for employers

For Employers: How to Attract the Best Talent and Reduce Employee Turnover

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While some larger, more high-profile businesses are laying off employees, this doesn’t mean every company is downsizing. Many companies are still struggling to fill positions with the best talent and reduce employee turnover. This is especially true for employers of smaller businesses.

As a career coach to people from a variety of companies wanting to leave their current jobs, I hear all the reasons why they’re looking to leave for something new. Many of these reasons could be remedied by some flexibility and a few simple tweaks by their company, resulting in happier employees, less turnover, and improvement in the company’s overall culture.

If you’re an employer struggling to attract good talent and reduce employee turnover, listen up!

4 ways for employers to attract and retain talent

1. Continue offering remote opportunities

Right now, most of my clients are coming to me because they want to continue to be able to work remotely. A survey by Résumé shows 18% of employees required to return to the office are currently seeking a new job, with 36% planning to look for one this year.

A survey shows 51% of job candidates consider it a “green flag” when a company has flexible remote work policies.

Other studies indicate current employees are willing to take a 13.2% salary reduction for a more flexible work arrangement. One reason for this is due to the costs employees incur commuting to and from work and for childcare.

There is a turnover risk when requiring employers to come back to the office. To reduce your own risk, consider continuing to offer remote work opportunities to current and potential employees.

One big benefit of doing so is gaining access to an even larger talent pool from outside your geographic area. This can help you fill positions you’re struggling to fill. Another benefit is employees are more likely to take a salary reduction to remain remote, thus saving your company money.

If you can’t offer remote work opportunities, consider some alternatives to attract new talent and keep current employees, such as offering a more business casual dress code, or covering some of the commuting costs your employees incur.

2. Improve the interview process

There are many steps in the hiring process, several of which can be improved, including the job interview. A couple things potential candidates consider red flags in the interview process are:

  • More than three rounds of interviews.
  • The employer asking the candidate to name their salary expectations, without the employer disclosing the salary in the job ad or the interview prior to asking such a question.

I really get annoyed when a client tells me the first question they got in their first-round interview was, “What are your salary expectations?” This is such an unfair question. It assumes the candidate only cares about salary. Stop asking this question and ask better ones!

For example:

  • Instead of asking, “What’s your greatest weakness?” ask, “If hired, what area might you need some extra support or training?”
  • Don’t ask, “Where do you see yourself in five years?” Instead, ask, “What have you accomplished in the past five years?”
  • Instead of asking, “What are your salary requirements?” ask, “Can you tell me about a time when you impacted your employer’s bottom line, either directly or indirectly?”

For additional suggestions, check out my post, “4 Ways Employers Can Improve the Hiring Process.”

3. Help your employees build their skill set

I’ve had clients say to me they want more training over higher salary. Recent studies show the same thing. This investment helps employees build their skill sets, which will make them better, more productive employees.

There are several ways to build your employees’ skill sets by:

  • Offering mentoring programs
  • Providing adequate career development tracks and opportunities.
  • Teaching leadership skills, both in leading themselves and in leading and managing others.
  • Allowing them to set some of their own goals for their role.
  • Covering professional association membership fees, or providing time off for conferences related to your employees’ professional interests outside their current role.

As a career coach at paNASH, and a certified leader guide with the Leddin Group, I’m able to help your company create the career development opportunities, and provide the leadership training your employees want and need. For more information, email me directly.

4. Support your employees in pursuing their outside passions

You can boost morale when you acknowledge your employees have a life outside of their jobs. One way to do this is to show a genuine interest in your employees’ outside passions, and even provide a little support in their interests.

An example of this includes giving limited PTO for your employees to volunteer with their favorite non-profit or community service project. I once worked for a state university that provided this benefit, and it not only improved employee morale, but it also improved the university’s reputation in the eyes of the local community.

Another example includes having something like a “show-n-tell” once a month or once a quarter, where one or more employee can give a Lunch-n-Learn on something they’re passionate about, and showcase their hobby to their work friends who want to learn more about it. This reminds me of how much I loved show-n-tell in kindergarten. It made me so excited to go to school. Who says we can’t still enjoy it as adults?


Whether you’re an employer struggling to fill positions, or you’re making wide-spread layoffs, it’s important to always stay competitive for good talent.

Job markets change and shift, good employees will be recruited away, and candidates will do their research on your company. A company’s reputation can suffer if it gets lax on attracting and retaining talent, which will not bode well when the tide turns.

Be consistent, considerate, and creative, and you’ll have your pick of talent regardless of the current job market.

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