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Look Beyond the Job Title: Proven Strategies to Recruit and Retain the Right Talent for Your Business

Michigan is facing a talent crisis. In 2017, 36 percent of college students left the state within a year of graduating. Employers need strategies for attracting and retaining qualified talent, and they need them now.

On Thursday, Sept. 27, the Detroit Regional Chamber hosted its Attracting and Retaining Top Talent Lunch to address common talent challenges. Three regional experts took the stage to offer employers strategies on the latest talent-drawing tips and trends.







Dan Ngoyi, director of talent acquisition for Quicken Loans Family of Companies, spoke on his company’s recent rapid growth and recruitment strategies. In 2012, Quicken Loans had 250 interns. In 2018, the company has 1800 interns from all 50 states. When asked how the organization keeps pace with its talent needs, Ngoyi referenced “authentic storytelling.” “Talk about the good, the bad and the ugly of your business when recruiting. Be 100 percent real.” Ngoyi said. “If you don’t own your brand’s story, someone else will.”

Following Ngoyi’s comments, Workit Health CEO Lisa McLaughlin shared hiring strategies that worked for her small business. She attributed her company’s success to two factors: “understanding the why” and “training up” the best leaders.

“Do your employees understand why they do the work they do? Do they love their jobs? If not, these may not be the best employees for your organization,” McLaughlin said. “And when you think you have the best talent, how do you keep them around? Train them up. Encourage employees to take ownership and pride in their work and incentivize them to continue moving forward within the company.”

Marcus Collins, chief consumer connections officer for Doner, closed out the individual sessions with a powerful message on why diversity in the workforce should remain at the forefront of recruiters’ minds. “Taking perspectives from different people helps us change our own perspectives,” Collins explained. “Diversity provides a bonus to any business. It helps you solve problems by approaching them from another angle.”

After their individual sessions, the speakers participated in an audience question and answer session. The questions focused on:

  • “How can we re-envision our organization to make it an attractive place for young professionals?”
  • “How can we help middle-aged people who are seeking a career shift to find a job they will love?”
  • “When hiring diverse talent, how do we know when a potential employee is simply ‘too disruptive’ to the company’s culture?”

Panelists responded with a unified message: Know your company’s culture and hire to fit the culture. Be honest about your brand. Be real. And consider hiring based on potential rather than experience alone.

“People are more than their job title,” Collins reiterated. “Every person brings with them the potential to introduce new ideas and perspectives to the job. Employers must look beyond resumes and start investing in their potential employees or suffer the financial consequences.”

This event was sponsored by Chemical Bank.

The Detroit Regional Chamber recently launched the region’s first talent attraction and retention platform, to showcase the region to young talent. Businesses are encouraged to include this platform in their onboarding processes and talent outreach message. Visit or contact Sarah Craft at for more information.