Talent acquisition looks a lot different today than it used to. Not only have economic conditions driven companies to reassess how they might stand out to be noticed by top candidates, but a recent study indicates other generational differences in workplace values, perceptions, and preferences. These differences have made identifying, attracting, and hiring the best talent out there increasingly challenging. Companies need to evolve their talent acquisition strategies to retain their current workforce while also attracting the next generation of talent.
What’s the difference between talent acquisition strategies and employee retention strategies?
Talent acquisition and employee retention are inextricably linked as they are both key components of an effective talent management strategy. Businesses strive to attract the best talent for key roles so they can be trained and molded into future leaders for the company. To be most effective, talent acquisition should consider candidates who will fit a company’s goals and values. This effort then spills over into strong employee retention efforts, ensuring new candidates understand their roles and job descriptions and have a smooth onboarding process.
Generational Differences in Talent Acquisition Strategies
Today’s workforce currently includes four generations: Baby Boomers, Generation X, Millennials (also referred to as Generation Y or the Net Generation), and Gen Z. Each of these generations prioritizes different things when it comes to their work environment, and there seems to be a clear generational divide when it comes to things like work-life balance preferences.
In a recent study, data from three generations, Baby Boomers, Generation X, and Millennials, indicates work values and preferences exist and evolve, specifically when it comes to work-life balance, with each newer generation seeking a higher amount of leisure time. In addition, analysis from the same study shows intrinsic values, or finding self-fulfillment in work, is declining over the generations.
While Baby Boomers focused more on promotions and career advancement opportunities, Generation X primarily sought more paid time off or higher compensation. While these are far from the only factors differentiating generations, they indicate companies’ need to re-evaluate their talent acquisition strategies.
Hiring the Right Candidate
Hiring the right employees is one of the most important things you will do as a business leader to grow your business. For a small business, in particular, each new hire has the potential to make a significant impact. Understanding how your talent acquisition strategies engage or don’t engage key candidates is essential to a business’s ability to hire top talent.
Business can improve their chances of hiring effective, qualified employees with these hiring tips:
- Write a Job Description That Clearly Defines the Role
In today’s candidate-driven job market, employers need to be considerate of a potential candidate’s time throughout the recruiting process. That starts with writing a clear job description that includes the specific responsibilities and requirements that will be expected. Consider including details such as anticipated day-to-day tasks and how the role fits into company goals. Help potential employees visualize how they will be contributing to the company.
- Highlight Your Company Benefits
Companies that can clearly express the benefits and rewards they offer have a more significant advantage when attracting and hiring employees. Think about your advantages and remember company benefits can be both monetary and non-monetary, such as:
- Company Culture – encompasses organizational dynamics, leadership style, internal communications, collaboration, and positive relationships between team members.
- Opportunity – providing a clear career development and growth plan, with training, education, mentoring, career guidance, and personal development options.
- Work Environment – This may include flexible working hours, employee recognition, and team building.
- Compensation – may include salary, stock options, bonuses, or other monetary rewards.
- Other Benefits – such as paid time off, healthcare, retirement benefits, and remote work or flexible schedules.
The Importance of Retaining the Best Talent
Companies that invest in improving employee retention have an opportunity to reap significant rewards that include:
- Reduced Costs
- Improved Morale
- Greater Productivity
- Reduced Recruitment and Training Time
- Better Customer Service
- Increased Revenue
- Improved Culture
An article by the Wall Street Journal indicates how many companies, to retain employees, are focused on a specific goal, and that is 90 days. According to executives and human resources specialists, if a company can hold on to a new employee for 90 days, or three months, then that employee is likely to stay at the company for at least a year or longer.
While many factors play into retaining a new worker, one reason for the 90-day benchmark is it often takes new workers time to get into the routine of a new job, and it’s those critical first days that will determine if a new employee stays. Many companies have rolled out incentives tied to that 90-day timeframe to improve retention, such as bonuses or providing structured goals with more in-depth training programs. Other companies may withhold some benefits during that 90-day duration, using it as a probationary period.
It’s also significant to realize companies can improve employee retention through small changes in development opportunities, company culture improvements, and recognition efforts. Employees want to feel recognized and appreciated for the work they do. This recognition can include highlighting professional achievements and milestones and personal traits that make an employee stand out.
At Safeguard, we know there is no one-size-fits-all approach to developing a talent acquisition strategy. As a long-term and comprehensive approach to finding employees, talent acquisition must consider business goals, needs, and plans and then use those goals to tailor a custom strategy unique to each organization.
You can rely on your Safeguard Advisor for the right products, services, and ideas to make managing and marketing your business easier and more productive.
- Generational differences in workplace preferences are changing talent acquisition strategies.
- Research shows each newer generation seeks more work-life balance and leisure time.
- Businesses can improve their chances of hiring the right candidate by writing a clearly defined job description and highlighting company benefits.
- Companies can improve employee retention through development opportunities, company culture improvements, and recognition efforts.