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Attracting and Retaining Talent in a Candidate Driven Market and Surviving the Great Resignation

As part of Landing Point’s The Future of Work virtual workshop series – we welcomed the brilliant Lars Schmidt and Joy Sybesma to discuss how to Attract and Retain Talent in a Candidate Driven Market alongside one of Landing Point’s, Partners, Erica White.

It was a lively discussion amongst people leaders and we discussed some of the most important factors to top talent when evaluating job opportunities in this current market and the factors that top talent evaluate when deciding whether to stay at their current company. 

The main buckets discussed were Consistent Communication, Aspiration, and Momentum/Feedback.


To attract the RIGHT talent it’s important to clearly and consistently communicate not just the job responsibilities and what the company does, but the true lifestyle and culture that comes with working at your company and to of course deliver on that promise once people arrive. Interview training should be a consideration now more than ever before to ensure there is consistency in the message of what the job is and how the company is handling RTO plans. 

Below are factors that talent want to learn about in the interview process that we recommend being explicit about and addressing upfront to avoid the cost of the wrong hire (which can be equivalent to 30% of that person’s earnings):

Lifestyle/RTO plans – This has always been a big factor, however, it is at the very top of the list since there is no standard yet. It’s a wide spectrum and somewhat dependent on industry – many asset management firms are erring on the side of wanting people in a full 5 day work week while most companies within the tech sector are opting for more of a flexible or hybrid model, some have gone so far to say they aren’t going back until 2022 or ever again and going the remote first model. This can be a deal breaker for both hiring companies and candidates and is one of the main reasons we are experiencing and about to experience the “Great Resignation” as the year goes on and RTO plans actually go into effect. Those people who align with what their company is doing will stay and those that don’t will leave. 

Lars has created a comprehensive RTO guide worth checking out as well as great insight on the hybrid office model. And Joy has created a guide for CPO/CEOs providing reflection questions to help make the decisions around what type of office situation to return to. When it comes to lifestyle/RTO plans those who lead with empathy will win. Beyond Businessolver’s 2021 State Of Workplace Empathy report, revealed that “68% of CEOs fear that they’ll be less respected if they show empathy in the workplace.” CEOs who fail to lead with empathy are at risk of losing their people. 

Benefits – Benefits were never discussed upfront and usually sent once a candidate was hired, some companies purposely don’t want to share them until they make a hire. After the past year, benefits now hold a ton of weight for top talent and some that are critical and asked about the most:

    • 401K plans – People want to know that they can save for retirement after seeing what can happen when factors are out of their control.
    • Parental leave/general benefits for parents – It’s been particularly hard for working parents this year, parents want to feel supported and no longer will high performing working parents put up with subpar benefits on this front if they don’t have to
  • Mental Health Benefits – Everyone went through their own version of trauma this past year, companies are subscribing to subscription services like the Calm app and offering subsidized therapy services. 
  • Health insurance – This has always been important but after a pandemic, it’s more important than ever to have a competitive plan.

Career development opportunities – If you have a strong mentorship program or L&D program make sure to highlight it in the interview process. High performers want mentorship and want to learn from others/know there will be someone championing their careers and help develop them. While a company can have a great brand name and stability, having the right manager is just as important. 

Stability – If you work for a stable company you should speak to it. After seeing the worst of the pandemic over the past year people, especially those who are in HR/Recruiting are very concerned about the stability of a company. As we all know, if a company isn’t doing well and there isn’t any hiring, Recruiters are the first to go. They are in such high demand now after various layoffs and a surge in hiring, they have the upper hand and companies are willing to pay a premium to get a high-performing recruiter and others. 

DEI – It’s not about just talking the talk, people want to hear about specific examples of DEI programming and I’ve seen it be a make or break factor in top talent wanting to continue an interview process or not. 


The Chief Medical Officer at the Calm App, Dr. Omar Dawood, who we featured in our last virtual workshop on Mental Fitness in the Workplace made a very aspirational statement on LinkedIn that stuck with me: “Let’s STOP talking about returning to normal and instead focus on returning to better!”  

We have all virtually been in each other’s homes, seen each other’s families/roommates, and the “work you” and the “real you” have become one. I think this is a huge step forward for Corporate America and people want to be celebrated for their full selves, not just their work selves. No longer is there such a divide between work/life, it’s all one, work is a massive part of our lives. Most of us spend way more than 40 hours a week working and interacting with our co-workers. I see this is a huge positive and a way for us to encourage people to bring their full selves – if this can be embedded into the culture of a company, it’s a great retention tactic making it feel like less of a separation from life but a positive part of life. As horrible as the pandemic has been, this was a forced silver lining and we should all strive to make the workplace less of an activity to pay bills and more of a way to enrich our lives intellectually, socially, and financially.


Once a candidate is in process it’s critical to keep things moving especially right now as people are getting multiple offers fast! Plus candidates tend to favor those companies that genuinely show interest. Gone are the days of companies trying to play hard to get/waiting weeks to get back to people, top talent value transparency and right now are getting reached out to constantly, to stay competitive – show your interest proudly. You don’t want to go more than a few days without an update to people you are interested in. I’ve seen people take offers or start to lean one way when a company has given them that security throughout the process that they really like the person, it’s just like dating! On the flip end, closure is important too for those you don’t want to move forward with – make sure to close the loop. On the retention side use momentum when prioritizing employees’ ideas and needs. And having a feedback system in place so people know where they stand but are also give an opportunity to give upward feedback. 

The Point: It’s all about being human and being honest in order to attract and retain the RIGHT talent. We are going through a big reset in a tough but ultimately great way. You may lose people but that’s ok too, they may not be the right people, giving a perfect opportunity to hire people that are a better addition to your org. 


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