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How to Spot and Retain Talent

Many Managers will tell you that one of their greatest challenges is to get and retain top talent. No business wants to have a high staff turnover. It’s not only costly, time consuming, hampers productivity and decreases staff morale, but also shows that your company is not a good place to work at. Furthermore, the invested resources and knowledge leaves along with that employee who resigns. South Africa has a very high unemployment rate. That is not to say that there are no opportunities out there. The hard fact is that not everyone falls into the “top talent” category. Top talent is scarce. 

A sense of entitlement, a lack of integrity and a bad attitude can have a detrimental effect on any business. Hence, not everyone is good for the business and has its best interest at heart. However, the right person for the job is hard to find and to keep, which makes proper talent management a top priority for any human resources manager. 

How to Spot Top Talent?

Getting the right people to share in your company’s vision is tough. Steve Jobs said: “Go after the cream of the cream. A small team of A+ players can run circles around a giant team of B and C players.” 

The people you hire can make or break your business. It is vital to put the correct person into the right position.  But what characteristics does the right employee at the steer of your ship need to help you reach your destination? It is important that HR Managers or recruiters employ the talent they need that will benefit their business. They need to know what to look for in a candidate. Here is a checklist of the top 10 traits you should consider before you hire someone: 

  1. Integrity and good work ethics.
  2. Enthusiasm, Self-motivation, and a positive attitude.
  3. Innovative and creative ideas.
  4. Effective and Efficient Communication Skills.
  5. The willingness to take ownership.
  6. Ambition.
  7. The ability to work well in a team.
  8. Curiosity and eagerness to learn and to constantly develop themselves.
  9. High Emotional Intelligence.
  10. Leadership.

So, now you have employed the best person for the job, what do you as a company need to do to keep them happy? As with every type of relationship, even between a business and their employees, it is a two-way street.

How to Retain Top Talent?

We live in a new aged working world where employees don’t stay in their job for 30 plus years, no matter how miserable they are, as in the old days. Managers might think that an employee should just be grateful to have a job in today’s day and age. The reality is that people would rather take a risk and look for another job or do a total career change than be unhappy. 

It is as simple as determining:

  1. Who is leaving?
  2. Why are they leaving?
  3. What can we do to keep them?

This will help with the talent retention strategy that every well run HR department should have. 

  • Communicate and listen to your employees. What do they want? What do they need? What will keep them giving their best?
  • Be flexible and accommodating towards their needs. Consider hybrid or remote work options. 
  • Keep developing their skills and giving them learning opportunities. Concentrate on individual training programmes. 
  • Create opportunities for them to grow within the company.
  • Take care of their wellbeing. Develop your workplace wellness programmes. Physical wellness i.e., a gym wellness programme as well as healthy food at the office canteen; Mental and Emotional wellness by providing easily accessible counselling facilities, support groups etc. 
  • Provide regular and constructive, but positive feedback. People want to know what is expected of them and if they are on the right track. 
  • Offer competitive and well-structured remuneration packages.
  • Give them added value like vouchers, rewards etc., if a job is well done.
  • Show appreciation through giving credit where it is due and by publicly acknowledging when an employee does well. 

 “Culture is what motivates and retains talented employees.” said Betty Thompson.  If you have the right individuals that can reach the company’s objectives, you need to do everything in your power to keep them. Ask yourself the question, are you willing to lose your top talent to the competition? If not, then you better start with developing that retention plan.