The # 1 Most Important Factor for Attracting & Retaining Top Talent in 2020


The reality of 2020 is that the US is currently enjoying our lowest unemployment rates since the mid 1950’s, and we are unquestionably in a candidate driven market. The demand for good talent is currently exceeding the supply.

Across the country, hiring managers are reporting that it is taking markedly longer to fill key roles, and the potential pool of applicants is much smaller than in years past. High performing employees are being targeted to switch teams on an ever-increasing basis.

In response to this, smart managers should be actively looking at ways to attract and most importantly to retain their key employees.

While different people will place varying degrees of importance on how much they make, how much vacation time they get, commute times, etc. there is one consistent factor that can most accurately forecast if a company will have a relatively stable workforce, or one that is constantly suffering from high levels of attrition. Companies that have a hard time keeping employees also typically have an increasingly difficult time in attracting new employees to join their team.

Having your employees feeling respected, valued and appreciated at work, is the single most important thing that a company can do to ensure a good degree of insulation from having them jump ship at the first opportunity.

In addition, happy employees produce more!

Study after study shows us that there is a direct link between employee satisfaction, and productivity levels.

In  this blog, we’ll share a few unconventional and lesser-known ways to enhance employee satisfaction AND productivity!

Praise Praise Praise!

Tout your high performers success by shouting their praises every chance you get. There are a myriad of ways that you can reward your team that cost next to nothing.  Make a point during weekly meetings to call out different achievements and shine the light on various members of your team. You would be surprised how few managers do this on a consistent basis, and the reality is that high performers are intrinsically motivated to be successful and are driven by receiving public accolades.

Check out this Infographic that offers 8 terrific suggestions on motivating your team for next to nothing.

Offer Flexibility in Work

Offering your team the ability to work remotely dramatically increasing your candidate pool when looking to fill a role, and it does wonders in increasing employee satisfaction. With today’s technology, employees can work seamlessly with co-workers across the country, without missing a beat.

Allow your Employees to Rest

By rest,  we mean giving permission to physically and mentally disconnect from the task at hand. has compiled a list of companies like Google, Nike, Cisco, Thrive Global, and Uber that allow its employees to take 20-minute power naps. It may seem unconventional, but letting your workforce get in some much-needed z’s boosts productivity, retention, and overall performance. You can do this by investing in nap pods, or allocating a room for rest. By offering the opportunity to take a physical break when someone feels the need, you are giving them the respect that people crave, along with a strong message that you trust their judgement and have faith that they will still get the job done.

Add Plants to the Office

This suggestion isn’t as whacky as it seems—after all, a study published by the University of Queensland in Australia revealed that workplaces featuring plant life experience a boost in employee productivity by 15%!

There are a plethora of plants that thrive will minimal care and low light. Some colorful yet low-maintenance plants worth considering include Pothos, Aloe Vera, Swiss cheese plant, Cactus, Bamboo, Cast-iron plant, ZZ plant, Snake plant, and Corn plants.

Permit Employees to Bring Pets to Work

Research carried out by the American Pet Products Manufacturers Association revealed that nearly 20% of all American businesses allowed employees to bring their pets to the workplace. The result? Noticeable improvements in job satisfaction and teamwork. The benefits also included employees experiencing increased motivation and morale.

Play Games!

Studies have shown that taking a break from mentally taxing work and playing  games brings down stress levels and fosters friendship. It also helps employees feel fresh and motivated and revitalizes them for the work ahead. Add to that the tremendous team building rapport that comes with doing games as a team, and it makes sense to incorporate some fun into your work week.

Here is a list of 50 activities to choose from.


Writer Annie Dillard famously said, “How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.”

For many of us, a large portion of our days is spent at work; in fact, the average person will spend 90,000 hours at work over a lifetime. It’s safe to say your job can make a huge impact on your quality of life.

As you can see from the suggestions offered in this article, it is easy to create a positive, enjoyable work environment. Take the time to implement some of these suggestions, and you will reap the rewards by having a workforce that is stable, with low attrition. And as word gets around what a wonderful workplace you offer, the next time you have a hiring need, potential candidates will come knocking at your door, eager to work for you.

Carolyn McClendon is Senior Director of Talent Acquisition for International Search Consultants, a leader in executive recruiting since 1999. Carolyn can be reached via email at or direct dial at 888-974-0086.

Ann Zaslow-Rethaber is President of ISC, and can be reached at or direct dial at 888-866-7276.