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How to attract and retain the right talent

According to a recent McKinsey study, over a third of senior leaders cite finding and keeping the right talent as their most significant managerial challenge. Whilst business leaders know that talent is valuable and scarce, 82 percent of businesses don’t believe they recruit highly talented people, and for those who do, only 7 percent believe they can retain them.

Shifting talent requirements

Businesses and industries are constantly evolving, which has a clear impact on the type of skills required. Whilst ten years ago businesses were struggling to find people with global experience, today organisations need more tech-savvy employees who can harness innovation and apply the tools and systems to drive business growth. Businesses also increasingly see the nurturing of human skills, in particular leadership, curiosity and creativity, as essential if they are to take advantage of the potential benefits of new technologies.

Digital skills have a short shelf life and therefore continuous learning that is embedded in the organisational culture is key. However, the challenge for companies is to make it possible for employees to be able to learn, with the demands of their roles. Employees need to be engaged, and have the time, energy and inclination to acquire new skills.

Technology can drive efficiency and cost savings, but it also brings the opportunity to improve work life balance as it allows for flexible work. Millennials and Generation Z will make up nearly 60 percent of the global workforce over the next few years and therefore it is critical for leaders who are looking to future-proof their business to tap into the pool of these generations of digital natives.

The sense of purpose

Compensation is an important factor in job satisfaction, but it’s not the only one. Employee motivation is changing, and people want to feel connected to the company’s purpose and mission. Job seekers are looking for more meaningful workplace experiences and businesses who are able to offer the purpose they are looking for will benefit of having that talent on their team. Creating collective ambition can also help to engage employees, drive trust and loyalty.

Glassdoor’s Mission and Culture Survey 2019 shows that 89 percent of people believe it is important for an employer to have a clear mission and purpose, 77 percent would consider a company’s purpose before applying for a job there and 56 percent say company culture is more important than salary when it comes to job satisfaction. This shows that employee value proposition is key to attract qualified talent as well as help to decrease employee turnover, which in return helps the company’s bottom line and brand reputation.

For any business, putting the right team in place is vital – in fact it can be the difference between success and failure. At Acumen we offer development that gives leaders at all levels practical tools to help solve real life challenges. In most cases we design the interventions specifically for each customer, but we also offer a wide range of off the shelf programmes for those who prefer this approach. For more information, please contact

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