Talentor Talk - Talent and Retention Management

by Manto Antoniotti in — February 2023
We are thrilled to welcome Yoni Szpiro, founder of Generations Recruitment, our local Partner in Belgium, to our third Talentor Talk about Talent and Retention Management. Yoni has 22 years of experience in recruiting and founded his company in 2009 with the ambition of changing the perception of the recruitment industry in Belgium.
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We all know that in the current economic situation, where organizations are desperate to find talent that fits their company culture and values and of course, needed skills, we all know that an exceptional talent and retention management is a key factor for companies’ success and advantage to their competitors in terms of human capital.

Yoni, I would like to know why you are having a major focus on Talent management at the moment and what you think why it is now, more important than ever?

As our vision is to change the perception of the recruitment industry, we are convinced that recruitment is not just for matchmaking but we also foresee an analytic view on talent acquisition and talent retention, so when you select candidates it is rather to avoid one for one changes but to see how a person can evolve within the organization. Our mission on the one hand contains to be an anchor for people´s development by offering a sustainable recruitment solution and not just push them into jobs. That is also the beauty of the Talentor network as well that everyone has this kind of vision of recruitment which is a long-term view on how they can be meaningful for candidates and clients.

Talent and retention management are two separate things that cannot go without one another, and talent management is playing a big role in retaining employees.

Can you tell us your impression as well as what you think are the most important tasks and success factors for a company’s talent and retention management?

At first, as a recruitment company, we are an intermediator between clients and candidates and the thing that I think is most important for organizations to retain their employees is to have a vision of where they want to go and how they want to impact the world. The second thing is to acknowledge the role of people and the teams within the organization and their contribution to the organizations’ success. And the most important part is to listen to the people and to create a momentum of talks to create continuous engagement.

You are also working with the G.R.A.M. model as part of talent management. Can you explain how the model works and how it can support organizations?

We created the model called the G.R.A.M meaning Generations Recruitment aspirational model. The reason for creating this model was to understand the underlying factors that push the candidates to move out from the organizations that once they have connected with. We analyzed and we associated ourselves with market research companies to understand the reasons for leaving and one of the key elements on top of their manager was the culture and the sentiment of not feeling aligned anymore and not filling into what the aspirations were. As a matter of fact, most of the people don´t take the time to think about their careers, about themselves, and about what´s important to them and we wanted to help people express what is behind the “I am not feeling aligned with the company culture anymore”. We tried to generate a kind of common language between the candidates and the managers. Hence, it fuels the mission of Generations Recruitment to be meaningful and sustainable and moreover, it helps to rationalize the expectations of the manager on the one side and the aspirations of the candidate on the other side. The support of this tool can be seen on a selection level as it gives a new eye on the candidates’ application and personality as well as on the retention level. We had a guess that people’s aspirations were changing over time and that being the reason why they were coming back to us feeling not aligned anymore but we could not prove it and we saw, by creating this tool, that people´s aspirations evolve over time and in that perspective the idea was to anticipate those changes and to make sure that people were able to speak about it and communicate those and then to act upon it. On the retention side, it helps the organizations to anticipate the frustration that one can have in the working relationships.

With the current labor market situation just offering great development opportunities within a talent management program is not enough anymore. We can see that employee experience is becoming more and more part of how to retain employees and maintain a high-performance level and a culture where employees feel a sense of belonging to their company.

What do you see as key factors for retaining employees and maintaining high performance?

Communication, a clear vision, and to make sure it is not only what´s in it for the company but also for the candidate. Moreover, for the employees to be part of the story and to be impactful and have a positive impact on the organization and on the society as a such. In terms of retention with the current market, which I don´t think will stay like that, we came to a point where organizations need to think about what they want to become in the future and society is actually asking them to make this reflection to see how they want to be impactful in the future.

Furthermore, generating the experience of a human-centric organization and acting as human beings in an organization where even cutting on profit is an option to make sure that people stay as well as having an ethical way of working, that people and the company can be sustainable. This is how we are going to be judged by the next generation – how we act upon difficult situations.

Do you see a trend now in the post covid world that we need to take particularly into account as employers?

We saw people feeling quite isolated from the organization being far away from the headquarter or office and hence, feeling a bit aside and that is why we feel it is important to reconnect humanly with the individual.

Now we talked a lot about what is very important for organizations to keep their employees, but what challenges do you see for organizations in the next years?

Business and the economic situation is going to change. The cost of actually making business is going to be higher and therefore, if organizations want to survive in the future they will need to see how they can do it in such a way that they put the human value back on track. The way we are going to handle difficult situations is going to be written down by the next generations and as already mentioned the credibility takes years to build up but can be gone with one snap. Organizations will have to think about their internal politics and how they want to act very thoroughly.

A major topic discussed in HR at the moment is the new generation Gen Z entering the labor market and their expectations and values. Do you think this will affect companies’ HR strategies and do you think that the need to change is pressuring because of the market situation and the new generations?

Organizations are changing anyway, and they need to already now. It is not necessarily about why we do it but more about the how. So, we need to change and there probably will be a lot of things changing in the next years building up on new value-driven businesses and positive impact businesses. This is why Gen Z is actually quite interesting in the market as they tend to actually shift the way of doing business and engaging a new dynamic.

Although we do have a candidate market at the moment and companies are fighting for good employees rather than employees having to convince employers but it is not a one-way street either.

What do you think are key success factors for individuals in today´s new world of work?

What we see is important for clients and organizations is to have people that are resilient, that are agile, can adapt to a changing world, have the curiosity to learn and to keep on learning, and are able to communicate.

For the end of our talk, I would like to ask you for one advice for organizations and one for every individual in the labor market right now in terms of talent development and retention management.

My advice for individuals would be that When they assess an opportunity to advise whether it makes sense for them, whether it builds up to their career, whether it is aligned with their aspirations and if they don´t know to do the GRAM model on the website. And to feel engaged and to think through if it builds up to the career and what the person wants to contribute to in the future.

For organizations, I would say to think through the how. Just make sure that what they do and how they do it is actually aligned with the values that the company wants to share on the market and within their own building.

Thank you, Yoni, for the great insights. The full talk can be watched here.