The talent pool: Floaties recommended

Finding and keeping quality talent continues to be a top concern for companies of all sizes. For small businesses, the challenge is that much more daunting because we are often competing against much larger organizations with vast resources and brand recognition. It’s metaphorically like treading water in the deep end of a pool, or in some cases, the unfriendly seas!  

Also, let’s face it, The Great Resignation is expected to be an issue for employers for the next several years. According to a recent article from Forbes, three fields of thought exist on this topic: 1) With virtual interviewing and remote work being widely accepted, it’s easier than ever to switch jobs; 2) There is a cyclical nature of generations within the workforce as Boomers retire, Generation X approaches retirement in five to 10 years and Generation Z fills those vacancies; and 3) Because of the pandemic, many employees’ philosophical perception has changed altogether whether it be life-work balance or mental health.*

Employers are discovering that the recruiting and retention tactics of old are no longer working. The time has come to innovate and evolve! 

Following a recent HORAN GROW Series event, “Talent Pool Party,” presented by David Velie from AMEND Consulting, we wanted to share the top takeaways to help you stay afloat as you face the battle for top talent:

  • Begin to think about your recruiting strategy as a marketing exercise, not a human resources process — or better yet, turn this strategy over to your marketing team or a consulting firm.
  • Always begin with the following questions: “Why would a prospective employee want to work here?” and “How does the job benefit the person?” This will help your organization hone in on its core selling points and what makes it truly unique.
  • All organizations should be leveraging social media to recruit. However, this is a “slow-bake” tactic that will not produce immediate results — it often takes six to 12 months.
  • Evaluate all of your benefits, not just your traditional insurance offerings. 
  • Adapt your workplace to make it more attractive: What’s going to incent the employee to ditch the sweats and come to the office? This can include flex-space, personalization, toys, collab zones or features that show off your workplace culture. 
  • Consider developing a retention plan for your top 20% of high performers to keep them at your organization — this may include compensation, benefits, development opportunities, and more.
  • While employee surveys are a great way to obtain feedback related to benefits, culture, policies and so forth, make sure you ACT quickly regarding the results of that survey. Otherwise, it can backfire and create mistrust amongst the staff.

In the words of Albert Einstein, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” What worked in the past is no longer working in the present, so do not be afraid to think outside the innertube as you market your organization to prospective talent. And trust that, as crazy of an idea as it may be, I’m certain someone has tried it before. The ultimate reward? You reel in a superstar that brings fresh ideas, ambition, leadership, and all of those other wonderful employee qualities we dream about for many, many years to come.

*2022 Forbes article entitled “Predicting How, When Or If ‘The Great Resignation’ Will End”

Headshot of Lauren E. Peter

Lauren E. Peter

Director of Operations, HORAN Emerging Business Advisors


HORAN is a Goering Center sponsor, and the Goering Center is sharing this content as part of its monthly newsletter, which features member and sponsor articles.

About the Goering Center for Family & Private Business

Established in 1989, the Goering Center serves more than 400 member companies, making it North America’s largest university-based educational non-profit center for family and private businesses. The Center’s mission is to nurture and educate family and private businesses to drive a vibrant economy. Affiliation with the Carl H. Lindner College of Business at the University of Cincinnati provides access to a vast resource of business programing and expertise. Goering Center members receive real-world insights that enlighten, strengthen and prolong family and private business success. For more information on the Center, participation and membership visit