Employee retention and attraction have plenty in common - Technical.ly

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Employee retention and attraction have plenty in common

At the annual HR Tech Conference in Las Vegas, low unemployment is a motivation to focus on keeping existing employees happy.

A keynote during the 21st HR Tech Conference.

(Courtesy photo)

The great wave of artificial intelligence in vetting job candidates has come. Now, with low unemployment, tools and services targeting retention are gaining focus.

The big trends from the 21st annual HR Tech Conference held in Las Vegas last month all had something to do with getting the right candidates, rather than just more of them. Among all big hirers, particularly those pursuing hard-to-reach technology professionals, “employer branding” is becoming a staple of company strategies.

If you want customers, you need a marketing strategy, so goes the thinking; if you want great employees, you need a strong story too.

Helpfully, the stories, priorities and employee offerings that make up a brand are exactly as good for keeping employees as they are for attracting them in the first place. It’s true for startups and corporates alike.

“With the unemployment rate down to 3.7 percent, employment retention, engagement and motivation is critical,” said Franz Gilbert, a vice president at Bersin, a research division of consulting giant Deloitte.

Gilbert’s the one who told me that more than 400 of the HR Tech Conference providers last year mentioned AI somewhere in their booth descriptions. This year, the majority focused on the category of employee experience, including both services and tools like chatbots. The theme is offering great employee experiences and making sure both current and future employees know about it.

Matching company offerings with employees has given rise to team culture–centric recruiting tools like Canadian startup Intrideo, which matches a psychological profile and a pre-recorded video interview to inform hiring managers. Big corporates are investing in tools for their existing employees and clients that can attract new ones too — for example, payroll giant ADP launched a money management tool called Wisely.


These are all little parts of how an organization learns to hire the right employees from the start and know when to invest to retain them. Deloitte has its own suite of tools it brands as “Organization Network Analysis,” a clunky phrase that amounts to data collection about current employee connections, aptitudes and strengths.

As Gilbert put it, noting the annual balance between the HR and the tech sides of the conference: this year, “without a doubt, the biggest shift we saw at HR Tech revolved around HR-focused issues.”

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