4 Ways to Retain and Attract The Best Talent

For the past 20 years there has been numerous research papers and dialogue around linear and nonlinear careers. Whilst linear careers are seen as a thing of the past with respect to the “one company, one career’ proposition, recruitment processes and career advancement still favour those who have followed a linear career. 

If we want to move forward and retain and attract the best talent, corporations need to recognise and proactively support non-linear careers. This support needs to be delivered through policy and culture change, but above all managers need to lead by example. 

Four simple ways corporate's can begin this process:

1/ Normalise flexible work options

Make it acceptable to use flexible work options and policies from the top down. Both men and women need to be to be able to utilise these policies without feeling like they are less committed to their career or that having flexibility is a privilege or something that needs to be earnt. 

2/ Acknowledge that your future leaders may have non-linear careers 

Eighty-four percent of millennials foresee significant breaks along the way when considering their long term career paths, according to a recent report by Manpower GroupAnd we know that many women will alter their career paths based on family demands. Businesses need to respond to these changes and support employees who elect to take a career break, as a natural part of their career management planning. Recruitment processes also need to adapt to ensure people who have a nonlinear career are not dismissed.

3/ Move away from a culture and mindset of outdated “time norms”

Extensive travel, showing your face in the office and long hours is still an unspoken attribute of commitment to a job and successful employee. Time norms need to be more fluid and accommodating and we need to focus more on rewarding output not hours in the office.

4/ Create more onramp programs for people who have opted out

Programs such as women returners programs, staying connected with those of have left, invitations to training and offering project based work to assist with transitioning, all serve to support those who have left. Normalising onramp programs also helps in removing the stigma attached with opting out.

The bottom line is policies are irrelevant if culturally they are not supported and encouraged. For organisations to retain great talent and attract a wider and more diverse pool of talent we need to normalise and support all career pathways. By ignoring this we will continue to have a high turnover of women and immeasurable loss of human capital across organisations.

Michelle Ayyuce