Hiring the right people is a perennial hot topic of business books, as is employee motivation. Not many books, however, present an integrated plan that addresses hiring, motivating, and keeping the best employees.
Attract, Engage & Retain Top Talent is a comprehensive guide to all three parts of the equation. It covers such topics as identifying talent requirements for key roles, being a talent magnet, employee engagement techniques, and on-boarding (“the process by which companies enable new employees to connect to their new jobs”).
The book is logically presented and well written. Although it generally offers information that may be available elsewhere, Attract, Engage & Retain Top Talent does include some unique insights. For example, the authors emphasize the importance of the “employment brand,” a topic rarely covered in other books about hiring. They stress the need to be aware of both the external (publicly marketed) and internal (employee-related) brand: “A company with an outstanding employer brand is one whose internal brand matches its external brand. This means that the value proposition the company defines is mirrored by the actions of employees at all levels on a consistent basis.” This is a welcome and valuable addition to a discussion on attracting and hiring the right kind of employees.
Another key area explored in the book is the responsibility of the employer to create a healthy workplace that is free from divisiveness and intimidation. A section on retention practices addresses such topics as sustaining “a climate of respect and inclusion,” encouraging “wellness in the workplace,” and not permitting “disengaging behavior.” These chapters provide employers with strategies to structure a work environment worthy of good employees.
Authors St. Aubin and Carlsen are human resources management and corporate training professionals. The strategies they present are actionable, and the advice they provide is credible and based on decades of experience. They use relevant examples and offer resources for additional reading at the end of each chapter.
As promised, Attract Engage & Retain Top Talent does indeed present “50 plus one” strategies. Curiously, the “plus one,” which addresses retention throughout the employee life cycle, is the first chapter. It would perhaps have been more useful as a closing chapter to sum up the book’s content.
Attract, Engage & Retain Top Talent is a handy guide to one of the most challenging aspects of owning a business—hiring and retaining the best people. Because the book is structured around fifty strategies, it cannot offer in-depth analysis of any one topic. But for a business manager seeking an overview of best practices in personnel development, Attract, Engage & Retain Top Talent will more than fit the bill.
Also available in hardcover dust jacket version, ISBN 9781438924106.
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