A CEO’s Advice for Engaging & Retaining Talent in DFW’s Booming Job Market

Bronwyn Allen, CEO | High Profile

As a business owner, one thing that is always top of mind is how to effectively engage employees to ensure a healthy company culture and employee retention. I joined High Profile in its first year of business, and in my 36 years with this company the US economy has experienced multiple recessions and the unprecedented effects of a pandemic. In the wake of COVID and “The Great Resignation,” the job market in Dallas-Fort Worth has exploded and the competition for talent is tighter than ever. DFW has the 4th largest concentration of Fortune 500 companies in the country (24), and last year 170,000 people relocated to the region, making Dallas the leading metro area in population growth in the country.

Candidates are taking many more factors into account when exploring new opportunities; these include work-from-home capability, development opportunities, and company culture. Ping Pong tables and catered lunches are no longer sufficient measures for “company culture.” It’s crucial that employers invest in developing their workforce.

In the emerging skills gap, candidates want to work for companies that value their professional growth and prepare them for the future. Interestingly, 87% of companies either currently have or will have a skills gap in the next few years; however, only 40% of employees say upskilling is happening in their company (McKinsey Report). So how does “professional development” help companies and candidates combat the skills gap?

Professional development is a broad term comprising of skill development, network establishment, credentials, and more. Below are a few ways High Profile aids our employees in their professional development:

  •          Leveling Up the Skill Set: obtaining applicable certifications and credentials
  •          Investing in Personal Development: strengthening “soft skills” and continued education
  •          Building a Network: joining professional associations, boards, and networking groups, connecting with friendly competitors to share best practices, and internal & external mentor programs for growth and development

A great option for upskilling your employees is investing in their professional knowledge through appropriate certifications. According to HR professionals, the most in-demand “hard” skills are strategic thinking and analytics, digital communication, and project management. Research credible certifications and  continuous education programs your employees can utilize to keep their technical skills current and help impact your organization.

Technical skills aren’t the only “skills” where employers are seeing the gap. About 50% of HR professionals surveyed believe jobs require more soft skills now. Soft skills, also known as “people skills,” are foundations for leadership skills that enable people to communicate effectively and build relationships. A useful way to help your team upgrade their soft skills is analyzing their strengths through assessments and understanding the results (Gallup and Predictive Index to name a few). Additionally, there are numerous programs that help employers understand how to put employee’s strengths to use in their role, and on their team (we’ve partnered with a wonderful local company, Rethink Results).

When it comes to building a professional network, there are so many established groups and associations to join. The key to identifying a valuable networking opportunity is relevance and consistency. The group should be related to your interests or industry/profession and meet on a regular basis. Local Chambers of Commerce are also a great avenue for identifying networking groups! Another great option for building a diverse network is identifying groups that focus on a diverse range of professional and educational topics, not those just focused on your specialty.  Two wonderful local groups, First Friday Book Synopsis and Success North Dallas, meet once a month to discuss different workplace topics.

At High Profile, our team is dedicated to helping your people reach their true potential, and we believe these components are vital in engaging and retaining your current talent and in recruiting top talent to your organization. We’d love to help you find your next great hire – call us today! 

Bronwyn Allen, CEO & President of High Profile Staffing
Bronwyn Allen began her career with High Profile as a Recruiter in 1987. In 2000, Bronwyn was made president of the company, and was promoted to CEO and President in 2015. 
During her tenure as president and CEO, the company has won numerous awards including Dallas Business Journal’s Best Places to Work, Dallas Chamber’s Employer of Excellence, DFW SMA’s Recruiting Team of the Year, and most recently was one of five companies considered for North Dallas Business of the Year.
Bronwyn is a sought-after speaker for industry events covering topics such as “Employee Engagement and Retention”, “Maximizing Your Potential” and “Creating a Culture for Success”. She has held board positions within the Dallas Human Resource Management Association, the Texas Association of Personnel Consultants, and recently served 3 terms as a board member for Girls, Inc. of Dallas.

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