Close this search box.
Close this search box.

Overcoming the Competition to Find and Retain the Best Employees

The latest unemployment figures have been announced and, for employees, it’s good news. But for companies, the news is not as positive.

GettyImages-455071623-compressorAccording to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics figures, the unemployment rate is down 0.3 percentage points to 4.7 percent. While this means that more people are employed, it also means more competition among companies, and that to find and retain the best workers just got more difficult.

Today more than ever before, companies need to adjust their recruitment and retention strategies to survive in a highly competitive market and an ever-expanding technological world. However, simply recruiting general employees is not enough. Companies must focus on the right employees for them. Hiring and retaining those employees who meet each company’s unique credentials and experience is essential for every firm’s future growth.

Recruitment and training costs are high, so losing a high-value employee can be costly. This is why CEOs must get involved in their company’s talent management strategy. But how can business leaders help their companies improve both their employee acquisition and retention strategies?

Recruitment strategies
It’s one thing to find employees but it’s another thing to find the right employee. Here are 5 tips that can improve the recruitment process.

1. Make the job description specific and thorough. A specific job description helps in establishing expectations up front. It also pushes employers to identify exactly what the purpose of the new position is, as well as the personal characteristics that would best fit the position.

2. Announce available positions through more than one platform. Besides posting the job opening on your own website, post your job to the most relevant job sites for the position and for your firm. Don’t assume that crawlers such as Indeed will find your job post. Check these sites regularly to ensure you are getting the best exposure and if not, consider adding another paid site to the mix.

“Keeping a database of applicants will give companies a larger network to refer to when they need a skilled employee.”

3. Use social networking. According to Statista, around 78% of Americans have a social network profile and, on average, they spend around 1.77 hours per day on social media. Remember to go where your audience is. So announcing your employment opportunities on social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook can quickly reach a wide audience and facilitate the recruitment process. Also, you can be more proactive on a site like LinkedIn, by searching for people who fit your profile and going after them, rather than waiting for them to reach out to you.

4. For a large pool of applicants, arrange open houses. According to Business Insider, inviting eligible applicants to an open group event, such as an open house, before a one-on-one interview can help narrow the screening process to those specifically interested in your firm.

5. Keep a database of all eligible applicants. Just as much as every hired individual is part of a company’s asset, every qualified individual who has applied in the past should also be part of a company’s resources. By keeping a database for all these applicants, companies will have a larger network to refer to in case of an immediate need for a skilled employee.

How to retain your best employees
According to the U.S. Dept. of Labor, the median number of years employees spend with their employer is about 4.6 years. Losing employees just after a few years costs companies and businesses in both time and training. Thus, to maintain maximum work efficiency, it’s important to retain your best employees. Here are 7 ways to retain your best employees for the long-term.

1. Establish your expectations. Employees who understand how position fits within the company and as part of the team have a clear sense of purpose. They also would have a better understanding of what it would take to move ahead. This line of clarity also leads to higher satisfaction.

2. Engage employees in the company’s mission. Employees receive a sense of satisfaction when they realize how significant their work has been in driving forward the company’s goals and mission. Thus, it’s important to involve everyone in the final result and show them that they are part of something bigger: a team.

3. Promote an open policy. Ideas and innovation from employees are great ways for companies to improve and for employees to get engaged. To succeed, foster an open policy where employees can freely and fearlessly exchange their constructive ideas with their superiors.

4. Take the time to celebrate. At times of accomplishment, it’s necessary to stop and celebrate. This also encourages continued success. Doing so also will create stronger teamwork and personal bonds. And when employees feel that their efforts are appreciated, they keep that enthusiasm going, both within themselves and among others.

5. Promote deserving employees. It can be frustrating for hard working, accomplished employees to not have a path ahead of them toward promotions. Be sure that there is a clear path to growth that includes on-the-job training, as well as offline training opportunities. Employees who succeed increase in long-term value, while also spreading their happiness and enthusiasm with others around them. Eventually, they become the trainers for others, as well.

6. Improve their personal convenience. A small act of kindness can go a long way in showing employees how much the company values them. Big or small benefits such as free shuttles to work, free cleaning service, or just better health insurance plans can help in alleviating some of the stress that employees receive from their personal lives. The more minor details you are able to eliminate, the better they will be able to focus and the more efficient they will be on their jobs.

7. Conduct both ‘stay’ and ‘exit’ interviews. Sometimes the reason why some employees choose to leave while others choose to stay is not as clear or simple. Most companies today conduct exit interviews. But by then, it’s too late to get your best employees back. Instead, progressive companies also conduct “stay” interviews to ensure that the best employees are feeling both challenged and fulfilled.

Talent management is a critical competitive advantage that needs more attention and engagement from CEOs. In the upcoming CEO Talent Summit, top speakers, including A.G. Lafley (former CEO and Executive Chairman), and David S. Taylor (current CEO and Chairman) of Procter & Gamble, will share their personal winning talent strategies that have contributed to P&G’s success.

Learn how P&G and other leading companies are finding and keeping the best talent for themselves at the CEO Talent Summit.


  • Get the CEO Briefing

    Sign up today to get weekly access to the latest issues affecting CEOs in every industry
  • upcoming events


    Strategic Planning Workshop

    1:00 - 5:00 pm

    Over 70% of Executives Surveyed Agree: Many Strategic Planning Efforts Lack Systematic Approach Tips for Enhancing Your Strategic Planning Process

    Executives expressed frustration with their current strategic planning process. Issues include:

    1. Lack of systematic approach (70%)
    2. Laundry lists without prioritization (68%)
    3. Decisions based on personalities rather than facts and information (65%)


    Steve Rutan and Denise Harrison have put together an afternoon workshop that will provide the tools you need to address these concerns.  They have worked with hundreds of executives to develop a systematic approach that will enable your team to make better decisions during strategic planning.  Steve and Denise will walk you through exercises for prioritizing your lists and steps that will reset and reinvigorate your process.  This will be a hands-on workshop that will enable you to think about your business as you use the tools that are being presented.  If you are ready for a Strategic Planning tune-up, select this workshop in your registration form.  The additional fee of $695 will be added to your total.

    To sign up, select this option in your registration form. Additional fee of $695 will be added to your total.

    New York, NY: ​​​Chief Executive's Corporate Citizenship Awards 2017

    Women in Leadership Seminar and Peer Discussion

    2:00 - 5:00 pm

    Female leaders face the same issues all leaders do, but they often face additional challenges too. In this peer session, we will facilitate a discussion of best practices and how to overcome common barriers to help women leaders be more effective within and outside their organizations. 

    Limited space available.

    To sign up, select this option in your registration form. Additional fee of $495 will be added to your total.

    Golf Outing

    10:30 - 5:00 pm
    General’s Retreat at Hermitage Golf Course
    Sponsored by UBS

    General’s Retreat, built in 1986 with architect Gary Roger Baird, has been voted the “Best Golf Course in Nashville” and is a “must play” when visiting the Nashville, Tennessee area. With the beautiful setting along the Cumberland River, golfers of all capabilities will thoroughly enjoy the golf, scenery and hospitality.

    The golf outing fee includes transportation to and from the hotel, greens/cart fees, use of practice facilities, and boxed lunch. The bus will leave the hotel at 10:30 am for a noon shotgun start and return to the hotel after the cocktail reception following the completion of the round.

    To sign up, select this option in your registration form. Additional fee of $295 will be added to your total.