How to Attract and Retain Top Talent

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Hiring top talent

How to Attract and Retain Top Talent

Hiring new talent can be a long, tedious, and expensive process. So whenever you find ways to speed things along -- and to make sure the talent you’ve hired doesn’t leave -- you’re potentially saving yourself a lot of time, energy, and money in the future.

How can you make the process easier for yourself? Here are seven tips for attracting top talent and getting those high-quality employees to stick with you for the long haul.

Offer a competitive salary, and list that salary on the job posting.

We have a lot to say about why you should always put a salary range in any job posting, but we’ve written about that elsewhere. You can read our entire article about that topic if you’d like to, but to summarize, we have three big reasons why you should include that information in a job listing:

  • It makes you competitive.
  • It allows you to control expectations.
  • It makes you more transparent.

The first point gets people in the door, while the next two points establish trust between you and any prospective employee. That trust is an important yet fragile thing, so you should be developing it as early on as possible.

Of course, that salary needs to be competitive. Do your research and see what people make in the field on average. If you find someone who has a lot of relevant experience, be prepared to go above that average. And, if you find a candidate who seems like the ultimate dream candidate, be prepared to offer way more than that.

Your employees show up to work for one reason: They need money. Offering competitive wages might be the best way to get people into your company and convince them to stay there.

Create benefits unique to your organization.

Too many companies take a copy/paste approach to creating benefits packages. While some things are expected as a part of any package – healthcare, for example – it’s nice to toss in some extras that really get people excited.

Perhaps you hire a shuttle service so your employees can ride to and from work for free. Maybe your bonuses include all-expense-paid vacations to exotic locales. Or maybe you offer private on-campus counseling for people who might need to talk about personal struggles with a professional.

Once you feel like you have a candidate on the hook, casually mentioning one of these unique and interesting benefits might be the key to reeling them in.

Oh, and we need to be frank about something. Sure, it’s cool that you have a ping pong table in your breakroom, but that’s not the type of benefit we’re talking about here. While we do love ping pong, most candidates have seen that one a dozen times at this point. If you call that out too prominently, potential hires might see it as a red flag (that’s the best you can offer?)

Offer amazing benefits so you don’t have to try to oversell the mediocre ones.

Be extremely flexible with how you let your employees work.

Everyone is different. Some people work better at the crack of dawn, while others are the most productive in the afternoon. Some people work slowly and steadily throughout the day, others have a sprinter’s work ethic, where they can outperform just about anyone in a two-hour block, but they need time to recover after that to recharge and do it all again. Some people thrive in a fast-paced environment, surrounded by hustle and bustle, while others need peace and quiet. If you can accommodate all these different types of people at once, you’ve got a recipe for huge success – as well as unprecedented employee satisfaction.

Of course, this isn’t a perfect world, and it’s difficult to provide a work environment that takes every single personality quirk into account. However, you should be as flexible as you possible can be. Employees should have the opportunity to work from home at least one day a week (and more than that if you can accommodate it). There should be a range of appropriate work hours, so someone who wants to be at their desk by 7 a.m. should be allowed to do so, while someone else who moseys in at 10 a.m. with a giant mug of coffee should be able to do that as well.

If you can manage it, creating separate workspaces that are designated as quiet or collaborative can give your workers the chance to get chatty when they need to and have silence if the chatter becomes too distracting. We can attest from personal experience that your chattiest employee and the quietest one will perpetually be in conflict with each other.

While you can’t account for every single human being on the planet, we’re pretty certain that you can be more flexible than you’re being right now. When you’re flexible, your employees tend to be happier and more productive.

Make the onboarding process as efficient as possible.

We’ve mentioned onboarding elsewhere (and you can read about it in depth here). For the sake of this current article, though, we’ll try to keep this point brief.

When onboarding, make sure the process is as smooth as it can possibly be. Yes, there are going to be some snags – that’s inevitable – but try to account for as many of those as you can and plan around them.

For example, if a worker needs a computer, make sure that computer is set up in a workspace, with all the necessary software installed, before that person shows up for orientation. Make sure training is efficient and thorough. Give new hires a tour of the company, and let them meet the CEO in person if possible.

When a person arrives for their first day on the job, they should feel like they’re entering an environment that’s set up for them to succeed.

Develop a healthy workplace culture.

We don’t think we can stress just how important culture is to your company.

This is one aspect of the workplace that way too many companies get wrong. The reason for that, of course, is that culture is a delicate balance.

On the one hand, your organization should have structure to it. On the other, individuals on the team will each contribute something unique to the overall culture. You don’t want to be too freeform, to the point where people can just show up and do whatever they feel like. At the same time, you also don’t want to create an environment that feels stifling to your most creative workers.

Find the balance. Create strong, consistent company policies, but also allow each employee to contribute their own unique quirks to the overall culture. We know this is easier said than done, but it’s way too important to shrug off.

Provide ongoing training and learning opportunities.

Employee development and personal growth are never complete. In order to thrive, your workers need to feel like they’re constantly moving upward. Sometimes that means promotional opportunities, but in many cases, being able to learn something new every day will keep people engaged.

You can work the natural curiosity of your staff into a boon for your company by offering continued education and training on your dime. You can direct your employees to learn new things about the software they use every day by enrolling them in an advanced class (fully paid for by the company, of course). You can encourage longtime employees to keep growing for years and years.

On top of cultivating a staff of highly trained individuals, you’re also allowing all of your employees to feel like they’re coming into a space where they’re set up to succeed. Far too often, workers are put into positions where they feel like they have to succeed despite the company’s best efforts to sabotage their efforts.

Empower your employees to be the best they can possibly be, and inspire them to be constantly growing. You’ll create top-level teams, and you’ll inspire people to stick around because your workspace is the place where they feel inspired.

Become an employer of choice.

We’ve mentioned this concept elsewhere, so we’ll be very brief here.

In all things, you should strive to become an employer of choice. An employer of choice is the type of company that people think of when they imagine their dream job. Employers of choice spend way less time and money on recruitment because there’s already buzz about how great it is to work there. People will come from all over the world for a shot at working for you if your organization is an employer of choice.

Like so many of the other items on this list, becoming an employer of choice isn’t easy. However, it should always be a high-level goal for your organization.


Attracting top talent is a matter of creating job listings with some wow factor. Amazing benefits, higher-than-average salaries, and a very distinct yet malleable culture will draw people in. Retaining that talent is a matter of sustaining those “wow factor” moments over the course of many years – and even decades. Ongoing training and flexibility both go a long way in convincing employees to make their career at your organization a long one rather than a mere stepping stone.

We’re not going to lie; all these things require an upfront investment. But if you do it right, these investments will offer enormous returns for years to come.