparent communication about the type of candidate you’re looking for will encourage applicants and interviewees to be honest in turn.

Of course, cultural alignment will only have a positive impact if your company has a culture worth aligning to. A great organizational culture is one where employees feel welcomed, engaged by their work, and free to be themselves. Implement the initiatives described below, and others like them, to build a culture that the very best talent wants to be a part of.

2. Develop a top-tier onboarding process

Onboarding sets the tone for everything that’s to come in an employee’s journey at your company. Are they gradually incorporated into your organization while being given the training, resources, and information needed to succeed? Or are they handed a project after a week of introductory meetings without context or support?

To make your organization known as a fantastic place to start working, begin by planning an onboarding process that continues over the employee’s entire first year with your company — if not longer. The first weeks will be the most focused, but there should be aspects that persist far longer, like formal coaching relationships and periodic training updates.

Over the course of onboarding, communicate exactly what is expected of the employee, and establish channels for asking questions or providing feedback whenever needed. Evaluate your onboarding process frequently and don’t hold off on making much-requested changes. Otherwise, your company risks alienating a significant proportion of the talent it’s worked so hard to bring in.

3. Make employees feel valued with recognition

Employees want to work at an organization where they know they’re valued for what they bring to the job every day. A good salary won’t necessarily keep a dissatisfied employee around, and a chronic lack of appreciation can seriously tarnish your employer brand. So make it crystal clear with a comprehensive employee recognition program that engages current team members and entices new ones.

This goes far beyond an occasional word of thanks for another successful project or sending out a gift card when an employee’s work anniversary rolls around. Your program should incentivize employees by providing both tangible rewards and social recognition on a frequent basis. The right employee recognition platform makes it easy for every team member, not just managers, to show these forms of appreciation, regardless of whether they get the job done remotely, work in-office, or fall somewhere in-between. These moments of recognition build genuine connections between coworkers, elevate the employee experience, and make your company an organization people want to join.

4. Prioritize and monitor employee engagement

Employee engagement is simply a measure of how much someone’s job motivates and interests them. Do they get excited about coming to work and tackling their next project? Or do they feel emotions like boredom and dread when contemplating another day on the job? Improving employee engagement makes your team members more productive and more likely to stick around. It also makes a real difference when potential employees can tell that those they meet at an organization really love their work.

There are many great ways to engage your employees, from giving them genuine opportunities for professional development and advancement to providing them with the support they need to thrive. But what keeps one team member engaged may make little or no impact for another. To understand how to best engage your unique workforce, leverage an employee engagement platform that makes it easy to collect and analyze data on the key drivers of engagement from across your organization. Look for a solution that includes streamlined, effective feedback tools like pulse surveys and AI-powered HR chatbots together with robust reporting features that guide people leaders from insight to action.

5. Incentivize with a great total rewards package

Employees are looking for things like great work-life balance, an array of attractive incentives, and, of course, competitive financial compensation. These and all other benefits you offer employees make up your organization’s total rewards package. The concept of total rewards makes it easy to pull together everything you offer current and prospective employees, so they can see everything your organization offers.

A company can only provide the total rewards allowed by its budget, so getting the most out of every dollar spent is critical. Avoid shelling out cash for pricey incentives that employees don’t need or want by soliciting input from your workforce to find out which benefits they value most. This allows your organization to tailor its total rewards package to maximize the impact on employee satisfaction, motivation, and retention.

Of course, even the best total rewards offering won’t move the needle if it isn’t communicated effectively to employees. You can confidentially provide statements to new and existing workers laying out the total rewards package they’re receiving, organized by category and value. Only list substantial perks — highlighting free coffee in the break room will just make your company look cheap. And don’t exaggerate the value of any listed rewards to ensure that employees view the statement as an accurate compilation of everything they get in exchange for their hard work.

6. Foster a sense of belonging and inclusion

People want to feel like they belong at their workplace, like they’re part of a team that accepts and values them for who they really are. If your company makes them feel psychologically safe from their first interaction to their last, they’ll eagerly join and will be quite reluctant to leave. But if it instead seems that they’re kept out of the loop and have to avoid sharing their true thoughts to get by, they’ll soon look for an organization where they are actually included — and they certainly won’t encourage others to join the company they’ve left.

A sense of belonging rests on five pillars: being welcomed, known, included, supported, and connected. There are many ways your company can establish these pillars, from encouraging people leaders to truly listen to and get to know employees, to involving employees in community-building initiatives like employee resource groups (ERGs), to prioritizing diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in everything your company does. When every employee at your company is just as comfortable at work as they are at home, you’ll have no shortage of enthusiastic advocates bringing more talent in the door.

7. Follow through on initiatives with meaningful action

Everyone has worked at an organization that talked the talk but didn’t walk the walk. Talking about the importance of things like recognition, culture, and employee input with limited or no follow up is often worse than ignoring these aspects of the employee experience in the first place. After all, no one likes a hypocrite, especially when they’re reminded of the disconnect between words and reality day-in, day-out.

Don’t let your organization make this mistake. HR should educate leaders on why programs like those described above are so important to organizational success, scheduling training sessions as needed. If there are roadblocks to developing a better culture or genuinely grappling with employee engagement, people leaders can’t shy away from identifying and removing them. And, perhaps most importantly, adopt the right software to empower individuals from the C-suite on down with the ability to contribute to a better employee experience.

Attract an engaged, high-performing workforce

The Achievers Employee Experience Platform is a science-backed solution designed to meet the needs of your ever-changing workforce. Whether it’s providing recognition in fun, engaging ways with an easy-to-use app, giving employees rewards they actually get excited about, or effortlessly identifying real-time trends in employee engagement, Achievers offers all the features needed to build an EVP that attracts talent and retains talented employees. And with a robust suite of integrations with the tools HR and other team members use every day, incorporating the Achievers Employee Experience Platform into your employees’ work lives has never been simpler.

Begin building a better workforce today with a free demo.

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Profile image of author: Aleksandra Masionis

Aleks is the Associate Director of Content Marketing at Achievers, an award-winning employee engagement software that creates a workplace of recognition that accelerates performance and improves retention. In her role as an employee engagement expert and thought leader, Aleks produces research-driven content backed by workforce science.  Leveraging key findings from the Achievers Workforce Institute - an authority and trusted advisor to HR and business leaders - and coupled with her years of experience, Aleks helps organizations reach, recognize, reward, and engage their workforces through thoughtful and actionable content. Connect with Aleks on LinkedIn.  

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