How to Recruit and Retain Top Talent in a Post-Pandemic Market

by Donna Burnett on August 31, 2021 in Hiring


You’ve probably seen the latest headlines about the current labor shortages affecting industries and businesses in DC and across the country. Simply put, there’s not enough talent to meet the demand. In the wake of the pandemic, the way business is done and what employees want has changed. Now more than ever, your company must distinguish itself in the recruitment process to attract qualified professionals by finding new ways of engaging and retaining top talent.

We have five strategies to set yourself apart from the competition in the post-pandemic market. With these in your back pocket, you can not only recruit great candidates for your business but also recruit top talent for the long haul.


1. Promote Your Purpose

Job seekers have quite the array of career options currently. Many are searching for a business they can get behind, one that has a clear purpose. As stated in the Harvest Business Review, meaning is the new money. Researchers found that 90% of employees are willing to earn less money to do work they believe has meaning. Additionally, workers with meaningful jobs are 69% less likely to quit within the next six months and more likely to have longer job tenure.

What does all this mean for you as the employer? Showcasing your company’s purpose creates a greater sense of belonging, tapping into your employees’ emotional wellbeing and needs. Explain your accomplishments and use tangible examples to really help establish the purpose. You should be able to describe what sets your purpose apart from other businesses.

The pandemic has many people rethinking their priorities and what matters most in their personal and professional lives. Companies with a clear purpose behind their work will better align with employees and create an inviting workplace.


2. Emphasize Diversity and Inclusion

Candidates care about D&I and are evaluating companies based on their efforts in this area. They are not simply examining statements on a website but looking at the faces of the company, the community involvement, company process, and more. How does your business measure up? Here are a few questions to consider:

● Is your organization diverse? How can outsiders tell?

● Are all voices equally heard?

● What steps has your company taken to evaluate and improve its D&I efforts?

● How do you talk about this topic to prospective employees? What efforts have you made with current employees?

● Do you have a D&I statement? What has been done to educate/inform your workforce?

These questions are a running start and set the foundation for your business. As we recently explored, creating a diverse and inclusive workforce won’t happen overnight. But as you provide trainings for your leaders and employees and assign ownership of initiatives across the organization, you will build a culture that values diversity and inclusion.


3. Workplace Flexibility

Most professionals expect more flexibility since the pandemic. Whether your company is fully remote, in the office, or using a hybrid model, make sure to explain your expectations upfront and be as flexible as possible. Help your team see the benefits of your work model.

Hybrid or flex models are worth considering (if you haven’t implemented them already) because these options strike a nice balance; the options give flexibility by allowing remote work with some in-person interactions in the office.

Retaining top talent after the pandemic will likely require new workplace policies and increased flexibility from many companies. Additionally, if you provide remote options, this opens new doors for your talent pool. Since 96% of professionals would like to have some level of remote work, you can gain new expertise and recruit professionals from around the country.


4. Employee Engagement & Recognition

What are your employees saying? Slowing down and making time for intentional conversations with your existing team can make all the difference. Ask about what is going well from their seat; stay in the loop on what projects and responsibilities are excelling and which ones are posing more of a challenge.

Take those questions one step further and inquire about their goals, especially in the arena of professional development. How can you support them? If you offer a growth trajectory inside your company, make sure they understand how they can make progress. Having big-picture goals will help employees engage more in their daily work. When they know the company’s purpose and how their role fits in the business model, they will be more likely to invest in their work, both now and in the future.

Knowing the answers to these questions can help immensely when it comes to recognition. If you know what their goals and aspirations are, you can affirm their specific accomplishments. In a recent study, 82% of employees stated they felt happier at work when recognized for their achievements, which in turn improves retention.


5. Communication

Communication plays a critical role in hiring and retention efforts. Many companies may think they are communicating sufficiently, but employees around the country beg to differ. McKinsey & Company did a recent survey on this topic with professionals across the country, and this is what they learned:

Employees feel they’ve yet to hear enough about their employers’ plans for post-COVID-19 working arrangements. Organizations may have announced a general intent to embrace hybrid virtual work going forward, but too few of them, employees say, have shared detailed guidelines, policies, expectations, and approaches. And the lack of remote-relevant specifics is leaving employees anxious.

Don’t skimp on the details. Make your team aware of the plans you have in place. Even if you don’t have all the details ironed out, communicate openly and honesty—this will put your team at ease. They understand there are factors (like a pandemic) that are outside your control, but as long as you keep your employees in the loop, they won’t fill in the silence with negative worries.

Want to discuss this topic further and gain more insight and expertise to support your company? Reach out to Contact 1 today to discuss your hiring and retention questions.

Related Articles:

The Do’s and Don’t of Communicating for Remote Employees

The Business Case for Diversity and Inclusion in the Contingent Workforce 

What You Need to Know About Returning to Work in DC