How to Attract and Retain Tomorrow’s Top PerformersNovember 18, 2021

It Will Take More Than a Good Salary and Benefits By
November 18, 2021

How to Attract and Retain Tomorrow’s Top Performers

It Will Take More Than a Good Salary and Benefits

IFMM-Col2-Steinberg,Scott-110x140Hailed as the World’s Leading Business Strategist, award-winning expert witness, strategic consultant and professional speaker, Scott Steinberg is among today’s best-known trends experts and futurists. He is the bestselling author of “Think Like a Futurist; Make Change Work for You: 10 Ways to Future-Proof Yourself, Fearlessly Innovate, and Succeed Despite Uncertainty” and “Fast >> Forward: How to Turbo-Charge Business, Sales, and Career Growth.” He is also the president and CEO of BIZDEV: The International Association for Business Development and Strategic Partnerships, His website is

Millennials and members of Generation Z now make up roughly two-thirds of the American workforce, while an average of 10,000 Baby Boomers are retiring every day, according to staffing services firm Randstad. Moreover, they’re also far more motivated by opportunities to learn and grow in their career; do social good and give back to their community; and form meaningful relationships and human connections than a paycheck. In addition, as if this sea change didn’t present enough of a conundrum for meetings and events industry leaders, younger audiences have also increasingly begun to favor organizations that prize innovation and creativity. Moreover, they’re becoming increasingly drawn to employers that provide ongoing education and mentorship, plus constant upskilling of their workforces in the skills and insights needed to succeed in tomorrow’s workplace.

Coupled with a growing shortage in skilled labor despite rising salaries, and the fact data literacy is becoming an increasing concern for organizations, it bears reminding that top-performing employees are already now as choosy as actual employers when it comes to hiring.

Even the world’s best-known employers are finding themselves coming increasingly under the gun to rethink their strategies for recruiting and retaining leading talent. Lest you dismiss these as idle concerns in the wake of recent sudden spikes in unemployment due to COVID-19 and growing economic uncertainty, as it turns out, studies show that organizations are the ones suffering in the current supply-and-demand equation. Case in point: If you want to remain competitive, it’s only going to become more crucial going forward to pick the right employees, with research indicating that top performers are eight times as productive and 400% more industrious on the job as peers. Noting these points, when looking to attract and retain top talent going forward, you won’t just want to consider how you can provide competitive salaries and favorable benefits packages for them. You’ll also have to think about how you can structure work and responsibilities more effectively, provide more opportunities for education and advancement, and offer a more flexible and supportive environment if you want to attract tomorrow’s top working professionals.

As for the actual interviewing process, a few skills that you can both look for when recruiting to help you identify top performers, and that you’ll want to help cultivate amongst new hires include the following:


The ability to effectively write, speak and listen is an essential talent to possess when it comes to leading, interpreting and giving direction. Likewise, a sense of emotional intelligence is also vital: Employees need to be able to understand where others are coming from so that they can better empathize and act on this information, especially if you’re looking to put them in management positions.


Today’s working pro is often involved in multiple projects, tasks or initiatives — the ability to adroitly juggle all will be increasingly essential to possess going forward. Tomorrow’s workers must be well-equipped to manage multiple tasks, and complete work efficiently, correctly and with a minimum of stress, despite being pulled in many directions.

Dynamic Decision-Making

Effective problem solving requires the use of both creativity and logic. Workers with solid problem-solving skills won’t just be strategic thinkers that are capable of objectively interpreting information, they’ll also be capable of keeping a cool head under duress and acting thoughtfully when a solution is needed.


Possessing the self-disciple to effectively gather data, conduct research, and keep tasks both well-managed and on-schedule will be important traits for any leader going forward. Gaining them can help job candidates be better managers and contributors, and more efficient and productive in their roles.

Afterward, once you’ve identified prospective hires, to create more compelling job offers, it often helps to:

  • Analyze your ideal hire’s needs and customize benefits to each candidate.
  • Offer ongoing opportunities for education, certification, and mentorship.
  • Provide a clear path for advancement and growth in the organization.
  • Present a flexible menu of perks and spending allowance that employees can apply as desired to support their happiness, productivity and wellness.
  • Illustrate the many ways in which workers will be exposed to new challenges, roles and experiences.
  • Explain how contributors will have a direct and visible opportunity to make a positive impact in the organization and their community.
  • Remain open to flexible working models, schedules and hours.

Finally, when working with the best of the best, it’s also important to remember that top performers may come and go as part of the normal employment cycle that occurs when working with such in-demand hires. After all, these leaders are often eager to take on new challenges and roles, and acquire skills in new areas and industries. If a top performer desires to part ways with your business, by all means, make a counteroffer if you’d like to retain them. However, don’t be afraid to let them go if need be. These same workers may very well return to your company at a later date, wiser, more experienced and armed with greater insights that can help you succeed.

Essentially, putting a greater focus on the employee, not employer, and finding more ways to work with peak performers — not just have them work for you — is the secret to recruiting and retaining top talent. In effect, the more you put a premium on people and work to create win-win opportunities for everyone, the happier and more successful both you and they will be.    | AC&F |

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