Originally published in HR Daily Advisor

As our world evolves with new technology and diverse people entering the workforce, companies must adapt their recruiting strategy to meet both talent and client demands. The competition for attracting top talent is fierce, but the values of the evolving workplace and workforce must be aligned because clients want a trusted adviser and long-term relationships, as well as.

Employees want flexibility, opportunities to learn and develop skills, and a culture that aligns with their values. By using nontraditional recruiting methods, finding new talent pools, and focusing on culture, companies can expand the narrow hiring criteria to attract and retain talent.

Use Nontraditional Methods

Reframing traditional skills, roles, and working relationships can provide companies with new areas for recruiting. Flexible or remote work relationships serve as other areas of opportunity for finding talent.

For example, Los Angeles-based accounting firm GHJ teamed up with The Mom Project to hire women who will work remotely and thus have the flexibility they need as working mothers. According to The Mom Project, a digital talent marketplace, 43 percent of skilled American women leave the workforce after becoming mothers.

By adopting nontraditional strategies, companies can leverage this community of professionally accomplished women who wish to remain active in the workforce to develop a new talent pipeline.

“Using The Mom Project to find remote workers has allowed us to tap a qualified workforce that is often ignored by traditional recruiting methods,” explains Yvonne Burke, Chief People Officer at GHJ. “We have found that with technology we can seamless integrate employees regardless of their location.”

Companies can also move away from traditional roles or traditional hiring strategies by hiring for culture fit over a specific skill set. Upskilling, or teaching employees additional skills and expanding their capabilities, is an important part of any organization. Upskilling employees allows companies to pull from different backgrounds and serves to attract and develop top talent. Employees want to learn skills that help them succeed in their current role but that also build toward their future careers.

“Outsourcing some transactional tasks can help companies elevate current employees, provide learning opportunities, and offer more strategic and consultative services to clients,” Burke expands.

With this approach, upskilling employees benefits the client, the employees, and the firm.

Culture Attracts and Retains Talent

Seeking out remote hires, nontraditional backgrounds, and roles, as well as providing flexible work hours, not only creates a larger talent pool but also helps embrace diversity and inclusion. Promoting a culture that incorporates diversity and inclusion is a necessary way to attract top talent, and firms are defining their culture even more than before.

A Harvard Business Review article shows that employees at an inclusive workplace are 42 percent less likely to say they intend to leave their job within a year. And 69 percent of women who leave would have stayed at their companies if they had flexible work options.

“Identifying the DNA of the organization and embedding it in our recruiting strategy has been really important for us in attracting and retaining talent,” Burke emphasizes.

Aligning talent and culture aids in creating a cohesive and successful hiring strategy. Simply put, culture attracts and retains talent. Another Harvard Business Review article states that people with a higher-value fit stay longer and perform better than people whose value fits less. This allows companies to find talent who are more committed to the organization, more satisfied with their job, and less inclined to leave.

With this in mind, a staffing firm can create a much more specific profile of the type of person who would fit into the company’s culture. This streamlines the hiring process and aids in retaining and developing talent, reducing HR costs, and supporting employee satisfaction.

Focus on Onboarding and Retention

Traditionally, onboarding has involved a stack of paperwork and a week of administrative tasks, which is a big opportunity for improvement. According to Glassdoor, only organizations with a strong onboarding process improve new hire retention by 82 percent, while many companies stop onboarding after the first week. The reality is that the first year is crucial.

Tapping into diverse employment backgrounds and flexible work gives companies an edge in finding and retaining talent. When companies develop a hiring and recruiting strategy, they must also consider onboarding and retention. Using nontraditional methods needs to be a strategy that is adopted organizationwide.

“Being successful using non-traditional hiring methods involves clearly identifying recruiters in each department, having a fresh approach to onboarding, continuously improving, and not compromising on the company culture and values,” Burke explains.

Building a relationship during onboarding is especially important with nontraditional roles and remote hires. Onboarding should be a major focus for retention and an extension of the employee experience and hiring process. It gives employees the ability to connect and engage with the company, and it gives companies the ability to further define their culture and improve retention. Focus on connection, develop best practices, and have a consistent approach to build a successful nontraditional hiring strategy.

Successful hiring strategies require constant adaptation to meet changing employee and client demands. Hiring diverse talent, providing flexibility to employees, and investing in employee learning help build a company culture that attracts talent.

Staying true to the culture of an organization is key to not only recruiting valuable assets but also retaining them. By expanding the narrow hiring criteria, companies, employees, and clients can benefit from nontraditional strategies.

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Tom Barry

Tom Barry, CPA, believes in building a successful life one day at a time. He does that by leveraging technology to create a flexible schedule that allows him to be a father and husband in addition to fully committing to his career at GHJ, where he has worked since 1997. Tom’s role as GHJ’s Managing…Learn More