‘If I’m lucky, I only get recruiting wrong 70% of the time.’ These were the words of Phone4U founder and billionaire John Caldwell. His statement validates what we all know: recruiting the best talent is already challenging, hence your organisation’s talent retention strategy becomes increasingly important
As an employer and recruiter, you start with a small pool of the ‘good graduates’ and it seems as though retaining the best talent is a never-ending battle whilst also considering the necessary regulatory and recommended practices. In this article, we will explore three ways you can rethink talent retention to improve your odds of retaining the best young talent in your organisation.
The great resignation and the great reset
South Africa might be having one of the highest youth unemployment rates in the world, and when it comes to high-valued professions, we are not immune to the great reset, as noted by recent Business Day and News 24 articles. The post-pandemic world has introduced remote working and the young professionals with high skills in demand are opting for flexible work environments as independent contractors to gain more freedom.
The great resignation/reset is inevitable, as a result, I am challenging you to revisit the incentives you proposed to your young professionals prior to the pandemic and assess whether their values have changed.
Practise what you preach
One of the reasons high-performing young professionals leave their organisations after training is due to there being a clash between what the company says it’s their culture compared to what is being practised. For example, most companies’ websites will state that they value innovative young professionals who think out of the box, yet once these bright young minds are hired, their contribution is not well received and often told that the company has always followed procedures in a certain manner and are not open to change.
Perhaps consider a two-way mentorship approach, where the mentors can guide the mentees through the work whilst also acknowledging that the mentees can contribute fresh ideas and guide with the technological developments as well.
It goes without saying that burnout is one of the reasons one may leave a job and that high-performing young professionals are usually entrusted with more work. It might therefore be worth providing an environment that allows for employees to take sufficient time needed for mental health and their studies to help them find the work-life harmony that suits them.
In conclusion, inviting your young professionals to have open and honest communication around their post-pandemic value change, culture and intentionally providing support to assist them in their lifelong learning journey and mental health will go a long way to boost your retention plan.
As food for thought on talent retention, ask yourself these questions to assess whether you are ready to rethink young talent retention:
Q1: Should your high-performing young professionals prefer to move to an independent contract agreement for more flexibility, would you be willing to accommodate this change?
Q2: Is the culture you are communicating to the young professionals the same culture which is being practised internally? How do you measure that?
Q3: Are the voices of your young enthusiastic professionals heard in your organisation? Is the direction of the company and the extent that they can contribute clearly communicated to them?