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Three Secrets to Attracting and Retaining Top Talent

When examining the true meaning of human capital as our most valuable asset we spoke about how people and their potential are the heart of a successful organisation, how they are the difference between a good organisation and a great one.

The question remains, how does an organisation attract good people? According to HR review the cost of replacing a staff member is over £30K. It's fair to say that one of the biggest challenges an organisation faces is attracting top talent, and then retaining it.

I've worked with a number of different organisations across a variety of sectors. My experience to date has led me to believe in the following three ways to attract and retain top talent.

1. Communicate your purpose (and check in with theirs)

Simon Sinek in his book ‘Start with Why’ speaks about a Golden Circle – a target for our businesses. The bullseye is the why, surrounding that the how, and the outer ring is the what. The why of the Golden Circle is our purpose – the reason we are in business. We need to know this as leaders and the people who follow us need to know it from us. An organisation's purpose is like a light shining in the dark. It draws people towards it. And because an organisation is stronger if the people who work in it are aligned to the 'why' it's important to communicate your organisation's 'why' early on in the recruitment process, and establish if there is a fit between your why and that of your potential recruit.


2. Let them fall in love

People work best when they are given space to thrive, when their creativity is fostered, and where coming up with ideas and innovation is welcomed and encouraged. When a person actively contributes to meaningful work and can see the difference their contribution is making they are not only more engaged with their work, they are falling in love with it.

“Customers will never love a company until the employees love it first” – Simon Sinek


3. Think careers, not jobs

In what ways can you make your organisation a place where people want to build a career (not just 'have a good job')? When people have a sense of ownership over their careers, when they are actively encouraged to set career goals and reach them, they are more likely to see the organisation they work for as a key supporter of their long term career, not just somewhere where they happen to be working for the time being.


Ultimately attracting and retaining talent requires a long-term perspective. And whilst the temptation to breathe a sigh of relief and let the new hire 'get on with it' may be great, it's important to be mindful that retaining top talent goes far beyond the recruitment process.

“If you hire people just because they can do a job they’ll work for your money, if your hire people who believe what you believe they’ll work for you with blood and sweat and tears.” – Simon Sinek

These are my views on attracting and retaining top talent. What are yours? Please share in the comment box below.

Posted on Thu, July 24, 2014 in Organisational Development
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