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In For The Long Haul: Building A Strategy To Attract (And Retain) Talent At Your Enterprise Responding to the demands and expectations of the workforce is a starting point to enhance engagement, productivity, and retention metrics.

By Suhail Al-Masri

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

You're reading Entrepreneur Middle East, an international franchise of Entrepreneur Media.


Managers and recruiters have been using several non-traditional methods to attract and retain talents for years already. They optimized the use of technology such as CV search and job postings, they integrated networking and social media features into their hiring process, they deployed smartphone applications and on-the-go hiring tools, and they've experimented with many other innovative ways to reach a wider pool of talents, and to improve the overall attraction and retention process.

The mandate to hire top quality candidates in the most cost-effective and efficient manner requires exploring new avenues constantly. Businesses are making strides with next-gen tools such as video CV and video cover letter functionalities, AI-powered job recommendations and applicant ranking, and several other revolutionary practices that giant job sites such as Bayt.com are now offering at mass-scale.

It remains true that 95% of MENA jobseekers want companies to engage with them via online job sites, according to the Bayt.com Employer Branding in the Middle East and North Africa poll. But as employers try to reach the widest pool of relevant talent, they are beginning to consider many other factors that impact the hiring process and the ability to retain top talent that complement and bolster the technologies and tools used.

These factors include the need to follow certain hiring standards that can be measured, analyzed, and enhanced; the need to balance push and headhunting activities with a healthy attraction and branding strategy; and the need to maintain a hiring and retention process that is true to the company's vision and values such as increasing diversity in the workforce, creating equal employment opportunities for both males and females, or other similar criteria.

According to the Bayt.com poll, seven out of 10 MENA respondents said the "ease of attracting job seekers" is the main benefit of employer branding. This is one of many reasons why the hiring process has been redefined as a strategic process encompassing activities such as employer branding, which sometimes crosses over between HR and marketing and other departments. An investment in employer branding plays an important role in building a pipeline of top talents who are accessible at the time of vacancies, establishing a unified image of what the company's workplace and typical employee is like, among other significant and measurable outcomes associated with employer branding.

Similar rules apply when it comes to retaining talented and hardworking employees; employers nowadays realize that financial compensation isn't the only thing that people are looking for. A workplace environment that enables them to balance work and life, and provides them with the tools and opportunities to learn and grow are incredibly important. This is why companies need to consider how they are portraying their image to job seekers not only for attraction purposes, but also for retention.

Upper management working collaboratively with hiring managers and recruiters can improve the process of attracting and retaining talents by consolidating the vision of company goals with a vision of a healthy and productive environment. This can be used to define what type of talent a company wants to find (source) and attract (brand for). Subsequently, this will also define what kind of workplace elements, practices, and cultural values are ought to be placed in order to maximize talent retention and growth.

As an example, providing employees with a bright, open space, work environment with lots of customization options aligns with the vision to attract and retain innovative talent. Likewise, companies that provide employees with health-oriented perks and benefits can claim to be a health-conscious work environment that is truly invested in their employees' well-being.

For any organization, regardless of its size or number of employees, it is extremely important to engage talent throughout these processes. Recently, attracting employees hasn't been the only challenging task, but also keeping them motivated and giving them the feeling of responsibility and being part of the big family can be hard as well, given the increasing expectations and demands of each employee in his/her job role.

Responding to the demands and expectations of the workforce is a starting point to enhance engagement, productivity, and retention metrics. Hiring managers spend a significant amount of time and money on finding, recruiting, and training new talents, and then they find themselves repeating the procedure all over again too often due to their inability to retain these employees. Companies can avoid (or at least reduce) these situations and associated costs and create a strong work environment by adopting some of the following practices:


Although many companies offer lucrative monetary compensation and attractive perks, it may still not be enough to retain their top performers. All employees, regardless of their position or responsibilities, have the need to be recognized and appreciated for their hard work on a regular basis. Implementing a strong program for recognizing and rewarding performances doesn't have to cost the company a lot of money. Companies can get very creative in devising ways to recognize and reward their employees, for creative thinking, outstanding performance, innovation, team efforts, loyalty to the company, and other values and achievements that are important to the organization. There is a plethora of options for any budget or any company size. What really matters is having this consistent and clear method of reward and recognition to complement the constructive feedback that you should also provide regularly.


Many talented individuals join and leave their companies simply because they don't feel that their work mattered, or that they had the opportunity to make meaningful changes or work on impactful projects. Management should really ensure involvement with their teams and employees to ensure their productivity is to the maximum. The levels of engagement and participation can vary; however, it can be improved by allowing all individuals to participate by sharing their ideas for making procedures more effective, being involved in brainstorming sessions, or having the option to work on side projects that matter to them. When employees are allowed to do this, with an open-door management policy, they feel more empowered, and have a sense of ownership over their work.


There isn't anyone who does not want to progress in their career. Companies can retain their employees once the threat of getting a better position with a nicer salary at a different company isn't constantly present staring each employee in the face. Even if employees don't have their ideal compensation at the moment, they still want to know that there is a legitimate plan for their career progression at the company. If they feel stuck or that they have no room to grow, then they are easily more convinced to move on and work elsewhere. Part of clear career development is investments in skills development and learning. Many employees leave their jobs simply in search of better career development possibilities and learning challenges. However, this can be off the concerns list if managers try to identify opportunities internally within the organization. This will allow employees to feel that they have the chance to grow and that their long-term commitment to the company matters.


According to the Bayt.com Preferred Work Arrangements in the Middle East and North Africa poll, 85.9% of jobseekers look for companies with "flexible hours." Employers should be working towards creating a flexible working environment that enables employees balance their commitments, but also help them feel trusted and appreciated to manage their work responsibilities and commitments in their own manner. Additionally, creating a positive and friendly work environment will make the employee feel more comfortable to spend eight (or more) hours at the office every week day. There are many situations where employees leave due to their relationship with their manager or colleagues, or because they feel that the environment is hostile or unwelcoming.

These various practices can serve companies very well not only in engaging and retaining talent, but also in developing the ideal employer brand that helps them in their talent attraction strategy building.

Related: The Ultimate Guide To Keep Momentum Up In Your Company

Suhail Al-Masri

VP of Sales, Bayt.com

Suhail Al-Masri is the VP of Employer Solutions at Bayt.com. Al-Masri has more than 20 years of experience in sales leadership, consultative sales, account management, marketing management, and operations management. His mission at Bayt.com goes in line with the company's mission to empower people with the tools and knowledge to build their lifestyles of choice.

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