Winning the Talent War and Retaining your Team

Organisations that can build and maintain the best group of talent will inevitably enjoy competitive advantage. But businesses the world over are facing a disruptive challenge that is without precedent. A challenge that is now making headlines in mainstream media. In what some have likened to a tsunami, 2022 is expected to deliver a huge surge in turnover as the country emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The slew of articles predicting turnover in 2022 consistently identify a few key areas where businesses will be affected. What follows are some ideas to help you:

  • Better engage your teams to boost engagement
  • Proactively build your pipeline of new talent
  • Better onboard your new hires

Make no mistake, the time away from the office due to COVID-19 has enabled employees to make some significant personal observations. Key among them is what their work really means to them, their family, finances, and wellbeing. What follows is a list that offers the bare minimum of actions you can take to lessen the impact of turnover in 2022.

1. Identify the employees you want to keep and ensure they stay engaged

Being able to identify your high potential employees, and what motivates them, is fundamental to your retention activities. How well does your organisation identify high potential colleagues or those at risk of leaving? According to Glassdoor[i], 89% of job seekers want an employer to have a clear mission and purpose – one that’s easy to find on a vacancy posting. How well do your vacancy advertisements define your employee value proposition and reason for being in business? Do you paint a clear picture of your organisation’s vision and culture? 

Employee engagement extends well beyond the recruitment process. Ensure your organisation measures employee sentiment on key engagement variables through regular employee surveys. Seek and act on feedback using one-to-one mechanisms, such as performance discussions.

Access to and transparency of personal data empowers employees. Tools that enable personal details to be updated, leave applications to be submitted and on-demand payslips accessed electronically, will contribute to an employee’s sense of wellbeing with an employer. As does the ability to access and manage their own learning path.

For more ideas and resources to assist with employee engagement, visit the Frontier Software website,

2. Are you a reactive recruiter?

Organisations that win the war for talent focus on reducing the time to hire.

They don’t wait for a vacancy to trigger a recruitment campaign. They have a pool of talent who they know are interested in working for them.

How do you enable potential employees to convey their interest in joining your organisation? Can they submit a resume and flag the types of roles, locations, and the employment status they seek?

Can you interrogate talent pool data to match required competencies, qualifications, or memberships? Is this as simple as producing a report, or is your process manual and time-consuming?

Proactive, automated organisations engage the best talent. Does your time to hire ensure you do the same?

3. Is the application process simple?

Generating an application is only the beginning of the process. Making the process simple for candidates is highly important. Poorly designed processes bleed candidates before you even see a resume. Here are a few questions to consider:

  • Is your recruitment website mobile responsive? If talent can’t use their phone or tablet to access your vacancies and what is on offer, you will never meet them.
  • Do you know how many applicants exit the process before submitting their details? It’s the litmus test for how easy you make things.
  • Are you asking too much too soon? Most applicants will engage if there are 3-5 initial questions. You can always ask more when an application progresses.
  • Can your recruitment solution screen and deliver suitable candidates automatically? If not, your time to hire is enabling more nimble organisations to distract your applicants.
  • Are you promoting salary and benefits, interview schedules/alterations, statements of duties and responsibilities? According to PR Newswire[ii], failure to do so frustrates and discourages candidates.
  • Give careful consideration to your interactions with candidates. What may seem trivial to you can send a strong, negative message to someone considering you as an employer. A survey by Glassdoor[iii] highlighted how simple oversights led to significant levels of frustration in respondents. Consider the following figures.  

Behaviour / Oversight

% of respondents frustrated by this

Lack of information about pay and benefits


Interview schedule changes


Untimely responses


Lack of information about job responsibilities


It’s a simple equation. If it’s this hard to apply, then what’s it like working for you?

4. What are you doing beyond the search and screen?

Nimble recruitment ensures your team are focused on engaging quality applicants from the outset. Slower organisations miss out on the best talent or lose them due to inefficient processes. Organisations that win the talent war offer a consistent recruitment and onboarding experience.

Remember, recruitment involves more than a specialised team or HR. Studies have shown that poor onboarding can contribute to over 40% of new hires leaving within the first 30 days of employment. Streamlined, seamless processes convey the right message to candidates. Make sure your line managers and onboarding resources continue to excite and engage candidates and new hires alike.

Do your line managers have access to the recruitment system to manage their own vacancies? Can they update the recruitment status and progress applicants to the expedite process?

Can new hires access an onboarding solution to submit essential HR and payroll data beginning their induction before day 1? Is it mobile-enabled? Does it permit communication with their new employer? Is personal data directly loaded to payroll and HR to eliminate re-keying?

Engagement Activity Checklist

  • Spend time on the high-value activities like speaking with candidates, not trawling through resumes.
  • Adopt solutions that pre-qualify suitable applicants. Ensure your solution enables candidates to apply from any device (laptop, mobile).
  • Cultivate an ongoing talent pool by allowing candidates to leave/store their details in your recruitment solution.
  • Have the facility to interrogate talent pools for previous applicants by postcode, licenses, skills, tickets, etc.
  • Continually communicate to your talent pool to keep them engaged.
  • Allow candidates to provide payroll and personal information during onboarding from any device (laptop, mobile), both pre & post formal employment.
  • Focus on and provide the systems that improve your candidate and employee experience during recruitment, onboarding and beyond.

Remember, if the applicant is attractive to your organisation, then they will be to your competitors. The notion of a ‘war’ for talent is not overestimated. It is a war to win the loyalty and commitment from a talent pool aware of their worth. It is fought in a virtual environment and the team with the best technology, the best processes and the best employee value proposition stands the best chance of success. How are you placed?

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