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Why talent retention is now such a pressing issue for employers

The balance between the recruitment and retention of talent presents an increasing challenge for employers

There has been a trend over the last five years or so for employers to focus their efforts on recruitment strategies in order to enhance their competitive edge in the talent marketplace. This is beginning to moderate in favour of a stronger focus on employee retention.

Employer branding has become an increasingly established discipline in order to improve corporate image as an employer and to improve attractiveness to new candidates through enhanced brand perception.

Employer branding is now firmly established as one of the key tools at the disposal of the recruitment function, with almost 60% of companies investing more this year than last, according to Linkedin Global Recruiting Trends 2016.

However, this is now perceived as only part of the equation in the competitive arena of talent attraction and nurturing. The highly valuable talent pool is also, to a large extent, acknowledged as being present within the existing employee workforce.

And new recruits are becoming increasingly discerning with regard to the engagement and commitment demonstrated by their employers.

Recruitment per se cannot stand alone in simply renewing resource, but needs to be augmented by equally strong policies for development and retention in order to reduce attrition and enhance performance and commitment.

As developed economies improve and unemployment reduces, recruitment becomes more competitive and employers are having to focus on retention, not just to fill vacancies but to engender greater engagement and commitment.

Whilst only 32% of global employers have prioritised retention over the next year, this is likely to be considered one of the key factors by discerning talent seeking the most desirable employers.

The disparate drivers between the recruitment function and HR have traditionally led to a lack of cohesion between the management of individual career progression and the retention of talent. The winners will be those companies which do both successfully and holistically.

This will ensure that they not only attract the best talent but that they also become distinguished by their career development policies and greater retention rates.

This trend will equalise the traditional differential between recruitment per se and the core disciplines of HR development and ongoing commitment and retention. Simply recruiting the best will no longer be adequate; the top employers will need to keep the best and offer a solution in both areas.

This will break the cycle of endlessly renewing through recruitment alone, a less than satisfactory solution and ultimately less effective and more expensive both in terms of pure financial terms and wasted resource.

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