Human Resource
Attracting and Retaining Top Talent
November 5, 2010
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A critical factor to the success of any company is its ability to attract top talent while retaining those already working within the company. Losing employees can have a significant impact on a company’s morale, productivity and overall profit.

Whether it be evidenced through expenditures in agency or search firms, lowered productivity or morale, high turnover costs your company. In fact, each time one of your employees walks out your door for the last time, it can cost your company anywhere from $25,000 for entry level positions, up to $250,000 for a senior level positions.

Understanding the reasons people leave is the first real step in addressing the issues of retention and attraction. Once you have a clear understanding of these reasons, you are ready to move to the next stage of developing an attraction and retention strategy to get and hold talented people.

The formula for attracting and especially retaining top talent lies in creating a high level of job satisfaction which includes not only the work itself but factors relating to the climate or work environment. One of the most over-estimated reasons companies think they attract and retain top talent is through financial compensation. However, financial compensation is ranked very low by many employees when compared to achieving job satisfaction.

Excellent companies know intuitively the importance of providing challenging work, opportunities to apply skills and the importance that prospective employees place on company reputation. They work hard to improve the climate of work because they know that this will cause people to want to work for them based on their reputation in the marketplace.


The following formula will help ensure that your company attracts and retains top talent:

• Show your key employees that you care – take personal interest in developing your staff. Mentor and coach high performers.

• Maintain your credibility by ensuring consistently that there is no gap between what you say and what you do. It’s called the “Keep Your Promises” law!

• Measure and manage the “soft” skills as well as the hard skills. In addition to rewarding output, profit, and sales etc., provide recognition and reward for ‘how’ the work gets done, the people skills that contribute to a better climate and greater satisfaction.

• Fight turnover with good training, targeted to specific issues and individual needs. Beware of off-the-shelf training programs that promise the world and deliver little.

• Weed out poor managers. Dissatisfied workers dislike poor management. Act quickly to preserve your credibility in the workforce. Remember the law of procrastination. “No matter how long you ignore a problem employee, his or her behaviors will not improve-act now!”

• Address issues of poor performance. Other workers resent having to carry someone who cannot or will not pull their own weight.


In addition, be sure to provide inspirational vision and strong values, meaningful and challenging work, offer career opportunities, create an environment that enables people to do their best work, offer tangible rewards in both monetary and non-monetary ways and ensure work/life balance and support its importance.

Finally, remember that attracting and keeping the right people happens not as a result of strategy – but implementation. Attracting and keeping the right people translates into real dollars on the bottom line. Pursue your goal of success for your company by creating a great work climate. You’ll be pleasantly surprised how much this approach will pay off for you.

Article by: David A. Bratton

About author

Dr Shailesh Thaker

Dr. Shailesh Thaker is a world-renowned management thinker and trainer on organizational behavior and development. He is the CLO of Knowledge Plus Inc., a highly reputed training firm based in Ahmedabad, India, helping organizations to achieve international benchmarks in management practices.

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