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Challenges of Talent Recruitment, Retention Focus of BCW’s Latest Talent Program

BCW’s five-part Talent Tuesday educational series on the new rules for attracting and keeping talent continued with a session on April 18 entitled Getting Them to Swipe Right: The Latest Techniques, Technologies and Tips for Attracting Talent by Rebranding Your Own Company.

Webinar panelists included Ted Birkhahn, co-founder of Hot Paper Lantern; Elena Rivera-Cheek, Founder and CEO of Copy & Art; and Diana Barrera, Founder and CEO of Rebilo HR.

“We know that so much of talent attraction and retention is like the perils of dating and making a good first impression,” said BCW President and CEO Marsha Gordon, who moderated the panel. “According to a recent survey conducted by LinkedIn, 75% of job seekers consider an employer’s brand before even applying for a job.”

Birkhahn began the webinar with a presentation of results from a survey his company conducted with numerous human resources, talent and communications professionals in the retail, manufacturing and hospitality sectors. Among the key findings are that current employees are the “New Influencers” for attracting talent; speed is a competitive weapon; and the need for business leadership to always maintain a recruiting mindset.

“Don’t stop recruiting just because the recruit becomes an employee. There really should be a recruiting mindset, especially in the first six-to-12 months of an employee’s tenure at a company, because that’s when a lot of businesses lose their talent,” said Birkhahn.

Rivera-Cheek emphasized the importance of the workplace environment and the role that an office’s interior design plays in attracting talented employees. “The new office for Copy & Art represents what talent in Westchester might have looked for in the past in Manhattan,” said Rivera-Cheek, whose office amenities include a wellness room with a Peloton machine and a wine refrigerator. “We asked ourselves, ‘How can we bring that experience to Westchester?’”

Barrera said that the upheaval of the pandemic led many employers to realize the cost impact that losing a talented employee can have on a business. Her most valuable lesson from recent years is the value of talent reviews, conversations that management or leadership have about employees.

“A talent review is about, ‘What is the potential of the employee?,’ ‘What can they be one day?,’ ‘What can we do to help them grow?,’ and ‘What roles can they fill in the future?’” said Barrera. “It helps an organization prepare for future vacancies.”

The conversation also touched upon the role of mental health in the workplace; diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives; and the value of internships as a talent pipeline.

The second session of Talent Tuesday is posted on the BCW’s Facebook page. The next Talent Tuesday is on May 2. Click here to register https://us06web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_kf9fwWBbQAqnVZvNv4vulQ#/registration.

Sponsors of the Talent Tuesday program are Balancing Life’s Issues, Thalle Industries, Simone Development Companies and Westchester County Economic Development.

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