How Do Employers Win At Finding, Keeping Talent?

When it comes to attracting and retaining top talent, “finder’s keepers” is the name of the game. First, you need to find the right talent. Then you need to keep them. This is especially true nowadays with the current labor market tilted to favor workers. Your employees generally have more choices and your competition isn’t shy about poaching your best talent. As a result, organizations need to focus on an employee-centric culture if they want to stay in the game.


Leaders at Top Workplaces know culture is the secret to a competitive advantage. They make it a strategic priority, day in and day out. We refer to this as “getting intentional” about culture.

Leaders protect themselves against the challenges of attracting and retaining talent by recognizing and cultivating culture, while at the same time keeping their workforce engaged. After all, employee turnover is expensive and disruptive. Recruiting new talent is too.

Every company has a culture. There is no such thing as a “culture-less” organization. Companies that allow their culture to develop accidentally fall victim to the culture they inherit.

But standout companies go about it differently. They’re proactive about building a culture that delivers on business strategy, wins against the competition, and remains steady in turbulence. In other words, they’re intentional about culture. And it’s led by senior leadership who knows success happens when a healthy culture is a primary focus.

Energage has been studying culture for 14 years. Research shows organizations that are intentional about culture – such as Top Workplaces – a whopping 95% of employees refer their organization to others. They practically recruit their friends to join them at work. This referral rate drops dramatically at average organizations where culture is accidental. Here, only 60% are willing to do the same.

Culture impacts your ability to attract new talent and it also impacts employee turnover. A leading indicator of retention is intention. Companies that leave culture to chance struggle with attrition. For instance, more than half of the employees at these organizations admit to looking for better jobs. And if they’ve got one foot out of the door, you can imagine the effects on productivity, customer service, and toxic talk.

It’s a different story for organizations that are intentional about culture. Over 80% of employees intend to stay put. Think about it – that’s double the commitment level. They’ve got their heads in the game and they’re giving their best effort to your organization. Take that ROI to your CFO!

Lisa Sordilla is human resources director at Energage, a Philadelphia-based research and consulting firm that surveyed more than 2 million employees at more than 7,000 organizations in 2019. Energage is The Washington Post’s research partner for Top Workplaces.

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