Finding—and keeping—the very best people for your business call for solid recruiting and a commitment to building an employee-centric organization.

A business with an exceptionally motivated and productive staff doesn’t happen by accident. Finding great employees takes time and effort. Keeping them takes a commitment to ongoing training and mentorship. Take these four steps to attract great new employees and cultivate their talent for the long term.

Step 1: Define your company culture.

Having a clear identity as an organization is key to retaining employees and attracting new ones.

  • Ensure engagement. Employees should understand how their role supports your organization’s goals. Likewise, be sure they know they can discuss their career aspirations with you and work with you to develop a plan for achieving them in your firm
  • Provide recognition and feedback regularly. A recent survey reveals that 44% of job seekers say they are “always or often” overlooked at their jobs. So, acknowledge and reward contributions, both large and small. At the same time, share any constructive criticisms you may have as part of an ongoing dialogue, not just as an item in an annual review

Step 2: Strategize your recruiting practices.

Publicize the open position, including its required skills, education and certifications.

  • Get the word out. Post your job opening on LinkedIn and Indeed, niche job-posting sites, as well as your own website 
  • Empower your staff to help. Develop content about your business and any job openings that they can share on LinkedIn, Facebook and other social media, along with mentions of their positive work experiences.
  • Nail the interview questions. Develop “deal-breaker” questions about hours, remote work and travel requirements you can ask by phone to screen out weak candidates. Then, create behavioral questions for your in-person meetings. For example, the answers to “Describe a time when you had to adapt to change,” or “Tell me about a time you mentored someone else” will offer insight into how the applicant thinks and acts in different situations, and tip you off to such positive traits as a high degree of self-motivation, an ability to manage people and processes, accountability and problem-solving skills.

Step 3: Make a competitive offer.

Consider current economic and cultural conditions. Millennials will soon dominate the workforce and are focused on gaining knowledge and making a difference in a nurturing work environment. For them, a great offer isn’t just about hard currencies, like a paycheck, great insurance and a retirement plan. Many soft currencies, like flexible work hours, working remotely, career development services and wellness support, will help attract millennials and others.

Step 4: Nurture new hires from the start.

Prepare your new hire’s workspace for Day One. Then, dig into the work:

  • Kick off ongoing training and development. A customized development plan for the year, possibly including mentorship, should include easily measured goals
  • Consider assigning a peer to the new hire to serve as a guide
  • Plan ongoing support. Regular one-on-one meetings can chart goals and identify learning opportunities and any challenges.

Keep the Cycle Going

Once you complete these four steps, you’ll realize that attracting and retaining the best talent on the market is an ecosystem: The stronger workplace culture you develop, the likelier you are to attract more great employees to make your company an even better place to work.

Want to learn more?

An M&T Business Banking specialist is a great resource to consider when making key decisions for your organization. Visit a branch or call us at 1-800-724-6070.


1. Majority of workers are unhappy employees, study finds, The

This article is for informational purposes only. It is not designed or intended to provide financial, tax, legal, investment, accounting, or other professional advice since such advice always requires consideration of individual circumstances. Please consult with the professionals of your choice to discuss your situation.


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