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B2B Talent Acquisition & Retention: Top Challenges & Trends You Must Know

Aiswarya Madhu
February 16, 2023 |
B2B Talent Acquisition & Retention

In order to remain competitive in today’s business landscape, it’s important for companies to keep up with the latest trends in talent and distribution. The recent trend of a “re-shoring” of manufacturing and distribution jobs has been a major driver behind this change.

In fact, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, over 6 million jobs were lost at domestic manufacturing facilities between 2000 and 2010. This trend is also reflected in the skills gap that exists across many industries today — as companies compete for talent acquisition & retention, they are finding it more difficult to attract and retain top performers due to an increase in competition for top talent.

Why Talent Acquisition & Retention is a Challenge in Distribution?

The business world is ever-changing, and with that comes new challenges for companies in all industries. One of the biggest challenges companies face today is employee retention. In the past, employees would stay with a company for their entire career. However, that is no longer the case. Employees now switch jobs frequently, and it can be a challenge for companies to keep them.

There are several reasons why employee retention is a challenge in the business world today. First, there is a lot of competition for talent. With so many companies competing for top talent, employees can easily switch jobs if they are not happy with their current situation. 

Second, the distribution of talent is becoming more global. With the internet and technology making it easier to work remotely, employees are no longer tied to one location. They can easily work for a company based in another country. 

Finally, the workforce is becoming more diverse. With baby boomers retiring and millennials entering the workforce, companies are dealing with different generations with different expectations.

  • One of the biggest concerns is that the number of new employees entering and leaving the company is high. There are many reasons for this. For instance, some employees may leave because they have been promoted to other positions or want to take on new challenges. Others may leave because they feel that their skills are not being utilized and they want to go somewhere where they will be able to use them more effectively.
  • The second reason for employee retention challenges in distribution is that there are changes occurring at all levels of the organization, including senior management levels. This can cause confusion and uncertainty among employees who do not know how these changes will affect their own jobs or careers within the company.
  • The third reason for employee retention challenges in distribution is that it’s difficult for new employees to find their way around the office or learning about how things work within companies since there can be lots of new systems and processes being implemented at any given time.
  • Another reason for employee retention challenges in distribution is that it’s difficult for employers to provide adequate training because there are so many different job functions within companies today, making it difficult for managers to set up classes based on specific job functions 

Despite these challenges, companies need to find ways to retain their employees. 

At DCKAP Summit 2022 we spotlighted talent distribution trend and other B2B eCommerce strategies, including insights from Bharani Nagarathnam, Associate Professor Texas A&M University.

Talent Acquisition & Retention Is Important For Several Reasons

The business-to-business (B2B) sector is vital to the success of the U.S. economy, accounting for $5.8 trillion in annual sales and employing more than 23 million workers. The sector includes a wide range of industries, from manufacturing and construction to professional services and information technology.

Despite its importance, the B2B sector has been largely overlooked by policymakers and the media. This is starting to change, however, as more people are beginning to realize the crucial role that the B2B sector plays in the economy.

One of the most important issues facing the B2B sector is talent shortages. A recent survey by Deloitte found that 45 percent of respondents said that talent shortages were a major challenge for their businesses.

Investing in talent distribution is one way to address this challenge.  Here are some top reasons that explains why employee retention is crucial for economic progress

  • First, it costs less to keep an existing employee than it does to hire a new one. 
  • Second, existing and experienced employees can contribute more to the team and business as they know inside-out about your company.
  • Third, it helps build the company’s culture and brand.The beliefs, attitudes, and actions of a company’s employees shape its corporate culture, which plays a critical role in recruiting and keeping the appropriate individuals. When an employee departs, others frequently wonder why and may begin to doubt their own dedication to the firm. When engaged individuals who are aligned with an organization’s culture remain, the organizational ethos and environment are strengthened.
  • Fourth, Focusing on staff retention benefits the entire business. A strong staff retention strategy is an essential component of complete workforce planning. And human resource management software is an important tool for measuring employee turnover, improving attrition rates, and tracking the financial effect of such actions.

You Need Better Thoughtful Strategies to Fuel Up Talent Acquisition & Retention 

It’s no secret that employee retention is a big challenge for businesses today.  A tight labor market combined with rapidly changing technology has created a challenging climate for manufacturers and distributors to retain top talent. 

In fact, a recent third-party study found that 90 percent of manufacturing executives say retaining skilled workers is their biggest challenge right now. With the average age of the current manufacturing workforce being 49 years old, it’s clear that manufacturers and distributors need new strategies to retain younger workers. 

