Talent management has always been a big challenge for HR leaders.

That’s especially true when we consider that we’re living in an age of disruption. The world has been disrupted by technology, shifts in workplace demographics and most recently – the pandemic. These changes mean that we can no longer just rely on “tried and true” retention and attraction tactics.

We need to understand how we can get the best workers to work for us and not the competition in this current business environment.

To answer that question, HRPA staff met with Hali Van Vliet, BDO’s Senior Manager and Certified Human Resources Leader, with more than 15 years in people management. She provides five tips you can use to upgrade your hiring and retention practices this year:

1. Don’t Forget the “Human” in Human Resources

Technology has advanced and changed the way we screen resumes, and there are many new platforms that HR can leverage to assist with the onboarding process.

But we still need to have qualified, experienced recruiters manage that process to ensure that good talent doesn’t slip through the cracks. “You need someone to spend time actually talking to people and making those connections to find the right candidate,” said Van Vliet.

“Though we play a support role in the hiring process, HR leaders still need to understand what skills, abilities, and attributes are necessary to achieve the goals of the company in order to help develop the practices for retaining and attracting the right people.”

2. Debunk the Myths

There was a time when candidates who only had two or three jobs on their resume were put into the ‘no’ pile.

“But that candidate could have left a job because their company downsized. Other times, a person leaves their career because they are looking to advance their careers. Essentially, there are a whole host of reasons why someone changes jobs and dismissing a potential candidate too soon can prevent you from meeting really good candidates.”

“Another popular myth is that money retains talent. It doesn’t.” While employees want to be compensated fairly, they also want a culture that supports them. Employees want to be part of a place they look forward to coming to.

3. Disrupt the Stereotypes

“We have to be careful about getting caught up in stereotypes such as ‘all Millennials want this and all Gen X want that. When creating a Total Rewards strategy, it’s important for organizations to ask employees what they want, rather than relying on assumptions.”

Leaders need to ask their employees what they value in a rewards program so that money is being spent on the right things. Part of that is making sure you check your own biases so that they aren’t getting in the way of helping people develop no matter where they are in their careers.

4. Design a People-First Work Culture

“People don’t leave jobs. They leave bosses. Having a leadership team that inspires your workforce is key, and one part in doing that is by training your managers to understand their obligations as leaders.”

At the end of the day, employees want to be treated with respect. They tend to also want flexibility to manage all aspects of their life, so HR leaders need to ensure that this is baked into the company culture.

“You should also consider offering professional development opportunities for your employees – a top-of-mind goal for many of today’s workers. Practically, this could look like on-the-job training or offering actual outside courses and credentials to your employees.”

5. Discover Why Employees Stay

“We do onboarding interviews when we’re looking to fill a role and exit interviews when people leave. Both are great, but we forget to do what I call stay interviews.”

“Stay interviews help you dig deeper into the employee experience. You learn a lot about your company and culture from employees that have been with your organization.”

When you interview both your new and seasoned employees, you discover what’s working, what needs improvement and why people are essentially staying with your organization. This information can help you strengthen your recruitment and retention practices. 

**Answers have been modified and edited for length and clarity.

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Hali Van Vliet, BDO, People Management
Hali Van Vliet

Senior Manager and Certified Human Resources Leader, BDO

Hali is a Senior Manager and a Certified Human Resources Leader, with more than 15 years of HR experience. She works closely with business owners and their leadership groups to set direction, gain alignment, enhance communication, add structure to decision-making processes, and strengthen the level of engagement in their teams.

Hali’s insights are invaluable in helping organizations build a cohesive leadership team. She is also experienced in all aspects of organizational behaviour, mediation, and conflict resolution. With her background and skills in human resource management, Hali helps businesses implement best practices for enhancing interpersonal relations among shareholders, partners, managers, or staff both through one-on-one consultation and via group seminars.

Hali Van Vliet, BDO, People Management
Hali Van Vliet

Senior Manager and Certified Human Resources Leader, BDO

Hali is a Senior Manager and a Certified Human Resources Leader, with more than 15 years of HR experience. She works closely with business owners and their leadership groups to set direction, gain alignment, enhance communication, add structure to decision-making processes, and strengthen the level of engagement in their teams.

Hali’s insights are invaluable in helping organizations build a cohesive leadership team. She is also experienced in all aspects of organizational behaviour, mediation, and conflict resolution. With her background and skills in human resource management, Hali helps businesses implement best practices for enhancing interpersonal relations among shareholders, partners, managers, or staff both through one-on-one consultation and via group seminars.