Retaining Top Talent: What Top Employees Want

Top talent is what every employer hopes to attract and what every employee wants to be, but the question becomes: How do you define “top talent?” And, once you do, how do you retain it? This article digs deeper into defining top talent and identifying strategies for attracting and retaining valuable employees.

Retaining Top Talent

How Do We Define Top Talent?

There are multiple definitions of top talent, but generally, it is defined as business professionals who are both independent and innovative within their chosen field/industry. Individuals who are considered top talent are highly desired employees due to their hardworking and ambitious nature and strong potential to develop into senior leaders. Finding top talent can be like trying to find a needle in a haystack – especially in today’s market – but it’s far from impossible.

Retaining Talent

Highly talented employees are competitively sought after, so inevitably, attracting and retaining talented employees requires a commitment to creating opportunities for growth and development. In addition, retaining key talent is predicated on establishing a workplace where employees want to be. It’s much easier to attract and retain new talent when your company has a favorable culture.
It is important to remember that valuable employees have multiple opportunities to choose from in their field and industry. In order to ensure your company stands out, read through the below list of the top 10 things employees want.

Top 10 Things Employees Want

This list of the top 10 things employees want acts as a reference list for employers interested in attracting and retaining top talent. This list is not exhaustive, but it includes important ideas that should make a company a great place for supporting top talent.

  1. Employees Want to Be Heard

Employers that want to retain top talent must first understand that employees want to be heard in the workplace. Soliciting and applying feedback offered by employees will ensure that top talent feels recognized and valued.

  1. Employees Want to Work for Socially Responsible Companies

Today’s employees want to work for socially responsible companies that not only care about profit but society. Therefore, creating and upholding an actionable mission statement or specific values will assist any company in attracting and retaining top talent.

  1. Health Insurance and Benefits

Too many companies are penny wise and pound foolish by denying their employees health insurance and benefits. However, this can be detrimental to morale and expensive in the long term when it drives higher turnover. To ensure that your company stands out from the crowd, we recommend including an attractive benefits package.

  1. Interesting Work

Highly talented employees do not only care about where they work and how much money they make, but what they do while they work. Companies that offer interesting work opportunities may even snag top talent over companies that pay more but offer less interesting roles and responsibilities.

  1. Opportunity to Learn New Skills

Talented individuals are always looking for opportunities to grow. Companies that want to retain top talent should regularly put employees in situations where they can learn new skills, i.e., training, coaching, mentorship.

  1. The Ability to Do What They Do Best

Recognizing top talent is not enough. You must also put employees’ skills to good use within a company. One of the easiest ways to retain top talent is nurturing the ability to do what they do best by offering a position and potential career paths that are in line with their expertise.

  1. Greater Work-Life Balance and Better Personal Well-Being

As workers begin to focus more on mental health and remote work, there is greater momentum within the workforce to increase investment in fostering better work-life balance and ensuring personal wellbeing for all. In this way, companies can attract top talent by offering opportunities for preferable working hours, environments, and even therapeutic or self-care options.

  1. Greater Stability and Job Security

Offering top talent greater stability and job security will help to ensure that they stay with the company long term. Given the fast pace of technological change in the 21st century and unpredictable nature of work, offering a strong likelihood that your employees will always have a place within the company is highly attractive.

  1. A Significant Increase in Income

Money talks. To attract and retain top talent, offering a significant increase in income potential is an excellent strategy.

  1. The Opportunity to Work for a Company with a Great Reputation

Most people prefer the opportunity to work for a company with a great brand or reputation. It can be beneficial to invest money and resources into becoming one of the top-ranked, well-known places to work within a field or industry.


Recognizing and recruiting top talent is a critical strategy to drive business growth. If you need help filling open roles inside your organization, reach out today. We help top companies find and attract top talent for advisory, strategy, and operations roles.


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Filed Under: consulting recruiting, Leadership & Management