With the war for talent becoming more intense, companies are scrambling to find ways to keep their best employees from leaving. But there is good news! There are several things you can do as an organization to help you attract and retain top talent. The focus needs to be on making your company more appealing to potential employees from all angles: compensation, benefits, culture, career development, and more.

Read on for practical advice on how you can build a stronger employee value proposition so you can compete for top talent in today’s competitive landscape.

1. Invest in Employee Development

One of the best ways to improve employee retention is to invest in employee development. When employees feel like they’re learning and growing in their roles, they’re more likely to stay with a company for the long haul. Offer opportunities for employees to attend conferences, take classes, or receive coaching and mentorship. And be sure to give employees regular feedback so they know how they’re doing and what areas they need to continue to focus on.

2. Cultivate a Positive Work Environment

Another key strategy for improving employee retention is cultivating a positive work environment. Employees who feel valued and appreciated are more likely to stay with a company than those who don’t. So make sure you’re creating an environment where employees feel like they can do their best work and be themselves. This includes things like providing adequate resources,

3. Offer Competitive Benefits & Perks

If employees don’t feel appreciated, they won’t feel motivated to stay. A surefire way to make employees feel valued is to offer them benefits and perks that are significant enough to sway them to stay at your company. Some standard benefits and perks that employees value greatly are health insurance, paid time off, retirement plan, and paid vacation days. Though some of these are legally required, it is still important to match the industry average so you can attract the best people.

A lot of companies are also offering equity and profit sharing programs to their employees. This is a great way to show employees that you trust them and that you really value their contributions. Distributors typically don’t have the ability to offer equity, but profit sharing is another benefit that can go a long way in helping to retain talent.

Distributors who offer profit sharing plans to their employees should be sure to include them in the communication plan. Let employees know how much money is available for them to receive since profit sharing is earned over time through sales.

 4. Create a Great Work-Life Balance

A long-term relationship with your employees starts from day one. One way to do this is to create a work-life balance that allows employees to have fulfilling personal lives as well as rewarding professional lives. To do this, you can offer flexible work hours, allow working from home, or have a compressed work schedule where employees work fewer hours per week.

Employers can also help their employees by offering paid time off for medical reasons or other personal situations. Distributors who are building relationships with their vendors can also ask those vendors if they have any programs that address work-life balance. For example, some vendors offer paid leave policies to their employees.

 5. Provide Opportunities for Advancement

It is easy to see why employees would feel unappreciated and undervalued if they are in positions that don’t allow for growth or advancement. It’s important to make sure employees know that their potential to grow and advance within your company is high.

To do this, you can offer mentorships and training for employees who want to grow in their careers. Distributors can also create career paths for employees as well as track their progress through their careers. This way, employees always know where they stand within the organization.

 6. Build a Strong Company Culture

Some people may choose to work at a particular company because of its products. Others might select a company because its products are the best for their industries. Still, others might choose a company because its culture is what they really want to be a part of.

Though the last reason may seem like a minor one, it’s actually very important. The best companies that attract the most talent have cultures that are thriving. If you want to build a stronger company culture, there are a few things you can do.

First, you can create a survey for employees to fill out. Then, you can use the survey results to improve your company culture.

Second, you can create a company mission statement. Third, you can create a set of values that your company lives by. Fourth, you can hold events like charity fundraisers, volunteer events, yoga classes, or team-building exercises to bring employees together and strengthen your company culture.

 7. Ask Employees What They Want and Need

Asking your employees what they want and need from the company is essential. This may seem like a strange thing to do, but it is actually very important. Why? Because employees are the ones who are going to be working in the company every day.

They are the ones who know what they need in order to be as productive as possible while also feeling as happy as they can. There are many ways you can go about asking employees what they want and need. You can ask them at the beginning of their employment or during annual reviews. You can also ask them in person or online via surveys or polls.

Whatever method you choose, make sure you take employees’ answers seriously. This will help you create an employee value proposition that is appealing and strong. 

Aiswarya Madhu

Aiswarya Madhu is a highly skilled and experienced content creator with over 2 years of expertise in developing engaging and informative content for eCommerce enthusiasts and distributors. She has a deep understanding of the dynamic world of eCommerce, with a focus on eCommerce integration and ongoing distribution trends. Aiswarya is committed to delivering high-quality, insightful, and engaging content to her readers beyond the DCKAP blog -- channeling her strengths in social media, Medium, Quora, video and more

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