Move Over Retention, It’s All About Attraction Now

Retention is a key metric for most companies. Particularly when it comes to retaining the top performing people, tracking turnover can uncover problems as well as identify successful practices and managers.

But for how much longer will retention be a useful metric?

Steve Rio, the founder and CEO of the branding and marketing firm Briteweb, believes it’s already past its utility. “Retention is no longer a valid measurement. Instead, we should be focused on attraction, and passion, and affinity.”

Why does he say that? Because the nature of work and the workforce itself is changing, with an ever growing number of workers choosing to freelance, making the ability to attract talent the critical measure.

Speaking to a DisruptHR audience in Vancouver, B.C. last spring, Rio said culture is what makes a company attractive, and what makes it possible for him to manage Briteweb from a “hobby farm” on a small island, 40 minutes by ferry from urban Vancouver.

“Our culture is specifically not a fence. It’s a force field,” he said. “It’s powered by our teams’ affinity towards one another and towards our company purpose. It forms an invisible barrier that protects those within it while creating a magnetic attraction to those outside of it.”

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In another DisruptHR talk, Bryan Clifton described the implications for employers and workers of this transformation, including the critical role attraction will play in a company’s success.

In this talk, Rio outlines what it takes for an employer to have the kind of magnetic culture that will draw in the best talent. Spend the next 5 minutes learning how.

Note: In partnership with DisruptHR, TLNT presents some of the best Disrupt presentations from events across North America and now the world. Disrupt talks are modeled on the TEDx concept: Short, to the point talks on all things HR — talent, culture and technology.

DISRUPT is an information exchange designed to energize, inform and empower people in the HR field.

Founded by Disrupt's CEO Jennifer McClure, events are organized by volunteer teams working with Disrupt staff who assist in the planning. Events have a maximum of 14 speakers, who get 5 minutes and no more than 20 slides for their presentation.

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3 Comments on “Move Over Retention, It’s All About Attraction Now

  1. Sourcing is definitely taking on a different meaning, what with global sourcing and freelance jobs becoming commonplace. This article is on the right track by putting forth the notion that attraction is a better measurement of recruitment success! If you’re attracting the right people in the first place, this should, ideally, lead to better retention. I think focusing on the two metrics wouldn’t hurt. It’s all about the follow up to make sure you are actually attracting the right fits. Geckoboard does a great job with this, for a real-life example:

    Thanks for sharing!

  2. I am seeing more and more organizations pay attention to the attraction strategies they employ. It’s really about taking branding and best practices from marketing and applying them to candidate sourcing. If you message and your candidate experience isn’t tailored to the exact candidate persona you are trying to attract, you will be successful in creating a volume of applicants but not necessarily the quality you need

  3. If you really listen to his presentation. He talks about creation of a magnetic field to attract the kind of people you want to hire. The way you create a magnetic field his by having a magnetic field a place where great people want to work and the first thing great people want is other great team members to work with. To do that you need to put retention before attraction. Without a great team you will not be able to attract and retain the best and even if you can SELL them on joining you team they will not stay. Bluntly you have holes in your bucket. When you focus on retain great team members other great employees want to be on the team. Great retention make great attraction possible.

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