Tips for Finding, Nurturing and Retaining Top Talent
By Annie Korenjak, director of talent engagement at the Laramar Group
Trying to find top talent? You’re not alone, as talent recruitment and retention are critical initiatives for many businesses today. Given the dramatic employment shifts since the onset of the pandemic, many companies are realizing the importance of attracting top talent and refreshing their work environment to fit the needs of today’s employees.
Among the top questions for many businesses are: Where do we start? How do we put a plan in place? Who should be involved in the process?
While it might be tempting to focus first on lining up candidates for interviews, there are many benefits to starting with an internal company assessment. What are the company’s key selling points and what differentiates it in the market? By starting with some inward “soul searching” companies can identify areas for improvement, assemble internal teams to oversee initiatives and create a strong presence before starting the talent search.
Creating the Plan
The next step is to create a plan based on the assessment and company hiring goals. Consider adding a regular feedback system that uses surveys and other methods to identify areas for improvement. Small group meetings and webinars can also be powerful methods for gathering input on overall employee engagement, workflow, scheduling, benefits, and other topics. This outreach should be conducted using a variety of approaches — email, text and phone surveys, as well as in-person discussions — to engage with employees at every level and reach them in their own comfort zones.
National real estate investment and property management corporation Laramar Group took this type of approach in evaluating how to enhance the employee experience and attract the teams for its growing multifamily investment platform. Over the past few years, the talent engagement teams evaluate data from the “Best Places to Work in Multifamily” and internal “Benefits and Perks” surveys to gain valuable feedback and identify the firm’s key differentiators. These surveys also opened the door to discussions on how to enrich the employee experience.
As a result, the company implemented several changes, including streamlining operating hours to allow leasing offices to close on Sundays, doubling the number of paid holidays for full-time onsite employees, and adding a zero-dollar healthcare plan option. With this type of approach, a company can take employee feedback and turn it into action, responding with changes that show the company’s support for employees and help build a strong employer-employee relationship.
These efforts also resonated with Laramar job applicants, with 93 percent of applicants applying during the first quarter of 2022 accepting employment offers.This process shows how assessing company culture and creating specific goals regarding employee engagement can deliver tangible results.
As companies begin the process of evaluating their talent engagement efforts and navigating the talent search process, it is important to involve stakeholders throughout the organization. These efforts should include employees from offices in varying locations and those who represent a range of demographics and experience levels. Companies that have employees in varying corporate and customer-facing locations should ensure they all provide input into what drives employee engagement.
For example, Laramar has a diverse workforce that ranges from corporate office executives to marketing and sales professionals to employees who oversee property management, maintenance, and leasing. By engaging with all employees, a company can gain valuable insights that help shape future talent outreach programs.
Talent engagement is an important initiative and one that should involve decision-makers throughout an organization. By asking questions, acting on employee feedback, and following through on improvements that can support employee growth, companies can create a positive environment that attracts top talent and supports existing employees.
Laramar Group is a national real estate investment and property management corporation with a presence in over 20 U.S. markets. The company has corporate offices in Chicago and Denver.