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Featured Insights | Talent Consulting

Being Magnetic: How to Retain and Attract Talent in an Employee-Short Market

Written By Terry Samaras | Talent Consulting Practice Lead

In recent weeks, we've seen a lot of press on record-high job advertisements and record-low unemployment in Australia. This is great news for an economy that's been through two years of lockdowns and disruption. But it also brings new challenges for any business looking to maintain or attract the right talent to capitalise on the favourable conditions expected in 2023.

People such as economists, politicians, and opinion columnists are calling on employees to review their compensation packages and this could lead to high employee attrition rates – in some cases, higher than 50%. Some employee turnover is good for a business as it encourages innovation and a dynamic workplace, but it’s important to manage it to ensure the right kind of personnel for the job. Too high turnover, and the costs of training, onboarding, and developing new capability (*research by Deloitte has estimated this can be as much as three times the salary of the individual employee).

The value proposition of any organisation lies in its ability to attract and retain the best talent. This is the key to success, and as leaders, it’s our responsibility to create a workplace that the best and brightest want to work for. But this isn’t always easy, as we must ask ourselves why people stay and why they leave. In order to understand and meet these needs, we need to identify how we can make our business stand apart from the competition and create a desirable workplace culture. By understanding what drives our employees and offering a tailored, attractive value proposition to them, we can build a thriving business that’s attractive to the highest quality talent.

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Why do people stay?

Although much could be said for why employees might choose to stay in a job, in essence this can be distilled into four key elements:

  1. Having a clear and compelling strategy. Be clear about what your organisation stands for, what its values are, and where it is going. This is as much about having the strategy as it is communicating it.
  2. Cultivating an innovative environment low in bureaucracy. Businesses with a consistent focus on innovation, solving problems, listening to new ideas, and involvement through consultative rather than autocratic decision-making, create a sense of purpose and elevate engagement levels considerably.
  3. Constantly challenging your employees so they learn and grow. A strong focus on learning and development remains a high priority for all top talent. Ensure your business has well-defined professional development plans for all its star performers.
  4. Rewards, pecuniary and otherwise. Self-evident, and especially critical now in a market experiencing significant wage increases. Again, it is very important that incentives and benefits are clearly communicated to staff, and incentivise and reward appropriately.

Why do people leave?

On the other hand, why do people leave? In our experience, there are four key factors:

  1. Issues with management. Most leaders are quick to provide feedback to employees to ensure mistakes are learned from, but do we solicit the same in kind? Does your business encourage open and transparent feedback on how we as managers and leaders can be better?
  2. (Perceived) bias. Are we constantly ensuring we are judging performance in an unbiased way? Perception and reality are often not aligned, so communication again is key.
  3. Lack of opportunity for advancement. Sometimes this is a reality, especially in non-hierarchical environments, but often times there are well-defined but poorly communicated pathways for talent to advance and progress. Ensure clear, transparent, frequent communication.
  4. Favouritism. Transparent communication again is the antidote. It is important that objectivity is maintained in assessing and appraising performance. Continuing to ensure we assess in an unbiased way avoids the perception of favouritism.

It’s more important than ever to give your staff the best possible working environment. With the marketplace getting more competitive, your people can make or break your success. Take a proactive approach and create a workplace that lets your team thrive. Make sure it’s attractive, inviting, and motivating – something that your competitors will envy. Invest in crafting a workplace that will draw in the most talented and capable of people, and keep them around for the long-term.

Struggling to attract the right talent for your business? Allow us at Pacific Talent Partners to lend a helping hand with our range of excellent talent solutions. We look forward to providing the support you need to source exceptional talent for your organisation. We can be reached on +61 2 8318 1818 or

*cf. may outweigh any benefits gained from the change.

About the Author

Terry Samaras | Talent Consulting Practice Lead

With over 27 years of global experience consulting with some of the world’s leading international brands such as British Airways, BP, Citigroup, HSBC and Rolls Royce Power; over 45 companies in 21 industries and 29 nationalities across the UK, Europe, the US and Australia.

Terry has expertise in aligning vision, innovation, culture and strategy implementation to accelerate commercial performance and sustain scalable growth.

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