The Power of Parallel Retention Strategies

By: Peter Hahm


Grow Your Business by Solidifying your Partnerships with your People AND your Partners

First and foremost, whether you are small or large, the war on talent post covid is still happening today. The future is unknown, but business is still growing and the need for top talent has perhaps never been more important. What is also interesting is that many of the principles that relate to the attraction and retention of top talent also apply to the partnerships developed by the organizations they work for.

With rising costs, inflation, and increased competition for top talent, not to mention companies losing their best people to higher paying jobs or what appear to be more lucrative opportunities, it has been a challenge to keep up; to describe the landscape as tectonic would be something of an understatement.

Businesses are finding it challenging to meet the needs of their partners (let alone develop relationships with new ones) due to staffing issues.

Last year, according to a Microsoft study, 41% of people were considering leaving their employer last year.  According to the

“Thanks to the pandemic, employees are now in the driving seat. Wavemaker’s recent Growth Trends 2022 report found that the pandemic has altered the employee-employer relationship for good. Employees are more certain than ever about what they will and will not tolerate at work, about what they want their business to stand for, and they are more confident in expressing their wants. As a result, those who felt that they weren’t being listened to, felt the company or industry they were in didn’t reflect their own values or questioned if a return to the office would mean a return to a poor work-life balance voted with their feet.”

What does this mean, and what can we do about it? How can we sustain growth, hire the right people, stem the tide of candidates leaving out the backdoor, which affects the onboarding process for new candidates? And how do we do it while developing new business and maintaining our partnerships with our current client base? Without retaining people, we can’t hit our goals.

The perspective of what candidates believe to be important plays a key role in the decisions they make especially in who they partner with. A job is not just a job, it is an opportunity to make an impact, to affect change in their corner of the world and something reflective of, at its core, their identity.

On our journey we have maintained the belief that A-Players look for roles that offer challenge, stretch and impact. This idea of partnership and relationship amplifying or reflecting the core values of a candidate has become increasingly visible and no longer just associated with A-Players but all players.

In a market as transitional as this, how can you compete when compensation is a challenge, how do you continue to attract new hires, give them a reason to stay and, at the same, keep your best people?

From an attraction and hiring standpoint it’s time to get strategic (and a little creative). Below are some ideas of what’s important and where to get started:

  • Career Pathing
  • Leadership development
  • Paying for gym memberships/health and wellness initiatives – committing to balance in the work and personal life.
  • Investment in unique packages
  • Sign on bonuses incorporating quarterly bonuses, tied to, and to celebrate performance
  • Outside of work events/the entertainment space. Companies investing in meals. Happy Hours. Season tickets for game. These perks are not just for executives, everyone gets to play
  • Take it out into the community

When attracting new hires, we’re not just looking for great candidates, but we are exploring the future. We want to bring on new hires for our growth and our future, but we are also offering them the opportunity to chart the course for their own future. This is where career pathing and leadership come in.

Career Pathing and Leadership Development

According to Gartner, career pathing is:

The process of aligning opportunities for employee career growth with organizational talent priorities. This process may include by mapping their career direction based on vertical, lateral and cross functional roles. Career pathing is driven by the individual’s skills, interests, and career objectives. It also serves as a catalyst for employee participation in learning and development programs that fulfill the current and future needs of the organization.

In short, career pathing is a win-win. It develops a partnership between your team member and your organization. There’s something about achievable vision that is supportive of retention, engagement, and commitment.

Add to that a leadership development component that deepens the opportunity for impact by providing a greater ability to affect change, and to pass on expertise.

This doesn’t just apply to candidates but also to partnerships. Being able to convey and connect over the sense of growing with is something that transforms an otherwise transactional relationship into something truly partner focused.

Getting Creative in What Attracts Candidates and Keeps them Around

Finding out what is meaningful and valuable to a candidate is essential to understanding their motivations. In seeing how that corresponds to the visions of your organization and team you can begin to assess if they are the right person for the right seat. It is also an incredible tool in helping to attract that candidate and can be the difference maker between them taking your role and forgoing a higher comp level elsewhere. Not only do you get a holistically aligned candidate you also get buy in and that is powerful.

This can also be applied to the partnerships that are developed. Think of the power of what a partner who understands your business, who sits on your side of the table and who has the mindset to facilitate the growth of your business and the growth of your people. Meeting the need to complete one project is good but growing a relationship to meet the continued needs and navigate the challenges faced in a connected and understanding way is another level. Nothing is static, a partner will reimagine offerings, remain adaptable and listen.

Looking beyond business needs to the health and wellbeing of your people is attractive to prospective candidates and current employees, especially if you’re operating in a remote environment. The remote component and the flexibility associated with it is a draw. It could be said that your business needs are your employees’ health and wellbeing. This could look like subsidized gym memberships through to Employee Assistance Programs, unlimited PTO, anything that supports balance and the ability to support the whole person.

Get Clever with Compensation

When candidates are being offered roles at higher salaries and you’re looking to remain competitive there are several solutions that can help bridge the gap and that can offer incentive to mutual investment being made. Sign on bonuses and golden handshakes are nothing new however we are seeing a rise in quarterly bonuses. One of the reasons it can be harder to hire in Q4/beginning of Q1 is the promise of bonuses. Quarterly bonuses help to give employees something consistent to look forward to, and like quarterly conversations vs yearly reviews, keep the conversation flowing and the ability to pivot, efficient.

Break Down Walls; Everyone Gets to Play

Out of work events and entertainment perks that were once only available to executives and C-Suite staff when made available to all. Increasing the frequency of team events, letting your employees put together committees to lead and investing in the fun of your people deepens the bonds between team members and deepened relationships leads to deepened retention.

Involve the Community

At Titus we have a belief that generosity is the surprising secret to a thriving organization. Generosity is not just about giving away but more about actively giving toward. The people you hire, the people you work alongside and the Partners you work with and for have communities, spheres of influence, beliefs, visions, and motivations that are meaningful to them. Back in 2020 we took the company down to Mexico to build homes for those in extreme need (check out the video here).

On a day-to-day basis if one of our people is passionate about and personally involved in/affected by a nonprofit, community initiative or local sports team, we want to sow into that. Organizations that enable their employees to be a part of something bigger than themselves, and who are active in supporting initiatives themselves are attractive to potential candidates. Existing employees also gain that sense that they can carry a greater level of impact through their employer.

When an organization can do the same for their Partners it deepens the relationship. It puts people front and center and connects through shared vision and meaning.

Partnership is powerful on so many levels. Partnership stays the course. Partnership adapts. Partnership celebrates. Partnership enables us to be more than the sum of our parts. Here’s what our Partners have to say about their Partner Experience.

If you’re faced with a hiring challenge or you’re looking for a way to develop your retention strategies and this idea of partnership has inspired, you. Let’s connect.

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