Resources, good ideas, careful execution and luck are four factors that contribute to the success of a business, regardless of the industry. Having the right talent, not just the top talent, within the organizational fold is another major success factor. Attracting and retaining top talent and building a winning team are crucial for a business’s survival and growth, especially in this highly competitive market.

There are several strategies and tips for building a winning team that businesses of any size or industry may implement. However, each company should leverage its strengths to attract top talent. For example, a startup would likely discuss transparency about growth numbers and a framework in place for team members/employees to share that growth can serve as a talent magnet. ​ ​

Attracting Talent

Here are my top three strategies for attracting the best talent. We’ll take a look at retaining talent later on.

1. Hiring Process: Transparent And Easy To Navigate

​​Even if you have a compelling reputation as an employer that gets the attention of the top professionals in your industry, a high barrier to entry in the form of a needlessly complex hiring process can prevent them from connecting with you. ​ ​​

A vital element of an effective hiring process is how you advertise available positions. It has to be transparent and include the details: responsibilities of the role (precise and clear), salary range, remote work policy of the company, etc.

Writing the salary range also reflects a good culture of salary transparency, and according to studies, it can help ​​companies receive up to six times more job applications. A larger pool of candidates can increase your chances of finding the top talent.

Other good hiring practices include flexible interview schedules, online interviews, relevant test and interview questions and shortening the hiring process. The goal should be to make the process smooth, efficient and light instead of emotionally and physically draining for the candidate.

2. Compensation And Incentivization

​​Competitive compensation is crucial for attracting top talent. Even if financial compensation is not why they are moving from their current job, they need it to sustain their existing lifestyle and feel valued for their talent. Salary forms the core of compensation, but it’s not the only element. ​​​

You can tailor your compensation structure to the needs of the top candidates you ​plan​​​ on hiring. Some ​​might look for a higher upfront salary compared to 401(k) matching. Others ​​prefer a more generous family healthcare plan to a mental health allowance. So be flexible and take their feedback into account.

​​You can also incentivize their role and performance in other ways, like bonuses tied to project KPIs, profit sharing or reducing the workload while matching their current pay. ​​​

Transparency about compensation and incentives can generate attraction in the job pool (resulting in more applications) and increase your chances of hiring the top candidates.

3. Establishing And Promoting A Healthy Work Culture

​​Establishing and promoting a healthy work culture within your industry can go a long way toward attracting top talent. HubSpot, which boasts one of the best corporate cultures, draws most of its talent through referrals. ​Keeping your current employees so happy that they become your primary talent magnet is a significant achievement. ​ ​​

​​​Even ​​​though current employees make great word-of-mouth advertisers, you should ​also consider promoting your healthy work culture in other ways. This may include organizing physical and virtual events, candid (not staged) insider look into the working conditions of your employees, community projects, etc. ​ ​​

Retaining Talent

​​Attracting top talent is essential, but ​retaining top talent is a more financially viable strategy in the long term. Here are my three strategies for retaining top talent.

1. Growth And Learning Opportunities

​​According to a survey published in Harvard Business Review, the top reason for an employee considering a new job is the lack of growth and learning opportunities. This is even more true for top talent that’s aware of the importance of learning and constant professional growth.

​​A business focused on retaining top talent shouldn’t just offer better growth opportunities and make the process more transparent. Suppose the existing top talent engaged with the company has a clear idea of what they ​must​​​ do to grow their salary and bonuses, receive better benefits, climb the corporate ladder or expand the scope of their responsibility. In that case, they might feel more inclined to stay. ​​​

​​However, ​​​if hints of favoritism show up and growth seems arbitrary, they may perceive switching as a viable growth option.

2. Good Work-Life Balance

​​There is a positive correlation between work-life balance and employee retention, and the definition of this “balance” changed significantly during Covid-19. More and more employees ​realize​​d​ the benefits of remote working (no commute time, more time at home, etc.). ​​​

​​But companies can do a lot to achieve better work-life balance even in business areas where remote or hybrid working models are not applicable and physical presence is necessary. ​​​

This includes moderating working hours, managing workload more effectively, prioritizing efficiency on overwork and identifying early burnout symptoms. Offering employees more control over their hours and workdays may also lead to higher retention rates.

3. Individualization And Appreciation

​​Reasonable compensation and benefits are a company’s way of “valuing” their employees, but it may not be enough to retain top talent. Employees need to be recognized and their contributions appreciated to feel valued. ​ ​​

​​That’s why employees of companies prioritizing recognition are 56% less likely to look for another job. But it’s also important to remember that everyone in the top talent pool is different. ​​​

​​Some might prefer to be recognized in front of their peers, while others might hate getting the limelight and instead appreciate more private tokens like a trip or gift. ​​​

This is easy in small businesses, but large enterprises can achieve that by promoting this culture to the managers and giving them more autonomy. ​​​

If all the other ingredients exist, this can help build a winning team and a successful business.

This article first appeared on FORBES


Lomit is a marketing and growth leader with experience scaling hyper-growth startups like Tynker, Roku, TrustedID, Texture, and IMVU. He is also a renowned public speaker, advisor, Forbes and HackerNoon contributor, and author of "Lean AI," part of the bestselling "The Lean Startup" series by Eric Ries.