Talent Attraction Tips: 5 Keys to Meeting Employees and Recruits Where They Are

By Dave Moore, Staff Writer

Know what’s most important to your employees and potential employees, and make sure they know you’re ready to meet their needs.

Those are a few takeaways from a talent attraction talk, presented by BGSF, on April 27 at the Dallas Regional Chamber (DRC).

More than 60 people representing a range of industries in Dallas-Fort Worth — from banking to software development — gathered for a discussion about recruiting and retaining talent during the “Great Resignation.”

The expert panel — AMN Healthcare’s Marisa Bingham, Talent Suite’s Melanie Shaffer, and Bank of America’s Sophia Smith — agreed companies need to dig deep to find and keep talent in a shifting labor market.

Attendees also learned the results of the DRC’s snap-poll, which showed more than half of all DFW companies surveyed are utilizing a hybrid work arrangement.

The Talent Talk is part of the DRC’s Say Yes to Dallas initiative, which helps attract and retain talent from across the United States.

Five takeaways from the timely conversation:

1. Money isn’t everything. Flexibility Is.

“We give something to employees that you can’t get back, which is time,” said Bingham, a Senior Diversity and Inclusion Consultant at AMN Healthcare.

She said employees want flexibility in their schedules to make time for what’s important to them, including family functions.

“Being able to work remotely allows me to take my son to soccer practice,” she said. “I am working on three different projects right now, so I worked a little bit later than I normally would have. I worked furiously, so that I can take my son to soccer practice, which is only five minutes away. That speaks to me. Giving me that precious time with one of my three sons. You can’t have me for 20% more.”

2. Leadership is (almost) everything.

Shaffer, Founder and President of Talent Suite, LLC, said it’s important for company management to adopt their company’s approaches to employee retention and attraction. Specifically, they must make sure managers understand their workers and their interests.

“Big companies are always looking at compensation and gauging it to the market,” Shaffer said. The key, she said, is managers ensure that employees are getting what they need — the training, that employees are on their desired career paths, and that employee priorities become company priorities.

“If you like what you’re doing, and it’s clear why you’re there, and your manager is getting you what you need, you’re probably not going to take that (recruiting) call,” she said. Company leaders clearly reflecting the company’s HR policies are crucial to retention and attraction, Shaffer said.

“It’s really about clarity of leadership,” she said. “Because 70% of someone’s productivity comes from their leader, 70% of their connection (with the company) comes through the leader providing clarity.”

Smith added it might even be necessary to train managers to recognize the needs of their incoming and existing talent, so those needs can be met head-on.

3. Incentives don’t hurt, either.

Relating to employees and being kind to them is good, but companies need to consider more than just typical compensation adjustments, Bingham said. AMN Healthcare’s creative incentives include:

      • matching worker 401K contributions by 200% (capped at 10% of employee salary)
      • providing wellness bonuses
      • offering bonuses for employees committed to community service
      • giving employees up to five sessions with licenses counselors, so they can focus on their mental health
      • waiving employee health care premiums until July

Smith, Senior Vice President of Talent Acquisition at Bank of America, said the bank has even retooled its marketing content and HR training sessions to reflect the benefits that new and existing employees can receive.

4. Get social for diversity.

Bingham encouraged attendees to check out the Handshake website, which connects employers to current and graduating college students. She also encouraged the aggressive use of Facebook, LinkedIn, and even the DRC to connect with minority job candidates and potential interns.

“I think it’s time to use all of those networks to make sure that all of our hires look different, so we can have diversity of thought,” she said.

5. DFW employers are offering flex office hours.

Roughly 62 percent of respondents to the DRC’s future of work survey indicated they were using hybrid working arrangements in their offices. The survey, which was presented during the event, showed the variety of hybrid arrangements companies are offering to make their employees happy.

View the full survey results.