Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Business Success Means Attracting, Retaining the Workforce of the Future

There’s no denying the workplace looks different these days with many companies adopting in person, virtual and/or hybrid options for employees who crave flexibility. Remote and hybrid work have replaced the in-office 9-to-5 workday in some cases, and people are changing careers, leaving their companies, and pursuing new ventures more frequently than ever before. It’s become increasingly tricky for employers to retain top talent in today’s unpredictable landscape, but with any challenge comes new opportunities for your business.

The automotive industry in particular has seen its share of challenges when it comes to a new workplace dynamic. A panel of automotive and media thought leaders met recently at Xfinity Live! in Philadelphia as part of the Automotive State of the Union (ASOTU) Conference to discuss innovative ways all companies can build, cultivate and retain future talent. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates the voluntary turnover rate is around 25% and the average cost-per-hire for a new employee is $4,129 (according to SHRM). Happy employees are better for business.

SMB owners and marketing leaders know the benefits of great advertising to help their business achieve success, but here are some tips to hiring and retaining what your business needs most—people.

Recruit diverse talent.

Dawn Williamson is a media maven who’s held global and domestic roles with large teams and currently serves as the SVP of Sales Development at Effectv. She now oversees a team consisting of 300 employees focused on understanding client needs, helping brands reach audiences effectively and driving measurable results. Williamson recently oversaw a significant number of new hires to build a new arm of the business. During the talent acquisition process, Williamson and her team were deliberate about seeking out more diverse talent for the organization. The team tapped into talent pools with non-traditional backgrounds and considered talent of different backgrounds with a range of experiences.

Being intentional about your talent pool can be time-consuming, Williamson admits, but the time investment is well worth it. “You’re not just filling seats, you’re actually looking to include people in your talent pool with diverse backgrounds, with diverse experience, and that may take longer,” Williamson said. The hiring team also mapped out a plan to ensure that once candidates are hired, they will receive the support necessary to succeed within the organization.

Tap into your connections to recruit talent.

Gregg Ciocca Sr, the owner of Ciocca Dealerships, recommends tapping into your existing networks to identify and recruit talent. His organization shares updates on social networks and sends newsletters out to their employees, customers, manufacturing partners and vendors.

“I want them to know what’s going on at our company — I want them to be connected here,” Ciocca said.

Prioritize employees’ wants and needs.

Scott Simons, the managing partner of CMAs Valley Dealerships, says it’s no longer enough to simply be a good employer. People want more out of their jobs and it’s time to sit down and identify what, specifically, is most important to your employees. “What do they want to accomplish? It’s not what we want to accomplish,” Simons said.

CMAs Valley Dealerships launched a mentorship program to help talent meet their personal financial goals. The organization now coaches their workforce on how to manage their credit score, develop a budget plan, and optimize their 401k contributions to gain financial security and work toward their life goals. “We try to be much more than just a place to help move their life forward and it’s worked out really well for us,” Simons said.

Create flexible environments.

As remote and hybrid work have taken off, it’s been crucial for companies to reshape the meaning of work-life balance. Different employees want different things, and it’s crucial to talk with and listen to your team’s wants and needs to optimally fuse their personal life and work life together. Doing so will help employees build a life—at work and away from work—that they’re proud of.

“It’s very much about bringing your authentic self to work and figuring out how you can integrate your day-to-day life into your professional life,” Williamson said.

Train and coach your talent.

Training your team and investing in their skill development helps create a more productive and profitable workforce. Having opportunities for talent to learn and grow in-role is the number 1 factor that employees say defines an exceptional work environment, according to Glint data. People want to grow and advance within their careers — providing them with the opportunity to do so will keep employees engaged and interested.

Ciocca says that he provides his workforce with clear, concrete steps regarding the skills they need to achieve and advance to the next level. Employees are provided with detailed plans that give them the tools to own and map out their career development within the organization. Simons says a great organization helps employees set specific goals and provides them with the mentorship to accomplish them. “We use that in order for them to fit their goals within our goals,” Simons said.

Lead by example and learn from turnover.

A company’s leadership can also set the tone for the entire workplace. When you walk into a business, you can quickly get a sense for what the organization’s leadership is all about. Strong and supportive leadership can influence the processes, the people and the culture within the organization. The energy from leadership is contagious and customers can pick up on it. “It starts from the top,” Simons said.

There are also lessons that you can learn from turnover. Take the time to understand what is driving employees away to ensure that you’re able to give future talent the resources they need to stay for the long run. When you take accountability for employee turnover, you can develop strategies to fix it, says Ciocca.

Motivate employees with purpose.

Williamson says it’s important for people to feel like they have a purpose at work. By motivating talent to own their projects and develop purpose at work, they’re more likely to feel like they’re a partner in achieving the business’s goals.

Not only is it important to build a team that is motivated and ambitious, but to ensure each team member has a purpose at work and feels a sense of belonging. “People want to feel like they’re a part of something bigger,” Williamson said.

Regardless of industry, these seven takeaways benefit business owners and people leaders alike who want to hire and retain top-tier talent in the current day and age. In addition to intentionally seeking out diverse candidates, investing in skill development, motivating employees and more, creating pathways for advancement for the talent you already have is pivotal. Read on to discover one way Effectv is providing pathways for diverse talent.