Acquiring and Retaining Talent Takes on Added Importance Post-Pandemic

Press Release: February 1, 2021

CLAREMONT, CA—As the world begins to rebound from COVID-19, a major re-think of talent strategy is happening in the top-performing companies, according to The Society for the Advancement of Consulting® (SAC). A closer connection to strategy, customization for top talent, revitalized rewards, and increased use of data analytics are all underway now.

Revitalize Your Reward, Recognition, and Accountability Systems

“Executives must be an employer of choice to retain and attract top talent during and post COVID,” points out Lisa Anderson, president of Claremont, CA-based LMA Consulting Group, Inc. and manufacturing expert known for creating supply chain resiliency. “As employees have additional choice and are rethinking career paths, they will flock to leaders and opportunity.”

“Normal is gone,” says Anderson. “On the other hand, as executives look to the next normal, they must re-think in-person, virtual, and hybrid models, and rethink how they’ll create engagement, foster collaboration, and monitor progress to objectives in this new environment. The most successful organizations that attract top talent will have clear accountability systems as well as reward and recognition programs.”

Customization is a New Magnet for Talent

“The pandemic has allowed professionals to step back and determine if they really like what they do,” says Kathleen McEntee, President of Kathleen McEntee and Associates, Ltd, (KMA), a full-service marketing firm that provides companies with expert support in reaching their target markets with the right message, through the right media, for the greatest impact.

“Many professionals have assessed the effects of their workload, their employer’s support, and their individual contributions,” adds McEntee. “While some have had to scramble due to a job loss, the silver lining of the pandemic has been time to assess their skills and how these fit with their personal goals.

“There is considerable movement in the workplace with a shortage of professionals,” she explains. “Employers need to understand what motivates top performers and what they consider to be success. One size no longer fits all. Employee experience needs to be customized, like customer experience has been personalized. Technology advances require professionals to be in constant learning mode. It’s about the right fit—for the employee and for the employer.”

The Need for Kind Leaders

“There’s no question that 2020 was a year like no other. Most leaders and managers are eager to put it behind them. Yet, we’re not out of the woods,” says Dr. Maynard Brusman, a San Francisco Bay Area consulting psychologist and executive coach. “A culture of kindness will make the process easier.”

According to Dr. Brusman, “Researchers have found that kindness is associated with better and stronger physical and mental health; relationships, teams, and communities; life satisfaction, and even economics. Kind managers increase morale, decrease absenteeism, and are better able to attract and retain talented and beloved employees.”

Dr. Brusman advises his executive coaching clients to ask if their organizations are led by kind leaders. Work to improve the lives of others as a servant leader. How? First, cultivate feelings of kindness with empathy. When kindness is our North Star, compassion, generosity, and forgiveness become natural, and spread exponentially, reinforcing your employees’ self-worth.”

Dreams Still Drive Top-Achievers

“In the past month, I’ve noticed a significant uptick in the number of people on LinkedIn announcing the acceptance of new positions,” points out Roberta Matuson, president of Matuson Consulting, MA-based strategic talent firm Matuson Consulting, and author of six books, including Evergreen Talent: A Guide to Hiring and Cultivating a Sustainable Workforce. “I’m seeing this trend with my private coaching clients as well. Most of these people are currently employed.”

“I’m advising my corporate clients, who are looking to retain their superstars,” Matuson explains, “to have a conversation with their people and ask them three questions. What were your hopes and dreams when you took this job? Do you feel you are getting closer to achieving those dreams? And how can I help? Then take action.”

Talent Retention Requires Autonomy with Action

“Whenever possible, encourage autonomy,” advises Diane L. Garcia of Lorraine Consulting, LLC, an expert in operations and supply chain management. Diane applies cutting edge supply chain optimization knowledge and implements best practices with manufacturing and distribution companies in North America.”

“Ask employees for new ideas to develop key business processes,” explains Garcia. “Encourage them to take improvement actions and control around their day-to-day activities. The more this mindset is a priority, the happier your employees will be. That means they are more likely to stay put. Word will spread.”

Global Companies are Getting Predictive and Personal

“Talent tracking in global companies is vital,” says Steven Hunt, of Steven Hunt & Associates, an expert in global leadership and accelerating collaboration in international companies. “In most large corporations, the talent is already there but it’s not being tracked.”

“Global companies already do an excellent job of tracking their inventory,” Hunt points out. “The best companies track their top talent, too, using a mix of predictive data analytics and personalized, one-to-one contact. These companies already retain more top talent than underperforming competitors, which cuts both recruitment time and costs.”

Be the Company Where Employees Want to Work

“Now, more than ever, it’s critical for companies to ensure they clearly communicate their brand promise to employees and potential hires,” says Linda Popky, president of Redwood Shores, CA-based strategic firm marketing firm Leverage2Market Associates, and author of the book Marketing Above the Noise: Achieve Strategic Advantage with Marketing That Matters.

“Great employees want to be associated with great employers. It’s not just creating a strong brand statement, but ensuring that the organization is clear about how they live these values on a day-to-day basis,” she notes. “That includes articulating how the company is committed to supporting employees through the turbulence that is sure to continue through 2021 and possibly beyond.”

The New Way Starts with What

“The first order of business is to decide WHAT talent you want to retain or attract or both,” says SAC Founder Alan Weiss, PhD. “Pre-pandemic strategies are as worthless as coal burning furnaces. Create your new, relevant strategy first.”

About SAC

The Society for the Advancement of Consulting (SAC) is the premier association for independent consulting professionals who subscribe to an industry code of ethics and provide significant consulting results among their clients. Founded by Million Dollar Consulting guru Alan Weiss in 2003, SAC offers a series of in-person and online programs to help consultants share best practices and learn from industry experts and thought leaders in the business world. SAC today has members in 40 countries around the world.

For more information, go to, email, or call (909) 563-1803.