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7 Ways to Attract and Retain Star Employees for Business Owners Thumbnail

7 Ways to Attract and Retain Star Employees for Business Owners

By Dan Miller, CFP®

Hiring and retaining top talent is essential for growing a successful company as well as employee satisfaction. However, as business owners know, hiring anyone, let alone good employees, can be difficult. The added benefits of comradery, friendship and respect amongst well-acquainted team members can be lost as soon as top talent leaves an organization, and it can sometimes take years to recover.

That being said, it’s no surprise that holding onto top talent is just as important (if not more) as hiring good employees in the first place.

Yet, companies struggle regularly to achieve a better recruitment and retention status every year. Good talent remains a challenge to find and hold onto. Fortunately, there are ways to improve which are directly controllable by an employer.

#1: Make the Process Easier For Candidates

Your priority is to get good talent in the door. However, turning off good people with long application forms, complex hiring processes and confusing job bulletins won’t do you any favors. Talent acquisition departments or human resource offices often include these requirements to help knock out unfit candidates, but good talent may find these roadblocks to be a red flag about the company’s operations. That perception can damage you with potential talent directly as well as by reputation. Save the majority of the paperwork for once someone is about to be hired and a background check is needed. Instead, try to start the process out by being approachable, communicative, and transparent.

#2: Start Talking Right Away

Effective hiring happens when a synergy develops immediately. This occurs more naturally when people are able to connect face-to-face. When you can, set up an interview as soon as possible - even if it’s an informal chat at a local café or a Zoom meeting. Sitting down and talking with candidates allows you to better identify desirable talent than churning through resumes.

#3: Using Current Staff to Help With Hiring

Who knows better how to do a job than the people actually doing it? By including current staff in the vetting process, they can help you identify what traits to look for in a candidate. Even better, they may be able to identify people they believe will fit well into your team’s culture.

Talent can be the best in the world, but if they aren’t a good match for your team, they aren’t likely to stay. Involving your key staff in the selection process can help to more effectively merge new players with your current employees.

#4: Investment in Your Top Talent

A paycheck alone means little in terms of holding onto top tier talent. Your competitors can and will likely pay more for raw talent or star employees. However, when your people are emotionally and intellectually invested in your company, there can be more of a willingness to stay on board - even if the pay is less competitive.

Cultural fulfillment provides belonging, purpose and mission, so encouraging employees to become part of something greater works well for retention. For example, you may want to consider involving others in company initiatives including growth, innovation, addressing challenges and rewarding hard work. Don’t shortchange your best players; make sure they know they are an important part of your company’s success.

#5: Showcase Your Brand

You want top talent to take you seriously as a company. Showcasing a well-established brand is an important way to do that. Your company should have a solid mission, including your core purpose and benefit to society. In essence, you want to establish a presence that people want to be part of in the first place. Good talent will have a clear role to fill when added to your company as a result.

#6: Establish a Path for Employees

Feeling undervalued is one of the top reasons good people leave a company. With that being said, one of the most effective ways to express your gratitude and acknowledge value is by defining an ongoing path for professional growth. When people feel they have hit the ceiling, they jump for new horizons and new challenges. With no room for growth, why continue?

Keeping your best people moving on an upward trajectory will help them feel engaged and valued.

#7: Offer Attractive Benefits (401(k) or retirement plan)

There’s no getting around it: recruits and candidates need to have something they can build towards retirement. By offering a 401(k) or a 403(b)-retirement plan, your company can stand out against your competitors immediately.

Not only does such a benefit help workers plan for tomorrow, it gives them a reason to stay longer with the same company. The longer they stay with you, the longer your employee can keep building their retirement savings, especially when matched with an employer contribution. Other crucial benefits candidates look for in today’s market include insurance plans like disability, group life or critical illness. It’s not unusual for candidates to go with the job that offers the best benefits package (insurance and retirement savings) over the best salary.

Attracting the right candidates can be a long, drawn-out process - but it’s one that shouldn’t be overlooked. Your employees, especially those in leadership positions, can drive the success (or failure) of your business. Following these tips to both attract and retain top talent in your company can help you, and your employees, better achieve your hiring goals.

Dan Miller, Kaleb Robuck and Marcus Taylor are investment adviser representatives of, and securities and advisory services are offered through, USA Financial Securities Corp. Member FINRA/SIPC. A Registered Investment Advisor located at 6020 E Fulton St., Ada, MI 49301. Miller Financial Group is not affiliated with USA Financial Securities.