Recruiting and Retaining the Best Talent in Staffing
There’s no question that recruiting and retaining the best talent in staffing continues to be an ongoing challenge for leaders in the staffing industry. However, with the right approach to onboarding and training, staffing firms can dramatically change the outlook of employee retention rates. Recently, we had an opportunity to chat about this topic with staffing expert, Kelly Merbler, in one of our Crushin’ It in Staffing episodes. As a certified StrengthsFinder coach, Kelly has decades of experience developing and retaining top talent. Bringing over 20 years of leadership experience to the table, Kelly discussed with us what it takes to build successful staffing teams, explaining:
“It’s really not just about hiring the right person. There’s a whole synergy behind after you onboard that person; it’s really about what you do to keep them.”
Most staffing leaders would agree that keeping top employees is a significant hurdle, but often underestimate the direct impact onboarding has on retention. This is where having a culture of strength-building can be vital to keeping your best employees on board for the long haul. So, how do you go about forging a path of strength-building with employees from the start? Here are some of Kelly’s tips to get things on track:
1) Identify individual strengths.
Identifying and illuminating employees’ individual key strengths is one of the best ways to start engaging employees in the most meaningful way for both them and your organization. Kelly alludes to the bestselling book, StrengthsFinder, which teaches leaders how to identify others’ innate top talents and help them apply their skills in the areas that will help them grow most.
Through a comprehensive assessment process, all staffing companies can tap into their employees’ core strengths, giving them the tools, guidance, and support to develop their competencies at an even greater level. By activating your talent and helping them discover and utilize their own personal strengths, you’ll ultimately create a more fulfilling workplace in which your staff can achieve their own degrees of personal excellence.
2) Build a culture around employees’ strengths.
A work environment in which employees are given the ability to perform work that’s aligned with their strengths is one of the most powerful workplaces you can create. If you’re struggling to understand this concept, Kelly says to think about the strengths within yourself and think about it as a lens to the world. Remember that not everybody views things the same way, which often results in misjudgment and miscommunication in the workplace.
By keeping this idea at the forefront of talent engagement, Kelly says you can develop a corporate culture that builds a team “based on who does what best” and effectively “managing weaknesses.” Creating an environment that fosters employees’ talents inherently establishes a culture in which every person has the support they need to succeed in their roles and contribute in the most productive ways possible to your mission.
3) Invest in the right training.
Most companies have standard training protocols, but many fail to address what employees specifically need to excel. As Kelly pointed out, “a lot of training programs happen, but there’s no call to action or follow through which is an important piece. If training is just a one-day event, it will never be successful. It should not be a destination, but a continuous journey you should be doing with your employees.”
Training employees to capitalize on their strengths in a way in which they’ll be emotionally and professionally fulfilled is often the best place to start. After all, Kelly notes that strength is a “task that leaves us feeling energized that we can have an almost near-perfect performance at any time.”
Developing training programs that help employees fully discover and understand their strengths – and how to apply them to their jobs – will give them the confidence to perform to the best of their abilities. Leaders who are well-versed in the StrengthsFinder process, and other similar approaches, will be best suited to training employees about the value they specifically bring to their role, department and the organization at large.
As Kelly concluded, “Times are changing, and when you look at what is most important to the up-and-coming generation, it is not as much about the paycheck as it is about purpose. It’s not about the boss; it’s about having a coach. It’s not about focusing on weaknesses; it’s about focusing on and developing strengths.”
Training and development have a critical role in developing a staffing team that’s committed not only to your company but to their professional excellence. Sustaining an onboarding program focused on fostering employees’ strengths and talents will ultimately be the catalyst to improved retention and long-term success for years to come.
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