Finding — and keeping — talented employees is a challenge for any business.
But some of the Denver area’s top employers have developed strategies to find and keep the best employees.
Widening the search
Sylvia Guadagnoli, NFT human resources and environmental health and safety manager, says the company, which provides products and services to nuclear, aerospace, automation, and industrial customers, casts a wide net to recruit for positions in Colorado, New Mexico and Connecticut.
The company uses college events and tradeshows to demonstrate engineering, physics, chemistry, and manufacturing work opportunities.
NFT posts jobs on new and popular job sites and women’s advocacy and veterans’ sites to reach a large potential candidate base. It also posts jobs internally to seek employee referrals and plans to start internship partnerships with area colleges, including the Colorado School of Mines.
Bill Clawson, Progressive chief human resources officer, says the insurance company’s remote and hybrid work options allow it to connect with talented people nationwide.
“We’ve found that Progressive’s award-winning culture enables us to remain a top place to work for talent in the ever-changing labor market.”
Anthony and April Lambatos, Footers Catering owners, say hiring in the hospitality industry is tough. They feel fortunate that staff refer potential job candidates.
“Unemployment is very low and our industry is hiring at a rapid pace,” the Lambatoses say. “We feel fortunate that our focus on culture has made hiring significantly easier and our team continues to refer great people when hiring needs arise.”
David Moeai, Brighton Hospice-Colorado administrator, says happy employees are the best recruiters.
“Top performers typically want to work with other top performers, and as such, are happy to spread the word about us. Consequently, referrals from team members account for most of our new hires.”
Colorado’s new wage transparency requirements
Employers say the state’s new requirement to publish wage information in job postings has either made little difference or helped weed out overqualified candidates.
“We haven’t noticed a substantial change in our recruiting efforts,” Clawson says. “Candidates have shared with us that they appreciate the transparency. We’ve always been proud of the competitive pay and benefits we offer, and we’re continuing to attract incredible talent in Colorado and around the country.”
Sandi Mundt, HRMS Solutions marketing vice president, says wage transparency contributes to a better recruiting process and an informed candidate pool.
“Candidates can make an educated decision on whether to continue in the recruitment process if wage information is openly shared. HRMS believes strongly in being transparent with our team members about our business, so why would we not extend the same transparency to candidates?”
The Lambatoses say posting salary information for the catering company is a double-edged sword. While it keeps some overqualified people from applying for entry-level positions, most candidates think they should earn the top rate when the company posts a pay range.
Keeping the best and brightest
“All employees are our best employees,” Mundt says. “We treat our team members with respect and transparency. Our employees are offered competitive pay, a supportive and collaborative work environment, the tools and training to do their job, work-life flexibility and a culture of trust and ownership.”
Todd Narlinger, Madison & Co. Properties founder and owner, says open communication is crucial to employee satisfaction.
“I believe in the open-door policy,” he says. “If you have a question, you have a concern, you need something, just let me know and we will listen and see how we can achieve it.”
West + Main Homes co-founders Stacie Staub and Madeline Linder challenge each other and their leadership team to continue improving.
“We listen to ideas, implement new strategies, and continue to push our industry forward through deep involvement in our associations and communities. We appreciate every agent so much, and make sure that they know.”
Moaei says it’s essential to provide employees with opportunities to grow.
“Every year, we kick off a ‘leadership in training’ program focusing on personal and professional growth. Participants are given projects that stretch them and take them out of their comfort zone. We also promote heavily from within, contributing to our retention efforts.”
Clawson says Progressive focuses on creating an environment encouraging employees to build long-term careers.
“As a result, it is not uncommon to find long-tenured employees and senior leaders who have progressed from more junior roles at the company, including our CEO Tricia Griffith, who started her career at Progressive as a claims representative.”
Employers say it’s also crucial to incorporate some fun.
Lisa McDivitt Bush, marketing director at McDivitt Law Firm, says in addition to offering a hybrid remote-in-office work schedule, competitive salaries, and a robust benefits package, the firm also provides tuition reimbursement and team appreciation events. Plus, it rewards employees with tickets ranging from Denver Broncos, Nuggets or Rockies games to concerts and community events.
The Lambatoses say they focus on keeping employees in positions at the catering company where they utilize their natural strengths.
“We also look for opportunities for them to grow both personally and professionally, recognize the work they do and infuse as much fun as possible.”
For example, the company takes managers on fifth-anniversary culinary learning journeys such as Alaska cruises, a food and wine festival in Turks and Caicos, and a culinary festival in the Bahamas. This year, the company had 42 people participate in the company vacation to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. Employees qualify for a subsidy for the trip based on employment level and pay for the rest.
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