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How can you attract - and retain - the market's best talent?

04/05/21 David Collins Business/Customer Development Manager

A company is only as good as its people – and finding the most talented professionals with the right skills for your business takes time and effort. Employers must work hard to recruit and retain in industries where top talent is already scarce, which means understanding what job seekers and employees are looking for is a significant challenge for HR departments and recruiters.

As the workforce demographic changes across a range of engineering and high-tech industries, businesses must be able to adapt and consider what the next generation finds attractive about a prospective employer.

Worse still, according to State of the Global Workplace, up to 85% of employees say they aren’t engaged at work – so even if you identify the individual and keep them, you still face the challenge of inspiring them to ensure they achieve their best. 

As a mix of remote working, blended working and virtual recruitment has become the new normal, the high-tech industry is facing tough competition to secure the available talent. Happily, there are ways to rise to these challenges. Here are our six top tips.

1. Define your mission

Do your people know what they are working for? When you define your company’s mission and purpose, you can create meaning in your employees’ working lives.

A mission statement or statement of purpose does not have to be complex or literalistic – indeed, the best ones aren’t. An example is the clothing company Life is Good, whose purpose statement is “to spread the power of optimism”. This is far more likely to get workers out of bed than “to make superior quality clothes”, thus improving employee engagement.

When you have a clear purpose and are transparent about it, your employees will find it much easier to buy into your mission and their role in helping you accomplish it. This is easiest when the business was founded to solve a certain problem which is represented by its mission. The founder is driven by solving the problem in bigger and better ways. The mission has a direct impact on the company and product. The product gets better because of the mission. e.g. Optos - When a five-year-old boy was blinded after a regular eye exam failed to spot a retinal detachment, his father made it his life’s work to help eyecare professionals by revolutionising retinal imaging. Optos was founded by Douglas Anderson to make a patient-friendly device to capture a digital ultra-widefield image of the retina.

2. Create a culture that makes work enjoyable

Employee happiness is nice, but productivity is more important – right!

Wrong. Happiness is productivity. An average of hundreds of surveys found that happy workers were 31% more productive. We no longer have any excuse not to focus on making work enjoyable.

This is best done not just by adding fun and treats (although that helps!) but by creating a culture where employees feel valued and respected. Empower them to learn and grow personally and professionally.

Foster collaboration and communication, a management style that encourages teamwork, open and honest communication is vital to creating a positive feeling in the workplace. Listen to their ideas – and do not be afraid to act on them.

3. Encourage friendships

Socialising with coworkers can go further than after-work drinks and the odd team-building day. Could management learn something from marriages? These were a few questions Tom Rath, author of Vital Friends, asked when embarking on a massive study of friendship. The team undertook several experiments including analysing more than 5 million interviews and discovered that people with a ‘best friend’ at work are up to 7 times more engaged in their job than those who aren’t.

4. Build a strong employer brand

Now that you are making your company a place where people want to come to work, talk about it, highlight it, promote it! Get on social media, ask your employees to promote it, and make sure the world knows your organisation is a great place to work.

From the outset, potential employees should understand the strengths of a company as an employer. Businesses that do this effectively can engage talent early and instill loyalty that is directly related to the brand’s overall mission.

If you consistently deliver on your promises to your employees and go the extra mile to make sure they are happy, you’ll also find that they spread the good word about you by themselves.

5. Give your employees opportunities

A key factor in employee retention and experience is letting them know they are more than just a number. Employees want opportunities to grow and develop. Just offering them a good salary with a decent benefits package is not enough – your competitors will do that too. Give them unique opportunities, guide them on where they can develop, mapping out a career roadmap that will help them advance through the company, and show them how they can thrive in your organisation.

6. Decorate the workspace

When you think of business branding and brand identity, most people consider the usual Pantone references, logos, websites, media profiles, Twitter handles, and general marketing activity?

Employees spend a vast proportion of time in an office, so it is important not to dislike it. If you want your team to enjoy being in the office, make sure you provide a workspace that is attractive and interesting but also conducive to productivity.

Remember, your office reflects your brand. Dramatic impact workspace design, office furniture, and decoration in accordance with your brand will help your team stay in touch with it. The working environment is the face of a business, so it needs to look and feel right for employees, visitors, clients, and partners to have the desired brand experience.

7. Have inspiring leaders

Good leaders inspire people to do better. Businesses need a leadership team who can inspire the rest of the team. The inspirational leader feels passionate about the vision and mission of the organisation.

The best talent desires a company whose values align with theirs. That means the leadership team needs to take the lead in living and embodying those values. Do great things, and you will attract and retain great people.

If you are looking for great employees and leaders and seek a knowledge-led approach to recruitment, we have specialist candidates waiting for you.

You can request a call or fill in a form, so we can help fill your needs 

We’re rated 4.8 Stars out of 5.0 on Google Reviews and hundreds of Case Studies confirm it is not only WHAT we do, but HOW we do it that clients and candidates appreciate.

For more information regarding how we can help your business grow, contact David Collins on 01582 878804 or email