Five Ways to Capture and Keep Superb Employees


Despite the challenges of today’s job market, savvy employers are finding and keeping extraordinary talent. The following list is based on what they’re doing right, and what you may be doing wrong—without even realizing it.

1. Money talks, but firm culture reigns supreme .

While money may be the first carrot we grab to dangle before candidates’ eyes—and many view bonuses and high salaries as a foregone conclusion—more important is what remains for them once they join the firm. Do you actively educate project managers and staff members? Will young employees benefit from mentoring programs and varied project assignments? Are you prepared to offer work arrangements such as telecommuting, flextime, and leave for family, volunteer and civic events? Job seekers look for this type of firm culture.

2. Your website could be driving away job candidates.

If you don’t have an “opportunities” section, or if you’ve slapped a few postings under the heading “jobs,” you’ve got a problem on your hands. Top employees want positions where they’ll be valued. They don’t want a “job”; they want a career, and a firm that’s in touch with their needs. Post information about your firm, employees, benefits, training, and projects in an easily navigable format. This is often your first meeting with a candidate. Think about the message you want to send.

3. Your competitors are finding employees online.

The Web is no longer a “viable alternative” for posting job ads and locating talent—it’s a must in a tight job market, where print ads and corporate recruiters aren’t turning up enough candidates. A quick visit to revealed resumes of 335 architects, 49 associates, and 71 managers. More than 150 resumes of civil engineers can be perused at . Don’t neglect this resource!

4. Experience isn't all it's cracked up to be.

Often, project managers or others seeking employees place too much emphasis on experience. Two benefits of going with a less experienced individual: one, lower cost; two, higher trainability. A designer who has floated around the industry for 15 years may have had 15 years to cement mediocre habits and may be less educated about new technology.

5. A great employee is right under your nose.

You may be tired of hearing about the value of professional and personal contacts, but what are you really doing to take advantage of these? Pick up the phone today and call at least 10 high-quality people with whom you’ve worked at a job site, or sat with at a meeting, or met over dinner. They may not be in the market for a new position, but I’ll bet you they know someone who is!

The above information, listed in PSMJ's E-Cast, is excerpted from “ Fifty-one Fast-tracks to Better Performance and Profitability”, offered by management consulting firm PSMJ Resources, Inc. To order this publication, click here .

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