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By Sarah C. Threnhauser, MPA

You’ll attract the employees you need if you can explain why your mission is compelling: not why it’s important in general, but why you’re doing something important that no one else is going to get done—Peter Thiel, co-founder of PayPal

Recruiting and retaining the best team members—from direct care, professional, or administrative is a key factor in success in the current health and human service market. The challenge is growing increasingly difficult thanks to an aging labor force, low unemployment, competitive wage rates in other fields, and the list goes on (see Building A Better Workforce: Talent Management Strategies For Recruitment, Retention, Burnout & Technology).

So where should executive teams focus their recruitment and retention efforts? The advice of Erik Marsh, President and Chief Executive Officer, DATIS HR Cloud during his session, What’s New In Workforce Management? Exploring The Latest Trends For HHS Organizations, at The 2019 OPEN MINDS Performance Management Institute is straightforward—”sell” your organization just like you would when dealing with consumers, while placing an extra emphasis on not “over selling.” He noted that when you are going through the recruiting process, it’s about selling your organization to candidates. But it’s important not to oversell yourself. You must set realistic expectations, and that is part of the interview process.

In his briefing, Mr. Marsh presented the results of DATIS’ workforce survey of health and human service executives. The two top-ranked priorities for 2019 were recruiting and retaining top talent (60% of surveyed executives) and staff engagement (identified by 87% of the surveyed executives). Getting and keeping those great employee assets.

So, what are executives doing to “sell” their organizations to current and prospective team members.

  1. 48% have a smooth on-boarding process
  2. 87% make a conscious effort to engage employees
  3. 63% regularly collect feedback from employees
  4. 67% use digital tools to increase collaboration and productivity
  5. 67% use digital tools to streamline and automate operations

There were a few other interesting findings that Mr. Marsh presented that caught my attention. Even with a great program in place for finding, recruiting, and retaining top talent, staffing challenges are not going to get to easier—and they are not going away. Executive teams should develop and update their staffing strategy and plans to address these changes and that strategy needs to be an organization-wide effort.

For more on building the culture it takes to keep your employees engaged, check out these resources from the OPEN MINDS Industry Library:

  1. Building Your Connection Culture
  2. Operationalize Your Connection Culture
  3. Building A Culture Of Performance
  4. The Performance Competency & Culture Gap In Non-Profit Management Teams
  5. Staff Recognition: More Important Than Ever
  6. The New Face Of Recruiting

And, to build your organization’s culture, including staff engagement strategies, mark your calendar for  The 2019 OPEN MINDS Executive Leadership Retreat— starting on September 9, 2019. We’ll be announcing our new program and faculty in the next few weeks. For an idea of what is in store, check out the agenda from The 2018 OPEN MINDS Executive Leadership Retreat.

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