How to Recruit, Reward and Retain Top Talent in 2018 [Part 1]

Whether you’re a leader at a Fortune 500 global business with thousands of employees or a local SMB with 150 associates, recruiting and retaining top talent is one of your top priorities. Unfortunately, that imperative has become more challenging in the past few years amid a growing economy and record-low unemployment statistics in the U.S.

Happy businessman shaking hands with a female interviewer in office

In 2018, the best companies are radically changing how they hire people, asserts Joe Galvin, chief research officer for Vistage. Pointing to a recent survey of nearly 1,400 SMB CEOs, Mr. Galvin reports that 71 percent of the surveyed CEOs said they “Planned to hire more employees in the next 12 months, up from 60 percent one year ago.”

Indeed, “recruitment is one of the most difficult things a company does, but doing it well can pay off,” says consulting firm McKinsey.” In complex, data-driven jobs a high performing employee can be 800 percent more productive than an average one. “At UPS, for example, a logistics routing engineer’s slightest adjustment can impact costs and delivery times dramatically – to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars,” observes McKinsey.

The competition is fierce for the best employees at all levels, and companies are scrambling to add to their payrolls. Bill Gray, president of Uponor in Apple Valley, Minn., cited the need to replace several manufacturing employees who are nearing retirement. “Right now, our leadership is focused on building the company’s next generation of leaders, especially in the company’s manufacturing area.”

Mr. Gray said that compensation is always a sensitive issue with manufacturing, so he does his homework to make sure he doesn’t lose good people to companies offering better pay than Uponor. “How do I keep our people if a neighboring company offers a few cents more per hour?”

Read the Upcoming Series: Recruiting, Rewarding and Retaining Top Talent

Regardless if you are looking to hire entry-level manufacturing employees or seasoned engineers, the challenges surrounding recruiting, rewarding and retaining today’s top candidates remain the same. In this three-part series of articles published every few weeks, we’ll examine each of these challenges and share the latest advice and insights from the industry’s leading thought leaders.

  • In Part II we’ll examine how the best companies recruit and hire and pass on several tips that will help you do the same.
  • In Part III we’ll look into what motivates top performers and what you need to do to create compelling compensation and benefits packages.
  • Finally, in Part IV we’ll look beyond money to what companies can do to retain their best employees by creating great workplace experiences.

Talent Must Precede Growth

As Joe Galvin shared in his Inc. magazine article, “Having the right people in the right jobs is foundational to every business.” And that’s because talent always precedes growth. “Consider the CEO,” says Mr. Galvin, “who wanted to invest in new equipment, but had to stall their plans until they found the right people to man the equipment.”

And just when you think you don’t have retention problems because your engagement survey results are “off the charts,” consider this research that was reported in the Harvard Business Review:

  • One in four employees intends to leave your employ within the year.
  • One in three admits to not putting all his effort into his job.
  • One in five believes her aspirations are quite different from what the organization has planned for her.
  • Four out of 10 have little confidence in their coworkers and even less confidence in the senior team.

Stay with us when we dig further into recruiting, rewards and retention. We’ll publish a new article every few weeks, and you’ll walk away with actionable insights you can put to work in your businesses.

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About the author

Gary Teagarden
Vistage Minnesota

Gary is an accomplished copywriter and B2B content marketing strategist. He’s written numerous articles and member stories for Vistage Minnesota since 2012.

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