How to attract and retain top talent

women on tablet

We know from our research that professionals value career progression when assessing whether to move jobs. How you communicate career progression to professionals could determine the success of your search for the best candidates. 

We surveyed job seekers and hiring managers, and here are our tips for promoting career progression during the recruitment process. 


Mention it in your ads

Our research showed fewer than four out of ten (37%) job advertisements mention career progression, even though 95% of professionals said it would encourage them to apply to the job. Professionals place a high importance on career progression so explaining your company’s pathways to progression is just as important as other aspects of a role.

Don’t overpromise

Overpromising and under-delivering not only disengages staff, it also damages your employer brand and reputation. Being honest about what you can offer, what professionals joining your company can expect, and following through on progression opportunities will ensure you select the right professional and retain them for longer. 

Education is key

Career progression doesn’t have to mean a promotion. Education and training are the most sought-after career progression initiatives. Over 95% of Gen Y, Gen X and Baby Boomer professionals said that ongoing learning was important to them. Our findings show that organisations recognise this; however, it’s important that they offer the right kind of education and training. Make sure that it:

  • Provides something new. Professionals want to be challenged and learn new skills
  • Is relevant to the role, something that the professional can apply in their working lives and helps them to progress their skill sets
  • Is a good investment for your organisation. It has to deliver added value to the company in the short or long term

More money is a short term fix

16% of respondents said they would only stay for up to a year and 58% said between one and two years if they were given a pay rise but nothing else.

A higher salary will only keep employees engaged for another two years at most. Talented professionals are more likely to be driven by a need to feel engaged and challenged. Increasing someone's salary is a short term solution if they are feeling unmotivated. 

Accept that you will lose employees

From time to time you will have to face the prospect of losing valued team members. Take it as an opportunity to nurture new talent who will make their own mark on the business, and make sure you articulate the career progression prospects throughout the recruitment process. This will help you attract the best qualified professionals for the role you are trying to fill.


We spoke to over 1,400 job seekers and 350 hiring managers to obtain our findings. Read more about our research in the whitepaper.

Looking for efficient ways to retain the best people on your team? Read our top tips here.