HR professionals who have a good understanding of the incentives on offer in the market will be able to beat the talent poachers at their own game, says Mike Roddy, Director of Client Engagement and Talent Solutions at global recruitment
HR professionals should be aware of the various enticements on offer so they can better understand what might tempt their employees to succumb to a head-hunter, Roddy says.
“There are many incentives head-hunters offer, but it ultimately depends on what is important to the employee,” Roddy told HC Online.
“Prevalent incentives include tenure bonuses as well as financial reward for successful project completion,” he says.
Roddy says employers who offer flexible working arrangements are also in high demand by many employees, who may want to balance their professional and personal lives.
“Workplace flexibility is also a very popular and sought after option today,” Roddy says.
“The ability, where practical, to work in part remotely has become increasingly popular over the last few years with the advent of technological support.”
Cutting the bureaucratic red tape from the workplace environment may be another way to inspire and engage professional staff, Roddy says.
“Interestingly, the removal or support of bureaucratic functions to take the tedious nature out of white collar professional roles was recently highlighted to me as an incentive to retain some very talented workers,” he told HC Online.
Employers can also show staff that they value their health and wellbeing by encouraging them to participate in workplace wellness programs, Roddy says.
“Traditional lifestyle programs such as gym memberships or support for an individual’s chosen charity (through days off or financial contribution) are still popular,” he says.
Roddy says one of the most practical and enticing incentives employer should consider is investment in their staff’s continuing education.
“Investment in further tertiary learning, regardless of the age or profession, is still an attractive option to many people,” he says.
HR can also consider engaging a life coach for employees to access, as studies show that employees who take advantage of company coaching programs not only see improvements in their personal lives, but in their professional ones, as well.
Organisational coaching programs have been shown to boost employee retention
and engagement as well as overcome productivity and performance issues.
“Facilitation of a life coach is another interesting option, as many people value having a professional steer them through life's challenges such as financial guidance, work life balance etc.,” Roddy says.
He says a common factor that often gets overlooked is open and direct communication about being part of the business growth strategy and the role the individual can play.
“People want to be involved and contribute to the bigger picture, giving them the opportunity to do so is invaluable,” Roddy says.
“Traditional HR applications such as the assignment of a mentor and well executed recognition schemes are always well received,” he says.
HR can take steps to individualise staff incentives and rewards programs, to give employees what they really want, instead of a generic one-size-fits-all scheme, Roddy says.
“By way of an example, instead of providing a bottle or 2 of wine or movie tickets, why not a dinner for 2 at a celebrated restaurant or a subscription to the individual’s favourite hobby?”
“If I was given a year’s subscription to Runner's World, you would win me,” Roddy says.
However, he reminds HR professionals that employees need to be rewarded for behaviours that are in-line with organisational values.
“It is critical we incentivise for the right behaviours and outcomes though, which is why HR functions reside with all management and not solely the domain of the HR department.”
As the demand for skilled workers heats up, your high quality staff may find themselves approached with incentives by head hunters.