Attracting and Retaining Talent Through Innovation

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In today’s competitive climate, innovation plays a crucial role in attracting and retaining the best employees and is critical for sustainable success. Panelists from some of the most innovative companies in North Texas gathered together for a roundtable discussion to discuss effective strategies to attract not only today’s top talent but also the workforce of the future. The roundtable discussion was a partnership between Bank of America Merrill Lynch and the Frisco Chamber of Commerce and took place on Tuesday, July 23, 2019, at the Dallas Cowboys World Headquarters. Panelists included Andrea Albright, Bank of America; Michael Howard, Parkhill, Smith & Cooper; Roxy Verrelli, UNT at Frisco; Jeff Smith, Omni Hotels; Christal Howard, Community Impact Newspaper; and moderated by Tony Felker, President/CEO of the Frisco Chamber of Commerce. “Frisco and this whole area are doing amazing things,” shared Tony Felker as he began the discussion. “There is a lot of growth here and, as we are talking to different companies, the number one thing that people are talking about is being able to find great people and retain strong talent,” Felker mentioned that an average of 27 people are moving into Frisco per day. Felker asked the panelists to expand on a few questions regarding today’s workforce. Is workforce that much of an issue and why it is critical right now? Will robots replace jobs? Do attraction and retention look differently to different industries such as the construction and service industries? With four generations in the workforce, the panelists agreed that there were undoubtedly changes in what Generation Z and Millennials looked for in jobs and what it would take to attract and retain these demographics. In the next ten years, approximately 70% of the workforce will be Millennials and Gen Z. “It’s the generations coming in that are changing the way we do business,” shared Andrea Albright of Bank of America. “Millennials and Gen Z, individuals who have grown up with technology more than any other generation, don’t want to do things that can be done faster [with technology]. There are simple processes that they don’t want to spend their time or brainpower on.” That’s where AI and robots come in, freeing up these individuals to focus on higher-level and more creative tasks. It was evident that talent is out there, but the job market is highly competitive, and companies have to be innovative regarding workforce attraction and retention. Several recent news articles have cited that the biggest challenge to the growth of the Texas economy is a limited workforce. “We can’t just post an incredible job and expect people to line up at the door; we have to think out of the box in the way that we develop our culture and make our company attractive,” said Christal Howard of Community Impact Newspaper. Education looks different too! “In the world of education, we need to think about how we can create degrees that are robot-proof by bringing project-based learning to the classroom,” explained Roxy Verrelli, expanding on innovative programs being offered at UNT at Frisco. While innovative benefits such as stand-up desks, baristas, and bringing your dog to work can be great perks, attraction and retention boil down to people and relationships. A company that has a culture that blends humans with technology and understands the need to invest in an employee’s growth will be the most likely to attract and retain top talent.

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