Workplace Slideshow: 8 Ways to Retain Talent In a Recession

By CIOinsight  |  Posted 03-16-2009

8 Ways to Retain Talent In a Recession

Identify Your Stars

With pressure to cut costs while maintaining services and standards, the first challenge is figuring out who makes the list of office MVPs, and who goes onto the unemployment rolls.

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Focus on Retention

Management must ensure confidence remains high among those who survive the cut. Layoffs always have a bad impact on morale. Those who remain often begin a job hunt, in hopes of finding a position with a more stable company or industry.

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Maximize Morale

Traditional morale-boosters like bonuses, travel, and company-paid meals are out. What's left? Get closer to your people. People wonder what's going on, so disclosure and dialog are crucial. Acknowledge challenges and plug employees into your concerns and plans.

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Recognize your power players.

Start a low-cost recognition program to put the spotlight on the people who are pulling hardest to keep the company moving.Example: a "leader board" that publicly acknowledges team players, innovators, and enthusiastic workers. Small rewards - a simple dinner out, a bouquet of flowers, movie tickets -- count.

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Be Positive

Positive attitudes are as contagious as negative ones. Upbeat leaders in a down market can lift the morale of an entire team. By working to keep employees' spirits high, you're much more likely to hold on to the talent you depend on.

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Plan Hiring Carefully

HR managers face the largest applicant pool since World War II. A single job posting might bring hundreds of e-mails, each with a cover letter and resume to review.

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Go 2.0

One solution: Social networks such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Plaxo, and others are useful when scouting talent. Beyond active job hunters, this is where passive job seekers are building nests.

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Get Help

A knowledgeable staffing firm has already vetted most candidates, and can quickly attract and vet more. It should be able to present you with a short list of resumes from people who meet your requirements. As workers are rebrand themselves in hopes of leaving failing industries, a staffing agency can help determine which skill sets are transferable across industries.

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