Competitive Hiring Markets: Retaining Essential Talent

Competitive Hiring Markets: Retaining Essential Talent

Jeff Gipson | May 17, 2022

Currently, there are a wealth of employment options for job seekers and passive talent to consider, but today isn’t about candidates—it’s about employers.

Your business is your livelihood. The decisions you make and the results of those decisions don’t just have professional consequences—they’re personal. You’ve manifested your mission through sacrifice and smart choices. You’ve built the teams essential to offering vital products and services—those professionals critical to reaching your targeted growth goals—expanding in a way unique to you. While we should always keep one eye on the horizon, we should keep the other diligently observing what is happening at home.

Over the last two years, professionals have been leaving long-held positions to seek prosperity elsewhere. Spurned by the disruption of the pandemic, folks from all walks of life, in every industry and every level of the hierarchy started to look outward for something more, something better, something different that may have the potential to more readily align with their needs—whether those be personal or professional. Whatever the workforce’s motivation, it continues to be a transformative force within all competitive hiring markets even up to the present day. 

Now, maybe more than ever, singular contributors to leaders are recognizing their worth and are demanding compensation to match. While some of these individuals’ sense of value may be pure hyperbole, the response of many companies, firms and organizations has been anything but. 

Talent is in limited supply, it is mobile and has options when considering the career path it wants to forge. 

So, how do we retain the teams we have spent invaluable resources and time developing? How do you become a business that remains attractive to current employees and draw the future of your industry to you? How do you create a space future talent and leadership wants to occupy and grow as a professional within? 

Listen at every level

Not every idea is good, and many are intrinsically bad, but we must always listen for the potential value found in perspectives outside of our own. Leaders at every level of the business must maintain a culture that welcomes new, innovative and, at times, terrible ideas. It doesn’t mean we have to implement a bad idea, but employees should feel heard and leaders at every level should be able to explain the value or the lack thereof in any proposal. 

Create a culture of appreciation

Honesty and transparency are significant parts of feeling good about what you do and where you do it. Every business’s culture is composed of individual contributions that have helped the organization arrive at its current position. Give credit where credit is due, and never take any team member for granted. It’s easy to praise established team members and leaders. Still, it is equally important to avoid nepotism and give appropriate accolades and incentives to team members who have made a significant impact in less time. Avoid nepotism by recognizing the exact composition of your success or risk losing critical people to competitive hiring markets ready to appreciate their potential contributions. 

Consider the bottom line

Financial reasons should never solely dictate career choices, but it would be irresponsible to suggest that they have no part to play when a talented professional is considering an alteration in their career path. Businesses must maintain acute market awareness and recognize the current status of levels of compensation given to the best performers. Remaining competitive means making the appropriate investment in your teams. 

The future will require flexibility and the adoption of new best practices. We aren’t dealing with hiring markets where professionals are afraid to leave—they’re afraid to stay and miss a vast world of potential opportunities. It is up to decision-makers to offer the same opportunities for personal and professional advancement that employees see in the greener pastures of current competitive hiring markets.  

At The James Allen Companies, we will always be a reliable source of insurance talent, but we want you to secure your existing teams and continue to build those attractive cultures that are the future of our industry.

About the Author

Jeff Gipson
Jeff Gipson Sr. is a veteran of the staffing industry, with more than 30 years of experience. He got his start working for an international staffing organization where he focused on information technology placements across the country. In July 1992, Jeff continued his staffing career with a St. Louis based information technology staffing company. There, he was strategically involved in launching the organization’s first branch office — and subsequently three additional branch offices over the next several years. In July 2000 Jeff made another move — this time to launch his own staffing company, continuing his IT focus. In 2003 the organization was reinvented. Relying on his earlier sales career in the insurance industry, the company changed course and began building the firm around the insurance industry. The company continues to put all their energy in the insurance sector filling positions of all titles across the country. Jeff and his wife Carolyn have been married since 1980. They have three children and seven grandchildren.
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