Keeping Top Talent Without Breaking the Bank

As a recruiter for almost thirty years, I have interviewed and spoken with thousands of candidates.  More often than not, compensation isn’t the reason we are able to get them interested in a new opportunity. Most of the time compensation is a secondary concern.

 
In fact, both myself and my partner, Barry Deutsch, have a long standing policy that if compensation is the issue, we will not work with them.
 
With our candidates, their primary concern is focused on non-monetary issues. Most of the time, it revolves around their boss or the company. This is not to say compensation isn’t important to them, but it isn’t the primary motivator for them to go to a recruiter.
 
The reverse is also true. When potential candidates decide not to listen to a potential opportunity, it usually isn’t because they feel they are overpaid and that no other company will pay them as much. Rather it is generally that they have a great relationship with their boss and love working at the company.
 
After listening to so many potential candidates turn us down because they were so happy working where they are, we have come up with seven things  these companies consistently do to create a culture that retains their talent.
 
You don’t have to do all of these, but if you aren’t doing any of them you might want to reconsider.
 
Verbal Praise
These companies give what we call ‘Standing Ovations’ for outstanding performance. They take the time to recognize when someone goes above and beyond the call of duty.
 
They also give praise  or even a simple thanks when someone does a good job. This is sincere praise and thanks, not just given as a matter of fact. 
 
The contrast is a culture in which the employee’s performance is viewed as, ‘just doing their job’ or ‘isn’t that what we pay them to do.’
 
Achievement Awards
Another form of praise, achievement awards are earned. They are not about everyone getting one sooner or later, so everybody feels good. That loses all of the award’s meaning and significance.
 
These awards take different forms in different companies. Some examples include a reserved parking space, employee of the month, a trophy prominently displayed in the person’s office, certificates, mention in the company newsletter, a pin handed out by the CEO, lunch with the CEO and executive team, taking a break and cake on Friday afternoon.
 
The important point is that the employees appreciate the recognition and don’t take it for granted.
 
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