Blog

Kristen McPherson
Written by Kristen McPherson

October 8, 2018

Making Your Organization Attractive to Top Talent

There's a great deal of talent out there looking for their next opportunity. Is your organization catching their eye?

Making your organization stand out to top performers is essential, especially in today’s tight job market. But for organizations within the health and human services space, and especially those that are small to mid-sized, attracting top talent can pose some major challenges. Funds are often limited, preventing you from offering top dollar to each candidate. Additionally, the roles you’re trying to fill can be demanding and stressful, especially in the case of frontline workers.

So, what can your organization do? Turns out, there are a number of options. It just requires some creativity and forward thinking. Because today’s applicants want more from their jobs than just a paycheck. Here are a few options that (1) employees say are important to them and (2) your organization can actually offer, even with tight budgetary constraints.

Be Flexible

Work-life balance is a top priority for today’s employees. In fact, in Gallup’s most recent State of the American Workplace report, 53% of employees said that a role with greater work-life balance was very important to them, whereas only 41% said that a significant pay increase was very important. Work-life balance can take the form of offering flextime, allowing employees to work from home, or having completely remote positions available. The way organizations approach this can vary widely, and naturally not all solutions will work for all companies. But when 51% of employees say they would switch to a job that allows flextime, it’s certainly an option to consider to help attract top talent at your organization.

Provide Opportunities for Growth

Today’s workforce also wants the ability to grow and develop. And “growth” doesn’t just refer to a corporate ladder for employees to climb. In Gallup’s study, 60% of employees say that being able to use their strongest skills in their job is very important to them. Employees want to be able to play to their strengths and value a job that constantly challenges them. In short, they want personal growth, not just professional growth. Organizations can address this by providing professional development and learning opportunities that enable employees to further develop their skills and pursue their own interests.

Offer Meaningful Work (And Recognize It!)

This may seem like a no-brainer for the Health and Human Services industry, where organizational missions are focused around serving their communities. Most individuals with careers in this field have chosen that path because they wanted meaningful work. And for the millennial generation, which currently makes up the largest portion of the workforce, having meaningful work is even more important than the paycheck. So, what does that mean for attracting top talent to your organization? It means reminding employees of just how meaningful their work is and how it makes an impact not just for your clients but for your organization. Recognizing and valuing their contribution on a regular basis helps make the work more meaningful, rather than just a job that pays the bills.

Be a Place Employees Are Proud to Work For

Cultivating a strong employer brand goes a long way for any business. When employees are proud to say they work for your organization, you’ll be able to attract top talent and source from a larger applicant pool. People want to work for a company that they can identify with. One that represents their own beliefs, values, and personality. Take a look at Patagonia, an outdoor clothing retailer that brands itself as an activist company. One of the benefits Patagonia offers its employees is paid time off to engage in peaceful environmental protests – which creates company values that employees can get behind and act on directly. By aligning organizational values with employee values, you’ll start seeing an increase in engagement, retention rates, and filled positions faster than ever before.

While these options can help organizations work around budgetary restrictions and other challenges, they are by no means easy tasks to accomplish. In fact, making organizational changes that put these types of innovative benefits in place can be much more difficult than simply raising pay rates. They require your entire leadership team to be aligned and committed to making changes that might be difficult or time consuming. However, the long-term payoffs of implementing these strategies are invaluable. Being able to attract top talent not only benefits your organization, it improves the quality of care provided to your clients and increases your impact on the community.