Wellbeing as a force for talent engagement & retention (TA included)

Resolving employee turnover has been an unrelenting challenge over the past few years, as the effects of global upheaval placed wellbeing centre stage. Workers are vocalising needs that must be fulfilled to support thriving at work, whether onsite or remote. But while emphasis remains on engagement and retention, the needs of Talent Acquisition (TA) get pushed onto the back burner.

TA has their work cut out for them, and of all their challenges, one stands out from the rest: the collective sense of burnout. Is anyone thinking about TA’s needs aside from the teams themselves? 

To close our Redefining Talent series, we discuss wellbeing as a medium to lift talent engagement and retention, even within talent teams.

Turnover in the TA function

As executives and employees place an ever-growing reliance on People & Culture, TA professionals are leaving their roles in droves. In fact, Seek reports Human Resources and Recruitment hit the lowest supply level recorded in 10 years. The majority of professionals cite having too much to accomplish with too few resources noting leaders are most prone to burnout. Not surprisingly, they quit. 

Resignations in the function leave critical role gaps that intensify the talent deficit. Hiring managers (the ones who chose to stay) have to face up to fill more vacancies. Yet, for all their hard work, they are forgotten in wellbeing conversations. 

Doubling down on talent engagement & retention

The evidence is indisputable: happy, healthy workers are more engaged. Engagement indicates employees’ intentions to stay with the business, which is why wellbeing must be central to talent acquisition and retention strategies. 

Mental health advocacy and research group Black Dog Institute recommends businesses build mentally healthy workplaces as a buttress against employee ill-health. Their latest report found that strategies to facilitate autonomous work, individual job control, and flexibility prevent stress and enable a positive culture. 

For those that establish sustained organisation-wide strategies, their people aren’t simply healthier. Their employees feel more fulfilled, resulting in higher morale and productivity and strong talent retention. Externally, it translates to an enhanced employer brand and helps attract the very best talent.  

From another perspective, providing opportunities for employees to stretch themselves professionally boosts engagement at work. It starts with designing programs around people. Suggest managers prompt staff to open up about their concepts of significance and purpose to discover their intrinsic motivations. These can be used in targeted talent engagement programs, imbuing purpose into peoples’ roles and deepening their commitment to the business.


Adding TA into the wellbeing equation

Since wellbeing affects TA performance, we propose further action to support talent teams: 

Foster connection
In periods of overwhelm, connecting with others might feel like the last thing one wants to do. But meaningful interactions, however brief, can uplift and motivate people with a sense of belonging. Reach out and connect with candidates and colleagues inside and outside the team. Better yet, find a trusted ear or mentor to lean on when needed. There could be greater similarities or potential solutions than perceived at the outset. 


Optimise process
Simplified TA processes can go far in building predictability throughout the day-to-day and make people’s lives easier. Consistency of practice—enabled by procedures, systems and automation—helps the team maintain confidence in the elements within their control. The benefits are twofold: better job satisfaction for hiring managers and a positive candidate experience.


Befriend data
Nothing could be more critical than leaning on data. Ensuring equitable access to the right kinds of data keeps the TA team aligned and striving toward the north star goal. On an individual level, people feel assured about their efforts to acquire talent. If the metrics slip, they can adjust activities accordingly. Befriending data keeps teams in control. 


Ask for help
When hiring demands increase, as they inevitably do, hold back on loading the TA team with additional requests. Instead, lean on a talent management partner to strategise and execute means and ways of supporting additional hiring. They will ensure immediate needs are addressed and help build the teams' capacity to drive the business forward.

Toward total talent management

Now is the time to regain control over your talent strategy and make work life more fulfilling and impactful for everyone—the TA team included. As seen in this blog series, People & Culture and TA leaders stand before an opportunity to steward organisational change. Answer the call, and impact will be driven across the talent function to redefine what it means to attract, hire, retain and engage talent.

We believe any talent challenge is solvable with the right guidance. Ask Harrier how we can make your vision for total talent management a reality. In partnership, we will transform your talent acquisition strategy and implement change that delivers sustainable improvement. 


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