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How are you keeping your best talent in 2017?

Posted by Rowan O'Grady, Hays Canada President, on Monday, Oct 2, 2017

Hays Canada Blog: How are you keeping your best talent in 2017?When entering a new year many candidates start considering whether or not it’s time to move to a new job. Do you know who is most likely to look elsewhere in your team?

According to the Hays 2017 Salary Guide, most Canadian employers (60%) have the highest retention concerns for their mid–level to management employees. This level of employee is often actively looking for their next opportunity to progress, which means they are likely to be open to an offer from a competitor.

Your best bet for retaining top talent is to be able to offer career progression, otherwise you’ll find it continually difficult to keep those valuable employees. That's not just our opinion - CPHR includes performance management and professional development on their recent blog about retaining your superstars. Even if you do offer progression it’s not a guarantee that your staff will stay, but sometimes that’s ok, they may just need a change of industry, or new experiences. If they do leave ensure you maintain good relationships because the “boomerang employee” is becoming more and more a trend, so they may be back and the second time around they’ll be leaders with an expanded business understanding and fresh ideas.

I often see hiring managers trying to retain as many employees as possible, and I understand the motivation. However, you should focus your biggest efforts on the employees you most need – the 10 per cent who are moving the dial for the business. I think a two-level approach is best. To keep your attrition rate down, offer in-demand benefits such as flexible work options and additional vacation. Then use targeted career planning to retain the mid-level employees that you think are the future leaders of your company.

We asked employees what career progression meant to them, and most said they were looking for variety in their work and learning new skills. With this in mind, consider offering secondments or job shadowing to expand the skills of your employees and keep them interested. Job shadowing can be a way for junior or intermediate employees to test the waters in a role they may have some interest in, while secondments are an excellent way to give mid-level employees a broader understanding of the organization and their role in it.

The advantages for you go beyond retention. Giving your employees transferable skills, broader business understanding, and greater understanding of organizational processes is preparing them for future leadership roles. It’s also a crucial tool for succession planning. You can’t place to replace your senior leaders if your mid-level staff don’t have the skills required.

If you can’t offer these kinds of programs right away, talk to your employees about what they want from their career and what that path might look like. Show them you’re invested in them and their careers and assure them they don’t need to look elsewhere to find the progression they want.

Employers are making other efforts to retain their best talent. Find out more by reserving a copy of your free Hays 2017 Salary Guide.


Talk to Rowan O'Grady, Hays Canada President, on the Canadian labour market.

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