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CDF Key Takeaways: The Right Stuff: Attracting & Keeping the Right Talent in San Diego

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We hope you enjoyed your weekend! As many know, we like to provide some key takeaways from our past events to all members. Below you will find the key takeaways for our April 26th breakfast event.

To set the stage, it is helpful to know that San Diego unemployment is around 3-4% (depending on the source). San Diego companies tend to hire more skilled workers than many other large cities, and the cost of living and transportation can be barriers for recruiting talent. We are losing talent to Riverside, San Jose, Los Angeles, and Sacramento, among other cities. It is anticipated we will lose more people to rising tech hubs, if we aren’t already, which include Seattle, Austin, Boston and Kansas City. Below are some of the suggestions our panelists provided to help mitigate some of the challenges of recruiting and retaining talent in San Diego.[/vc_column_text][vc_empty_space height=”25px”][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner row_type=”row” type=”full_width” text_align=”left” css_animation=””][vc_column_inner][vc_column_text]

Top 3 Drivers of Retention
  • Culture
  • Opportunities for career advancement
  • Trust in senior leadership

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Branding & Culture
  • Companies who are most successful in recruiting and retaining talent make sure to capture the attention of candidates and ensure that there is connectivity between the brand and the candidate.
  • With the transparency of today’s workplace culture, it is important to foster healthy work environments and to market your company as a great place to work. A lot more research is done today on workplace culture than in the past.
  • Put out there what a good candidate fit would look like. Make your mission, values and culture known, and be sure they are not just words on paper to check a box.
  • Be transparent about job security, pay and career advancement. This will help with both recruiting and retention.
  • Segment rewards based on the level of employee. Look at what other companies are doing so you can offer something uniquely enticing.
  • When recruiting, ask current teams for recommendations.

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Executive Pay
  • For executive positions, look at the best performing companies and what they are doing. Use best practices, but find a way to differentiate.
  • Allow performance to differentiate pay (e.g.- stock options, when applicable).
  • Keep in mind that pay is not necessarily a key retention factor. Engagement is a far better indicator.

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The Millennial, X, Y, Z Influence
  • Portability and flexibility are important. Companies should find ways to support these needs to retain good talent.
  • A clearly defined path for career advancement is in greater demand for these generations.
  • Clearly defined expectations are important.
  • With growing awareness and transparency, there is a greater expectation for equal pay for equal work. Fairness is more important to these generations.
  • A commitment to diversity is important for many and helps to keep people engaged.
  • Corporate Social Responsibility is also important to many and is more than just a buzz word used only when it helps to generate profit.
  • While nice, workplace amenities (think of Google’s campus offerings) are not a driver of employee satisfaction or retention. When adding amenities, make sure they are right for your specific talent and workforce. Evaluate and make necessary changes regularly. Ask the employees themselves what they want.
  • Key benefits such as competitive health, dental and retirement packages should take priority over wellness benefits.
  • Telecommuting is a rising trend that can help to attract or retain talent at different levels. Do not overlook this as an option when trying to retain key talent. This may be a cost saver.
  • Be mindful of potential tax liabilities when employees are working out of the state or country. This might not be an option for all companies.

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Leadership Should
  • Walk the talk and exemplify company culture and values.
  • Encourage employees to show up as their full selves. This does not mean professionalism should suffer.
  • Encourage openness, communication and support.
  • Use Human Resources (HR) as strategic partners. HR is often too busy putting out fires to come up with strategies to improve employee engagement and retention. These things take deliberate thought. If the Executive Team makes this a priority, it will benefit everyone.

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Words of Wisdom from our Panelists
  • Best fit trumps typical practices.
  • Focus on company culture and get feedback from employees.
  • Connection is paramount. Who are you connecting with? How can you continue connecting?

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