The number one challenge for employers today is recruiting and retaining top talent.  The headlines are evident all around the country – most employers are facing shortages of top talent.

Let’s face it; candidates are in the driver’s seat today.  They have choices and want and expect more from their employer. It’s not a one-way street – quality team members make a difference in today’s competitive business world.  Generally, people are the most expensive resource, but we often give more business planning to capital investments, new business development efforts, and strategic planning.

Key Questions going into 2023:

  • Is your HR Manager part of the “Strategic Planning Process”?
  • Does leadership talk about “Culture” at your workplace?
  • Do you have tools to help evaluate candidates other than your managers’ “gut feelings”?
  • Do you have an “Employer Branding” strategy?
  • Do your employees and managers value your “Employee Review Process”?
  • Do you have a continuous training plan and process?
  • Do you understand your Team Member’s personal goals and offer support to help them achieve them?
  • Are you using a “Personality” or “Behavior Assessment” to help managers and employees leverage their talents more effectively?

If you answered no any of these questions, then keep reading.

The first step in moving forward is understanding the challenge and identifying the areas that drive results.  Measurable results!  Many of these process measurements would be leading indicators – a KPI (Key Performance Indicator) that, if achieved, will correlate with other business goals, including profits.

The Team Building Lifecycle.  Even though employers need help to improve, companies are primarily on their own with this.  No two organizations will have an identical process – no one size fits all approach works.


1 – Strategic Alignment

Your company’s mission, vision, and core values set the stage for your team-building process.  Each of your key objectives should address the need for talent.  Your strategic plan is your road map to help your HR team and Managers clearly understand their role in Talent Management and align with key objectives.

Manager Note: Is Building a Great team one of your plan’s top three objectives?  While this list could serve as your Key Objectives and Tactics, here are three areas to ensure your leadership team addresses.

a) Sourcing for Great Talent –  Simply posting the job no longer works.  How do you go after passive candidates – the 4,000,000 not “Seeking New Opportunities.”

b) Defined and trained Recruiting and Selection Process for HR and Hiring managers – a gut feeling is a start; however, it can also be a lazy excuse to ignore the need for a fair process.

c) A clear plan for retention from onboard to training to professional development

More on all three to follow

2 – Culture

This is the most discussed business objective today.  Sometimes difficult to understand or change.  The older a company is, the more established it will be.  Culture is about intent.  While the “team will ultimately decide the culture,” the owners or leaders of an organization can influence it greatly.

3 – Pay and Benefits

The key to pay and benefits is transparency and fairness.  It is vital to give new and existing team members a clear understanding of their income opportunities and company benefits. 

Manager Note- Have your HR Manager create a list of all employees – names, roles, and current salary (or hourly rate – may need to confirm rate to annual salary including OT).  Then take that list and sort by their annual salary.  The owners and top management should review that list and ensure that the team members at the top of the list are the most significant contributors to success (however, you are defining success in number 1 above).  Your team must “TRUST” that you are being fair with their salary, and it gives you the confidence of knowing you are paying your team based on their contributions to the company.

4 – HR and Hiring Manager’s Preparedness

There is an art and science to effectively sourcing and interviewing candidates.  There are fantastic, accessible tools that significantly benefit marketing, communicating, managing, and ensuring you pick the most qualified candidates.  In addition, these practical tools allow you to assess candidates’ behaviors, emotional intelligence, intelligence, and other factors.  Often these same tools can bring more value to professional development and performance reviews.

Managers Note:  Sourcing candidates is more complex than just posting a job; this is one of the most significant changes businesses fail to recognize.  The best candidates need to look there.  Like finding “leads,” it combines marketing and solid Candidate Lead Generation practices to draw the best into your process.

5 – Managing Outside Recruiters and Employment Agencies

When you need help from the outside, your company must maintain control of the process.  After all, they are your candidates.  Ensure your recruiter, not just the employment agency salesperson, has a clear picture of the roles they seek.  Ask your recruiter to visit your office/facility, meet your hiring managers and understand your Culture and the critical attributes of the talent you need.

6 – Employer Branding

Another area commonly misunderstood by employers.  Many employers assign Employer Branding to the Marketing team.  While it’s true that many of the tools of Employer Branding are in the Marketer’s tool belt, the difference is that your audience is different.  In this situation, you are looking for candidates, not clients.  HR and hiring managers need to help drive that understanding.  Just like Marketing generally works closely with the Sales team to define the client’s needs.

7 – Onboarding

Another area is often not given enough attention.  The first few days a candidate joins often will define whether it’s a good relationship.  Most employers have a 90-day probationary period, and it’s in everyone’s best interest if they are successful; let’s own that.  A common area employers struggle with is training.  The best operators, salespeople, managers, and doers are not always the best trainers.  Please give them a process to be successful and accountable.  

8 – Employee Reviews

Scrap the Annual Reviews and rating your employees.   Instead, define clear goals (measurable and some subjective) that they have a direct impact on, and if achieved, the results will help the team/company achieve its goals. They are creating alignment.   Your team members WANT to be accountable and WANT clear goals.    Uncertainty is a huge obstacle to growth.    Talk to your team members more often about this goal and results – quarterly.   They also want to know how the company is doing – are “we” hitting our goals – and be direct and honest.   Reviewing progress more often helps them address issues faster and allows you to challenge them more.    Yes, they want more challenges too.    Have your managers take good notes as good and not-so-good problems arise.  Complete a performance report.  Track quality issues, production standards, sales results, and customer satisfaction; however, you define performance.   – That said, this doesn’t happen by itself, and your leaders will need coaching too.   Start with fewer goals and add them as management and the team get used to a different approach.

9 – Professional Development

Building on the employee review process, every company for every role should identify how employees can learn and grow.  This does NOT have to be an expensive commitment but more about your leaders and HR organizing tools, materials, books, training, outside resources, and inside mentoring (mentoring is enormous, by the way).  It shows you are investing in your people.

Managers Note: Being good at Professional Development requires training.  Often open dialogue force managers to describe why they feel the way they do.  Also, consider Behavioral Assessment that gives managers insights that are only sometimes easy to see.  The key is a conversation about how individual performance helps the company succeed.  Less emotion, more facts.   And a bonus – know what your employee’s goals are – have you asked them?   Look for easy to align their goals with the companies.

10 – Retention

Even an excellent recruiting process cannot be successful if retention sucks. It’s like a leaky bucket, you can fill it up but wait a while, and you’ll be back filling it up again.  Better to build a relationship with your team members by understanding what motivates them and inspires them inside and outside the company.  Look for alignments – how to achieve company goals and help them achieve their personal goals.

If you made this your Key Objective in 2023 with your leaders and HR team → what would your company accomplish?

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About David and NotionPath – Be Heard Recruiting

Offering employers retained search and recruiting as a service solution – as part of your team. 25 years of C-level experience building multiple winning teams and career coaching for hundreds of professionals and executives.  In today’s Job Market, finding and keeping great talent is challenging for most companies.  I see that as a substantial competitive advantage for employers open to new ways of separating themselves from their competition, with the most important resource you have – your people.

Check out my Linkedin Profile and website for validation of my results to earn an opportunity to discover how to give your company a competitive advantage.  Starts with a Discovery Call—>