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From Hire to Retire: Guiding Top Talent Through to the Finish Line

Retirement is an inevitable stage of the employment journey. Even high performers hang up their hats eventually. But to retain them up until retirement, organizations must be willing to optimize every stage of the employee lifecycle – from recruiting through offboarding.

Recruiting for the long-term

First impressions are the most lasting. To recruit people who are right for the job – and will be for the long haul – employers must generate a positive impression from the outset. You might:

  • Create an employer brand so that candidates can learn about your culture and decide whether they’re a fit for your company.
  • Be clear and specific about job requirements to lower the likelihood of unsuitable candidates and to help new employees better understand their roles.
  • Develop strong onboarding strategies that favorably shape employee experiences. Consider communicating what employees should do and what assistance is available to them, and allow for flexibility.
  • Improve recruiting and hiring functions through HR technology. For example, the system lets candidates apply for jobs online and takes new hires through a paperless onboarding process.

Manage, engage and retain

Today’s multigenerational workforce demands that business leaders manage people differently. From traditionalists and baby boomers, to Generation Xers, millennials and Generation Z, each comes with their own expectations, priorities and values.

And employers are realizing how getting it right can positively impact their business.

In a survey by the Harvard Business Review, 71 percent of executives viewed employee engagement as very important to achieving organizational success. Not only can proper management and engagement of employees help your business achieve organizational goals, it is the key to retaining top talent of all ages.

For example:

  • Learn what motivates each generation and appreciate the value that their differences bring to the organization.
  • Develop programs that encourage generations to collaborate and share their knowledge with each other.
  • Create policies that will help meet the unique needs and expectations of each generation.
  • Engage employees through self-service technology, training, stay interviews, feedback and consistent policies and procedures.
  • Reward high performers for a job well done.

According to the UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School, ultimately, all generations are seeking meaningful work, opportunities to learn and grow, work-life balance and to be treated fairly and with respect.

All good things must come to an end

Every employee leaves the workforce at some point. At this stage of the lifecycle, the employment relationship has ended, but it’s no less significant than other stages of the journey. The separation process has many components, including compensation, benefits, exit interviews and succession planning. The goal is to make the process as smooth as possible. Check out a few ways you can make this happen:

  • Handle the separation carefully, without discrimination.
  • Let high performers know that the door is open for their return.
  • Conduct exit interviews to get the departing employee’s input on the company.
  • Automate your offboarding process to reduce errors and increase efficiency.
  • Have a succession plan for recruiting and retaining employees who will be taking over the responsibilities of departing top talent.

Prior to retirement, there’s the professional journey that employees want to remember as a meaningful work experience. Organizations can help fulfill this desire by enhancing processes relating to the employee lifecycle.