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  • Writer's pictureCrescent Communications

Fighting the War on Talent

Turning Talent into our Competitive Advantage

Too often, traditional talent management—no matter how well-executed—fails to offer a competitive advantage. The key, especially during this war on talent, is creating a talent experience. Some organizations will treat their talent as a renewable resource, coming out and through the pandemic. In contrast, other organizations will be left behind.

Have you seen the recent employment headlines?

"Companies struggle to find, retain workers in a hot economy" - Forbes.

"It's never been this hard to find qualified and motivated workers" - Wired.

"Lack of training opportunities leads employees leaving their job." - Society of Human Resource Management.

"Lack of Career Development, a key reason for employees leaving their jobs." - Business Insider.

"Companies are failing at re-skilling, and therefore cannot attract and retain talent" - Wall Street Journal.

This is what full employment looks like. We are all finding ourselves at a place where almost everyone who wants a job can find one. Yet, the unemployment rate was 4.1% in December, leaving employers like Crescent struggling to attract and retain good people. Many companies, including Crescent, have boosted pay, added vacation days, and even lowered minimum age requirements, but they still face the exact recruiting and retention struggles. Why? Our retention data and the employment market data show that candidates accept job offers that offer the same thing companies are reaching for, growth!

We all agree that growth is crucial to long-term survival, and you know what growth does? It attracts and retains talent. People are the single most important investment any business makes, and therefore are the deciding factor in whether a company fails or succeeds. So the best retention strategy is to stay in touch with what your people are thinking and what they want-- starting their first day.

So, what do we do now? In reviewing the recent United States employment statistics, here is what we found. First, a strong learning culture increases retention 30–50% and attracts talent 62% more than employers who don't. Second, 74% of people leave organizations if the company fails to onboard them properly in the first 90 days, and 76% of unemployed and employed people are looking for jobs that offer them opportunities to develop within their careers. Third, in today's fast-changing business environment, ​Millennials, Gen Zers, and even some baby boomers, fundamentally think about jobs as opportunities to learn and grow, not just put food on the table. We are recruiting in a new world.

It's evident that investing in onboarding and ongoing training is essential to attracting and retaining talent; people feel more valued, better understand their role, and increase their productivity and performance. At Crescent, we are making strides and have shifted much of our focus to how we onboard, orientate, and build growth and development into our business. With companies throwing out money, more opportunities to grow, and perks and benefits, the market becomes tighter and tighter. When people experience poorly planned and executed initiations to a company's team, they are being communicated that this is how it will be for the duration of their career. With today's job market, they have choices, making leaving organizations easier than before, especially when everyone is hiring!

For Crescent, transforming labor into talent means we need a people base ready to do new kinds of work, filling roles that are just emerging, and adapting existing jobs to integrate more data, new skills, and reinforce old ones. Employers are still trying to master the challenge of mapping the skills of their current workers, identifying the skills required of their future workforce, and filling the gaps between the two. When many companies figure out who they need, it's often too late to invest the necessary time and money into training. As people leave, new and skilled talent may not be there. Blue-collar wages have risen on average only 5.5% since 2003. With the cost of living growing over 29%, attending a university or community college is not radar for many people. Therefore, many are looking to learn and grow with their employers. We have created Crescent University to respond to the skills gaps within our industry and anticipate the war on talent! Our new learning management system will provide and prescribe training opportunities for people to learn, grow and develop while addressing needed skill gaps!  Crescent University can be accessed by all people, anytime and anywhere, by phone, tablets, or within our operations. In addition, crescent University offers people microlearning programs short enough and achievable enough to learn fundamental skills that both they and Crescent get a return on investment.

People want to grow with Crescent, and they want the opportunity to better themselves and others. Therefore, crescent University comprises on-demand e-learning courses and various learning methods and programs, such as our Progressive Leadership Clinic (PLC). The PLC is a once a month One on One leadership session with our off-site industrial-organizational psychologist who focuses on helping our people develop into leaders, fine-tune their leadership and strengthen their leadership toolbox. In addition, the Reflected Best Self (RBS) Program has offered our people the chance to develop and train others. The RBS program is a peer-to-peer mentor program designed to help people identify and understand their unique strengths and talents while opening up the opportunity to see how we can be better selves and better leaders for our teams. Through these programs, our people have learned how to deal with their emotions and understand how continuous improvement principles like Kaizen help boost performance; our people are becoming mentors and leaders armed with the tools to grow in competency and potentially take on a new role with Crescent.

"I took the effective communication course, and understanding the seven C's of communication is going to help me become a better leader."  "I struggle with stuff like this (How to deal with difficult people seminar), so it was nice to have a discussion and the scenarios to work with. Tasha made it easy to understand. I will be using the stuff I learned moving forward." "I like that Crescent is taking the time to invest in me. If you are not progressing, you are regressing! " "I think the reflected best self-program is amazing; there are so many things I have learned about myself in the last few months; if I am going to take the next step in my career, then I need to focus on being open to learning new things and watch my self-talk... I am glad that Crescent has provided this opportunity to me."

Crescent University was recently awarded by ALIGN, BizLibrary, as a finalist for 2021's Best

Program of the year; with comments like those from our people, we are sure we are on the right track to win this talent war. If we give people the opportunity to learn something new or to show their craft, they will provide you with their best work. The magic is giving all people the opportunity to learn and grow, even in today's labor market.

Without continual growth and progress, words as improvement, achievement, and success have no meaning. As companies transform themselves, they often find it challenging to attract and retain the talent they need. We are pleased to say that Crescent is ahead of the curve. From orientation, onboarding to assessments and recognition, we will offer people pathways to professional and personal improvement as they help turn labor into talent and grow our People to provide a path forward for our Key Customers, strengthening their competitive advantage.


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