The Leadership Insider network is an online community where the most thoughtful and influential people in business contribute answers to timely questions about careers and leadership. Today’s answer to the question: What’s the best way to keep your company successful? is written by Edward Fleischman, chairman and CEO of The Execu|Search Group.
The key to keeping a business successful — whether in a good economy or bad — is to hire great employees, work to retain those employees, and create an adaptable company culture. First off, managers, supervisors, and CEOs should not be afraid to hire people who are smarter than they are. Leaders within any organization have to be secure in their own value to avoid feeling threatened by the prospect of bringing on new outstanding employees. CEOs are often able to see the importance of hiring the best of the best. However, this can be a challenge for lower-level managers who may interact with these new employees more closely. At the end of the day, the ability to bring on better employees is essential for a company to succeed.
Once you’ve attracted the best talent available, your next focus should be to retain them. To do this an organization must be able to adapt its practices to the needs of a changing workforce while simultaneously preserving aspects that more senior employees strongly connect with. However, it’s extremely important that any changes to the culture be done in an organic, transitional manner in order to avoid alienating or losing long-term, loyal employees.
One group in particular that companies need to take into account when considering culture and retention strategy is millennials. Today, millennials make up the largest percentage of the U.S. workforce, and companies should take their needs into account when thinking about their workplace culture. For example, millennials may be looking for a relaxed dress code, social and community events, or flexible policies surrounding paid time off and working from home. Although millennials may be in favor of policies that some “old school” managers personally disagree with, it is essential that companies pay attention to the needs of everyone on the team, especially as the number of millennials in the workforce continues to increase.
To make sure that positive buzz translates into a strong workplace reputation externally, an organization needs to be aware of the power of digital mediums such as LinkedIn (LNKD) and Glassdoor. Companies should be sure to leverage these sites to showcase their culture and get the word out to stellar prospective employees that current employees love working there. Glassdoor, in particular, is an important source of information to job seekers. Approximately 70% of new employees at The Execu|Search Group report that they looked at our Glassdoor page before joining, which highlights just how important this digital tool is in a candidate’s decision-making process.
Finally, in today’s hyper-competitive talent market, companies also need to be prepared to act quickly in order to secure their top candidates. Moving too slowly may result in an organization losing a candidate to a competitor. All companies need to be aware of the high demand for talent today, and this is especially true for organizations within the healthcare and professional services sectors, which are experiencing a great need for talent.
A company’s success is impacted by many external factors. However, by committing to finding, securing, and retaining the best talent, organizations give themselves a great chance to succeed. While companies will always need to hire smart people, paying attention to company culture and realizing the needs of the ever-evolving workforce are just as integral to long-term success.