Human Resources remain the main asset of any organization, however, it the Talents that drive an organization to success. Therefore, in the absence of good talents, success is far-fetched.

Talent is defined as the sum of a person’s abilities, including intrinsic gifts, skills, knowledge, experience, intelligence, judgment, attitude, character, as well as an ability to learn and grow (Michaels, Handfield-Jones, & Axelrod, 2001: xii)

Every organization seeks to have highly skilled and loyal workers to give the company competitive edge. The competition for highly talented and experienced recruits is as fierce as the competition to gain market share. Companies want to be portrayed as attractive employers for prospective applicants and current employees. Attracting and retaining such people requires constant motivation.

Motivation is not limited to monetary rewards alone. Factors such as organization culture, work-life balance and other fringe benefits; play a crucial role in ensuring motivated workforce. There are a good number of HR practices that MSMEs need to implement to attract the right people. According to Tolulope Kolade-Nwanguma, Deputy HR Manager of Advans La Fayette Micronance Bank, ‘here are some of the strategies we adopt here at Advans Nigeria’:

Internal recruitment: Directly filling top or new position internally gives a sense of ownership to staff and also encourages them to improve their skills and deliver better visible value to their organizations. This way, they stay faithful to the organization and are motivated to do more. This also reduces cost of training and recruitment for the organization since the new hires are already a part of the organization and understand the culture and general work ethics. Advans Nigeria always look internal first to fill top positions.

Work-life balance:  A healthy work-life balance is a determinant to job satisfaction. People spend the major parts of their lives at work but still have the need to make time for other personal things like family, hobbies and so on. Hence, work hours should be communicated and respected and additional work should be at the employee’s discretion.  The annual leave is also a very essential benefit for staff. It prevents employee burnout by providing them with time to rest both mentally and physically, and be able to resume work rejuvenated. We understand this in Advans Nigeria, which is why our leave entitlement goes beyond just annual leave and maternity leave, but includes paternity leave, exam leave, etc.

Organizing retreat and events: This is an extension of work-life balance. Organizing retreats and events occasionally for employees is a great way in helping them take stress off. Retreats and events such football competition, etc. also provide an opportunity for staff bonding which goes a long way in promoting staff retention.

Conducive work environment: Providing an accommodating and work-friendly environment spurs creativity. The work environment consists of the buildings, work tools, furniture, as well as the physical space in which an employee is expected to function. It is essential that the work environment is standardized with an encouraging ambience. Equipped with work tools and resources the employee requires to perform work efficiently and effectively.

Medium of advertisement: As insignificant as this may seem, it goes a long way at determining the type of audience that will respond to your hiring exercise. This is because different people have access to different media, for example, the type of people that would respond to a newspaper advertisement might be different from those that would respond to electronic recruitment advertisements. Today, social media is one of the most versatile and cost-effective ways to reach out to potential candidates, however, we must ensure that the advert is attractive and well detailed enough to attract the desired audience

Referrals from current employees: Referral as a means of hiring, attracts hard-working and committed employees. Research shows that referred employees are generally the best candidates. This is because current employees feel that their reputation in the organization is at stake with the referral, therefore, they tend to make referrals only when they are reasonably confident that these candidates are suitably competent (Robbins & Decenzo, 2004: 174). It is also an inexpensive way of recruiting top talents. On the part of the referring employee, it makes them feel important in the decision making process of the organization, which also serves as a catalyst for retention. Based on this, whenever possible it is a good practice to communicate vacant positions to employees.

Training and development: Creating an avenue for workers to grow and develop themselves career-wise is a strong attracting factor any organization can have. At Advans, we not only give room for employees to improve themselves through on-the-job training, we also go as far as covering the costs of industry-relevant professional examinations and certifications for our staff. This induces a certain level of prestige and improvement in their qualifications

Sound Corporate Governance: according to The Chartered Governance Institute UK & Ireland, Corporate governance is the system of rules, practices and processes by which a company is directed and controlled. Corporate Governance refers to the way in which companies are governed and to what purpose. It identifies who has power and accountability, and who makes decisions. Your processes have to be organised, you should have proper organograms, job descriptions. These things matter to experienced talents.

Positive corporate culture: Corporate culture refers to the beliefs and behaviors that determine how a company’s employees and management interact and handle day to day business activities, internally and externally. Your employees should embody certain traits as members of your organisation. Traits such as mutual-respect, integrity, professionalism, etc.

Feedback: one of the most innate needs of humans is the need to feel heard. You should have an effective feedback mechanism in place in your organization. Employees should feel like they can share their honest but constructive feedback on policies, products, other staff members without being castigated. There should also be a process in place for the review and execution of ideas that are shared  

Finally, if you take care of your employees, your employees will in turn take care of the productivity and revenue of your business. Big brand names are not made in a day. But we must also understand that we can do everything right and the good talents will still need to move on. Don’t take it personally, if you have great organizational structure and processes, even your ex-staff will continue to be ambassadors of your brand wherever they go.

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