23 Feb 2023

Attracting and Retaining Talent


This blog post has been produced for the Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce as part of the 2023 Growth Through People campaign.

It's often stated that it's easier to keep existing customers happy than it is to attract new ones. So why wouldn't that be true of our employees if we were to adopt the same logic? With that in mind below are some familiar steps for an employer to take when looking to retain staff.

Top tips on talent retention

Exit interviews. I'm guessing you would be straight on the ‘phone if a customer said they were leaving. You'd want to know why and what you could do to keep their business. Why not apply that same business strategy to your staff? Yes, some will and do feel awkward telling you why they are leaving but if you want honest feedback make your exit interview count. Only with this information can you establish if there are any trends and what, if anything, you can do to reduce the number of people leaving.

Invest in training. Customers shop around for the best supplier; so too will your staff. Upskilling through training and development not only preserves and improves your employees' talent but makes them feel valued. Oh, and ensure training is specific and relevant. If, as business leaders your experience of training is a negative one, then your staff will do too. Train well and your staff will appreciate the difference.

Upskilling managers. This will have a huge impact on achieving staff retention. Ever heard an employee say they absolutely have to find another job because their line manager is simply too amazing to work for; thought not.

Speak to your employees, and listen to what they say, then act on it if you can. From the most sophisticated of staff surveys, to a chat in the canteen, try to get to know what your staff are thinking and saying about their experiences in your business. They are some of the best advocates for your business, or they can be the worst.

Top tips on attracting new talent

With business booming and having retained, trained and motivated your staff, you now need to find even more talent. This means getting the basics right.

Areas to focus on include ensure the job description is accurate, both in its content and its tone. It is after all, an advertisement to join your company and ensure the advert is put in the right places.

When it comes to the interview have a process that is consistent. Knowledge of which types of questions can and cannot be asked will help make your hiring process fair and equitable.

Once a candidate has accepted get them into your organisation as soon as possible. Delay can prove fatal and the recent job market has been quick to highlight this. Processes used to bring candidates in should be efficient and slick and first impressions most definitely do count.

Salaries. It won't have escaped those reading this that wages have become something of a runaway train of late. However salaries aren't everything. And other forms of compensation could also be considered. Bonuses, paid time off, working from home/flexible working and autonomy all contribute to a sense of purpose within an organisation.

Culture. How do recruits feel when entering your organisation? When a company's culture is good, employees feel it too.

Prevention. Having invested heavily in bringing someone on board ensure the employment contract is right. Key areas of focus include having suitable notice periods for the role. Seeing a key worker walk out having handed in a week's can be a costly wake up call. Similarly, are restrictive covenants necessary? A well drafted restrictive covenant may just make an employee think twice about that promise of greener grass on the other side.

For more information, contact Employment Partner Chris Piggott by emailing chris.piggott@mfgsolicitors.com or by calling 0121 2367388.

Growth Through People is the Chamber's annual campaign aiming to help local firms boost productivity and grow through improved leadership and people management skills. In 2023 this involves 4 free webinars and events sharing best practice advice and guidance taking place thrmgf oughout March, and a Growth Through People conference on 10th May. In addition, throughout the campaign the Chambers will be publishing podcasts and blog content.

Thanks to our Headline Partners and Sponsors - Aston University, South and City College Birmingham and the West Midlands Combined Authority - all Growth Through People events and webinars are free to attend. Interested readers can find out more and register to attend here.