Retaining Top Talent

in 2021

Written by Ellie Harper

Today’s competitive job market means that retaining talent has never been so difficult. Indeed, recent research from Alexander Mann Solutions reveals that 38% of businesses have put talent acquisition on hold due to the pandemic while 17% are in the process of reducing hiring. Despite these numbers, over 60% of businesses still consider filling open positions as their top priority. Furthermore, the researchers also found that businesses focused more on building and upskilling their internal staff instead of looking to external skills or resources. This brings us to the first key way of retaining your top talents.

Provide opportunities for upskilling and career development

Raising salaries and including more benefits can only go so far in terms of improving employee satisfaction. True, long-term, and sustainable satisfaction comes from talented employees finding opportunities to grow and develop within your organization.

As tech is playing an increasing role in shaping all types of work, creating such conditions today involves improving technical skills across all teams. From finance and operations to marketing and sales, which of your departments need immediate technical upskilling and support? CIO advises performing a skills gap analysis to determine which departments need support, which skills and technologies are needed, and which top talents are ready to help fill the gaps. From there, you can better determine how to design upskilling programs, leverage training partners, and even establish coaching models. If you can create training programs and other opportunities for top talents to develop within your company, they will be more than happy to stay onboard.

Extend remote work opportunities

Allowing top talents to work with remote or hybrid online and offline schedules is a good way to keep them onboard. Thanks to the digital transformation of business, establishing effective remote workspaces is easier than ever before. Today’s remote teams are now mostly familiar with tools like Slack and Basecamp that aid in streamlining remote working conditions. In fact, using its own platform, Basecamp employs staff from all over the world, giving the company a wider pool of top talents to leverage. Remote working is here to stay, and for top talents whose work mostly consists of screen time, it’s become the preferred method of delivering daily tasks.

Build an experienced HR team

As we know, an HR team handles developing programs, paths, and opportunities aimed at retaining top talent. So it goes without saying that you need an experienced HR team that can manage not just hiring new staff but also modifications to the workforce during the pandemic. This is exactly what business management software provider DaySmart Software did in order to support its expansion plans. As part of its new investments into talent development, DaySmart hired HR expert Cristi Tobelmann as their new vice president for human resources.

Tobelmann’s achievements include getting her bachelor’s in psychology and organizational leadership from Purdue University and finishing her master’s degree in human resources and labor relations at Michigan State University. After gaining experience in key HR positions in companies like Pepsi and Boeing, Tobelmann became the director for Worldwide Talent Acquisition and Workforce Planning at cloud security company Barracuda Networks. There, she led and managed hiring at a global scale. As a result, she became instrumental in retention strategies, an achievement which DaySmart aims to replicate. “Cristi is the ultimate addition to our leadership team as she will help us deliver the change management strategies necessary to find and support our growing staff,” detailed DaySmart CEO, Pat Shanahan.

A qualified and competent HR team is at the center of any retention strategy. As Tobelmann’s credentials show, HR leaders of this caliber not only come with relevant degrees but extensive experience as well. This is why the outlook for HR management careers in business administration by Maryville University details that such positions are only open to professionals with five or more years of experience. Furthermore, while there are more than 130,000 active HR managers in the U.S., industry demand for the role continues to grow, with experts foreseeing an overall 9% growth up until 2026.

As a business owner or operator, your HR team is the bridge that keeps you connected to all other employees. And with a strong and experienced HR team at the helm, they will help retain your very best talent.

In the age of remote working and worldwide digital transformation, the most highly skilled workers can find growth opportunities at every turn. There is no doubt that the job market will continue to change in the upcoming years through innovations like AI and automation. Yet despite these changes the need for businesses to retain top talent will remain. If you and your HR manager can implement strong talent retention strategies, you can hold on to these talented individuals and develop them alongside your enterprise.