Hard to Catch, Harder to Keep: How to Engage Existing Talent

by Erika Trautman |

This story was originally published via HR.com.

There’s no question that talent is now firmly in the driver’s seat of the recruitment process. Empowered by easy access to information, and surrounded with myriad employment options, talented candidates are calling the shots. In order to break through and be noticed, recruiters must offer content that is much more than simply informative. It must cry out for attention and interaction—beckoning candidates with personalization, entertainment, and emotional appeal.

In addition to building more compelling and dynamic content that reveals organizational culture authentically, smart recruiters should also seek to gather input from the candidates they pursue. Some of the most innovative recruitment tools currently available can both engage the user and capture information simultaneously. For example, let’s examine my area of expertise, interactive video. When done well, interactive video demands attention through personalized content, entertainment value and emotional draw. But it also champions the user by asking him to direct the action. And as he does, valuable insight is gathered about his preferences and behavior. The resulting data can be invaluable in the fight to stay on top of the recruitment process.

In my work with numerous human resources and recruitment leaders, I’ve found that however challenging it might be to recruit a strong candidate, the work isn’t done when the offer is signed. According to Gallup and numerous other sources, a jarring number of U.S. employees are dissatisfied at work. What’s more, employee disengagement leads to turnover, which necessitates more frequent, more aggressive recruiting.

A new survey report from Rapt Media has found that most employees are no longer loyal to their employers. Sixty-nine percent are open to other opportunities or already seeking their next job. This finding underscores the need to extend the “recruitment spirit” (and its corresponding levels of investment, innovation, and creativity) far beyond the initial hiring process. A far greater effort must be made to cultivate and maintain employee satisfaction—whether the worker is three months or three years into the job. After all, it is far less costly to invest in a current employee than it is to recruit a new one.

What does investment look like? To start, it means repairing the overarching cultural issues that are chipping away at workplace morale. According to Rapt Media’s survey, one in three U.S. employees (35 percent) feel their employers don’t care about them—as a team member or as a person. And 29 percent report that they never have any fun at work. These problems are complex and difficult to address. The solutions will look different for every organization. However, the need for better investment (of time, energy, funds, and manpower) will be a certainty across the board.

Aside from major culture change, organizations wishing to “recruit” their existing employees should also take a close look at their day-to-day practices, specifically their internal communications and corporate trainings. Rapt Media found that 60 percent of respondents are bored by both.

In my opinion, this boredom is rooted in a lack of innovation. While so many organizations lean on the same old communications channels and training tools year after year, it’s little wonder that employees feel underwhelmed. In today’s digital landscape—with utterly captivating content available at the push of a button—the content we provide employees is falling sadly short.

To keep employees excited and engaged, we must step up our game. While we may never be able to match the appeal of an employee’s social media accounts or iPhone games, we can certainly do better than stale newsletters and outdated learning management systems.

A good example of innovation in action is detailed in a recent case study report from the eLearning Guild. Allianz Global Investors utilized interactive video, storytelling, and gamified learning to enhance their onboarding processes and employee engagement—and realized tremendous results.

We all know that recruitment of top-tier talent is a challenging, expensive, and time-consuming process. Gifted candidates are hard to catch. But high-performing employees are even harder to keep. The key to retention is continuous recruitment. By strengthening our workplace cultures, building more compelling and personalized content, and employing more innovative daily practices, we can better hope to maintain the engagement of our existing talent.

Ready to learn more? Find out how to engage and empower your employees with interactive video. Explore the interactive video.

Report: Engagement in the Age of the Customer