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How to Attract (and Keep) the Best Employees

David Mielach

Companies have a two-pronged strategy for attracting top talent: improve benefits, and increase salaries, new research has found.

Overall, 46 percent of the chief financial officers (CFOs) polled for the Accountemps survey said they will look to improve the benefits they offer to workers. A similar percentage of respondents — 45 percent — said they will increase compensation to attract new employees.

Other respondents said they will be taking a different path to find new employees. Forty-two percent of the CFOs surveyed said they will look to train and develop internal candidates for new positions. A smaller percentage — 26 percent — said they will bring in temporary workers for the positions. [Read related article: Tips for Creating a Great Resume]

"Competition for highly skilled workers remains intense in many specialties," said Max Messmer, chairman of Accountemps and author of "Human Resources Kit For Dummies" (John Wiley & Sons, 2012). "Boosting compensation and adding incentives is a useful first step for attracting talent, but it's equally important for businesses to develop the abilities of workers already on staff.

Bosses are also not opposed to hiring remote workers or paying for a person to relocate in order to fill a position.

"If organizations can't quickly hire or promote from within, they increasingly bring in temporary staff to access specialized skills not available internally," Messmer said.

Once companies find the right employees for their organizations, they must work to incorporate these workers into their culture. To help companies with this process, Accountemps offers the following tips.

  • Realize it's about more than money: High performers expect compensation that matches their experience, but they also seek advancement opportunities. During the hiring and onboarding process, demonstrate that your organization offers professional-development programs that can help them — and the company — grow.
  • Develop your internal team: Identify less-experienced employees who show potential and pair them with mentors who can help guide their career with the company.
  • Offer stretch assignments: Provide internal staff with challenging projects just beyond their comfort zone. It will expand their skill sets and build their confidence.
  • Hire and train to your needs: Don't fill vacant positions without considering your future needs. Align your hiring plans with the organization's areas of growth, and consider cross-training programs that will enable existing employees to move into high-demand roles.
  • Monitor workloads: Your best employees can often be saddled with the most work — and could quickly burn out as a result. Bring in skilled temporary professionals to relieve overburdened staff and support resource-intensive projects.

The research was based on the responses of 2,100 CFOs in the United States.

Image Credit: Companies have a number of ways to attract highly skilled workers to their organization. / Credit: Hire Image via Shutterstock