The best ways to win the war for talent


As you round out your hiring strategy, undoubtedly a plan for competing for the best talent tops the list. We know the demand for skilled workers continues to increase while supply can’t keep up. The keys to attract and retain the best employees are providing them with professional development training and a healthy work culture.

As a workforce solution partner to thousands, we see firsthand the struggles companies experience in filling their open positions. With the unemployment rate sitting at 3.7 percent as of July 2019, employers must be savvy in their strategy to attract and retain talent.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics in January 2018, the median employee tenure was about 4 years. If you dig even deeper, the report shows workers aged 25 to 34 had a median tenure of only 2.8 years. So, it’s clear companies need to do a better job of retaining their talent once they capture it. It’s far less disruptive and costly to retain an employee than to hire a new one.

If businesses make just one change in their workforce strategy, it should be to make investments in their team, at all levels of the organization. This will have a significant impact on who wins the war for talent.

Attract and preserve your workforce with training and development
Investing in career development means providing training for employees at all levels, from entry level to the c-suite. And the training will lead to retention. In fact, LinkedIn’s 2018 Workplace Learning Report found that 94 percent of employees would stay with a company longer if it invested in their career.

Offer skill enhancement and opportunity for growth for millennials, while also focusing on further developing your organization’s leaders. Incorporating professional development into your training strategy will become even more critical as millennials take over the workforce. According to Deloitte, 71 percent of millennials who are likely to leave an organization within two years are dissatisfied with how their leadership skills are being developed.

Culture is key
According to Glassdoor data, company culture is among the top factors that job seekers consider as part of their job search, while compensation and benefits are at the bottom of the list. So, establishing and maintaining a positive work environment for candidates is critical to workforce success.

The number one reason employees leave one job for another is their boss. Poor leadership is driving skilled talent away from your own company and into the arms of the competitor. Developing strong team relationships and a productive, healthy management style must be a priority. Hire people who share your company vision and mission, and create an environment where people want to come and stay.

Utilize all resources when you recruit
Before focusing on retention, you need to first attract the talent. Companies should be using every resource at their disposal to help recruit, including campus recruiting, strengthening internal recruiting efforts, incentivizing employees with referral bonuses and outsourcing some roles and functions to third parties. Together, this will ensure a successful integrated workforce strategy.

A “Best Place to Work” should always be the standard that companies aspire to be. Connect everything in the company to this notion. Through company culture and professional development, your company can win the war for talent.

About the author
Founder and President, Doug Ross, guides the overall strategy and operations of Synergis. Leveraging a 30+ year staffing industry career, he has led the company’s expansion since 1997 by way of new markets—Silicon Valley and Los Angeles—and introduced new and innovative services to meet the demand for Information Technology, Creative/Marketing and Instructional Design talent. He also developed a Managed Services model for Enterprise clients. Doug is active in the industry through his affiliations with the American Staffing Association and Technology Association of Georgia. Doug actively and enthusiastically supports numerous worthy organizations including the March of Dimes, Habitat for Humanity, the American Heart Association, the Atlanta Food Bank, the Atlanta Mission and his church.