Recruiting and Retaining Talent

According to recruiting and retention research by Towers Watson, people are five times more likely to be highly engaged if their organization has an effective Employee Value Proposition.

Compelling corporate values help in both recruiting and retaining talent. This is especially relevant in our current hyper-competitive hiring economy.

Historic low unemployment levels across Wisconsin bring opportunity and challenge. Job seekers have many opportunities to choose from. Employers have challenges recruiting and retaining talent. With every challenge, however, comes opportunity.

Our recent recruiting career fair in Lac du Flambeau drew employee talent from throughout the region. Job seekers were present from Vilas County, Oneida County, Iron County and other communities throughout Wisconsin’s Northwoods.

Early recruiting indicators from this year’s career fair—which featured employment opportunities in retail, construction, hospitality, manufacturing, Tribal Government, health and dental care—saw an increase in job offers. Conversations with prospective employees, however, made clear that they have many options these days.  

This is where our Employee Value Proposition comes in handy. And we believe other employers in the area may benefit from how we are succeeding in differentiating ourselves to attract both Natives and non-Native talent to our career opportunities.

Creative Talent Engagement

LDF Business Development Corporation, for example, implemented some creative elements to its employment experience to help with recruiting and retention. Creating a competitive compensation and benefits package, developing an  employee wellness program, building a supportive team culture, and a distinct Employee Value Proposition all where part of a strategy to make us an employer of choice where people love where they work.

Compensation and benefits are table stakes, however, for employees considering you as an employer. Markets will pay only so much for a given talent. Which means talent decides whether to join—and stay with—your organization based on other factors.

Much has been written about business culture and leadership. One being that people leave people, not companies. In other words, when a company’s total compensation package is within a given market range, people who leave you, leave for reasons beyond compensation. Typically reasons for leaving are related to leadership and culture.

One of our business leadership and culture guideposts is living our Employee Value Proposition.  As part of our commitment to being part of our region’s economic growth, we offer our Employee Value Proposition below for others to see. We’re hopeful other employers in Wisconsin’s Northwoods can benefit from seeing how we built our guiding values below to attract and retain talent.

From a leadership perspective, this is something that needs to be lived each and every day. And, while we are imperfect, we strive to create this atmosphere across our teams. This is our story.

Employee Value Proposition

Most people join us based on what their friends tell them. “They love where they work.”

They hear about rewarding experiences working in finance, technology, retail and construction. They hear about entry level, skilled trades and professional opportunities. They hear we offer competitive wages, benefits and flexible scheduling. But there’s much, much more.

It’s more than a job. You become part of a team built on mutual respect and shared mission and values. Our mission centers on building self-sustaining economic futures for you, for the region, for the Tribe. This economic future is founded on our values: integrity, respect, honesty and ethics.

Our Offer

We provide an enjoyable, energetic, positive, supportive environment. We help each other when things get tough. We share a mutual commitment to success. We connect with each other on a personal level during shared food days, ride-sharing, and other activities. All are welcome here.

Our approach to business provides opportunities for growth through clear expectations. If we know where we’re going, we will find our way there. Expectations protect you against the stress many of us experience when we don’t understand our role in a company.

Our people receive support to build their confidence and a pathway to professional achievement. We believe personal and professional fulfillment comes from knowing how we fit into the organization and how we can help it grow.  

You see, we all depend on each other for success. The BDC depends on our people to help us grow. Our people depend on the BDC to help them provide for their families. This is why we encourage questions and ideas. We believe in ongoing communication. We encourage everyone to constantly look for ways to improve. Then we provide what you need to succeed. Because if you succeed, we all succeed.     

Our Expectations

When you join BDC, the non-gaming economic development arm of the Lac du Flambeau Tribe, we live our shared values together.  

Our attitude is upbeat and positive. We treat others the way we want to be treated. We show up on time. We keep our promises. We constantly seek input on ways to improve in a safe environment where ideas flow without fear of retribution or ridicule and where failures are promoted as learning opportunities for all. Without failure, we are not pushing the boundaries to become better.

We make requests of each other with a deadline to deliver. We accept the deadline or we offer an alternative that works for both people. We believe in never missing a deadline, which proves our reliability to each other. If activities fail to advance our overarching goal, we communicate a better way or reason to shift focus to those solutions that make us better.  

We expect, as you take on more responsibility, you receive more compensation. Our benefits include granting 3 percent of salary into a 401k and matching a percentage of an employee’s 401k participation   as part of a competitive compensation package. We believe you will take home more than money, however. We see our people—every day—develop a sense of pride and achievement in what they accomplish working with us.

If you show interest in working with us, we will work with you to find a mutually beneficial role for you within BDC.

Food for Thought

I’m hopeful the Employee Value Proposition shared above helps your organization take that next step in differentiating why employees should join—and stay with—your organization.

Darold Londo is CEO of LDF Business Development Corporation (LDFBDC.com). An LUHS graduate, he earned degrees from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (MBA) in Troy, N.Y., and UW Law School.