Finders Keepers, Employee Edition

Attracting and Keeping Top Talent: A Guide for Managers 


It’s a Candidate’s Market. Let’s face it, hiring good talent is only getting more challenging.  Check out the numbers:


Unemployment  May 2021: 5.8%

Job Openings April 2021: 9.3 Million

Employee Voluntary Resignation Level April 2021: 4 Million

Surveyed Percentage of Hiring Managers struggling with hiring: 51%


What does this data mean? The gap between open jobs and unemployed workers is about as wide as the Texas Sky and between the kinds of available positions and the qualifications that the workforce collectively has to fill them. Studies show that 52% of workers in the US and Canada said they will job hunt in 2021 which is up from 35% in 2020. 


If this is not challenging enough, this also means that top individuals who are fully employed are either passively seeking new positions OR they are being called on by recruiting agencies and competitors to see what it will take to “poach” them. This candidate driven market means that candidates know they are in demand due to their skills and lack of availability. Those who are employed, will be even more inclined to make higher demands if they decide to leave their current role than those who are unemployed and actively seeking. HR Magazine recently published “The Turnover Tsunami” speaking to all the factors and steps hiring managers and organizations need to take and educate themselves on in order to maintain employee stability. 


The market for skilled talent is ever-changing with supply and demand and in this case, there is clearly more demand than there is supply of talent. The market is always changing, however, this past year the market was affected more than ever. COVID-19 had and continues to have long-lasting effects on the market in almost every sense, but it also has a major effect on candidates. Many employees faced the fact that they are generally unhappy in their roles and were willing to make a full blown career change. According to HR Magazine, 36% of employees are inclined to change jobs for better compensation and benefits while 25% seek better work/life balance. 


Keeping all these factors in mind, managers and business owners need to make sure they are prepared to be competitive in attracting talent and also retaining their current talent. Some ways a company can remain competitive are: 

Perks and Incentives 

  • Not every company can afford to offer high salaries, but there are other ways to attract and that is by offering perks and benefits that candidates want.
  • According to Principle, Retirement and health benefits remain common, but “the past year has heightened awareness of the value of protection benefits like life and disability insurance. And some employers are choosing to minimize the cost of expanding benefits by offering employee-paid benefits”. 
  • Candidates heavily consider what benefits a job will give them, and will even reject a job offer from an employer who provides no or sub-par benefits. The most sought after benefits are:
    • Health care
    • Retirement Savings and Planning
    • Leave 
    • Flexible Work 
    • Professional and Career Development

Work Culture

  • 16% of employees consider leaving their jobs simply due to lack of work recognition and 21% of employees plan to STAY with their current company where they are receiving recognition for their work. 
  • 62% of job seekers said they’re more likely to apply for a job where a company is openly committed to improving diversity and inclusion in their workforce. That number jumps to 68% among knowledge workers and 72% among the C-Suite. 
  • In “Tsunami Turnover” studies showed that 19% of employees are once again more likely to stay at their current job if they have a “great working relationship with their manager”. Communication is key. 

Lack of Advancement Opportunities 

  • Individuals who plateau and cannot continue to grow struggle to remain incentivized to continue working hard if they do not see a way upwards. 
  • For example, a recruiting agency who are passively and actively recruiting for their clients,  can find out that an individual is frustrated with the lack of growth and will find a job/ ensure they call the individual if the job order offers a lot of internal growth and upward mobility. 
  • By adding levels to a position, the employees will feel like they are growing and advancing, with titles such as assistant manager, manager and senior manager. 

Presenting Realistic Responsibilities and Opportunities   

  • It is extremely important for employers to disclose everything an individual will be expected to do, even potential downsides of the position. The highest turnover rate is amongst new hires because the job does not match their initial expectations which in turn makes for a poor fit and a  position that will constantly need to be filled.
  • On the other hand, over time responsibilities and requirements can change and increase, it allows employees to grow their skillset and dabble in different areas of their business as long as salary and expectations change alongside. If a company boxes you in and does not allow any kind of exploring, this can cause candidates to see a job where they can explore. 

Focus on Tenure

  • According to HR Magazine Summer 2021 edition, employees nowadays do not expect to stay at the same job forever so it is a suggestion that managers should focus not only on reducing turnover, which is inevitable, but rather elongating tenure. A good tenure and great experience make it all the more likely for an employee to refer the organization to their friends. 
  • This falls alongside the incentives outside of salary competitiveness. Companies that reward loyal employees show a higher sense of trust and gratitude to their employees than companies and managers that do not. 

Work Flexibility 

  • 75% of workers want to maintain schedule flexibility after the pandemic. And this desire isn’t just coming from the bottom up. That same survey found 74% of executives believe it’s time to revisit the work week’s length.
  • According to Slack’s Remote Employee Experience index, 72% of knowledge workers now want a mix of in-office and remote work. 
  • Work flexibility does not apply to working in an office or working remotely but also offering accommodations. Everyone has lives and some are less flexible than others with spouses and children etc. to account for. As a manager it is important to not assume a “one size fits all” mentality but rather to divy the work and expectations fairly as best as possible to each employee which builds loyalty. 


At the end of the day, there is only so much each organization or manager can do to keep individuals happy in their team. Trying to control people will get you nowhere and it is typically not something that is easily done or responded well to. However, you can take steps by actively listening to employee concerns and wishes as well as simultaneously ensuring you are prepared for individuals to leave. It is suggested that managers use “stay interviews, not exit interviews” to gauge employee satisfaction while also always remaining proactive. The most important recruiting priorities should revolve around finding the right people who will benefit your organizations by understanding what is needed and what can be done. 


 As a staffing and recruiting agency, we support hiring managers and HR to assist in filling critical vacancies. This can be anything from supporting them for contract staffing all the way to placing a C-Level Executive on a permanent basis and everything in between. The reason managers even consider working with an agency is due to the long term effects/advantages and especially now in what we call a “candidate driven market” it is more difficult than ever to source for top candidates in their respective industries.  Let us know how we can support you.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *