Talent Attraction, Engagement & Retention

Why It Matters


Our more than 7,000 employees remain our most valuable assets yet, in the next five years, nearly one-third (31%) of our workforce will become eligible for retirement. It is more important than ever that we continue to take steps to pass on our institutional knowledge, while simultaneously attracting the very best talent to our company.

It is also vital that we continue to embrace and promote an inclusive and diverse culture that allows everyone to constructively challenge ideas and raise concerns. In doing so, we will continue to attract and retain the most qualified talent. We feel that our workforce should reflect the diverse communities we serve. Our diversity is our strength, and we continue to prioritize fostering an inclusive and diverse company culture where all employees are encouraged to be their whole and true selves.

I&D continues to be a priority in our recruitment efforts. As we expand our business and compete for top talent, we also focus on continuing to provide strong benefits, equitable pay and an inclusive work culture to encourage retention. We know that current and potential employees want to work for a company that is purpose-driven. American Water is that company.


Our Approach



American Water’s Senior Vice President, Chief HR Officer oversees our I&D, Talent Management, HR Operations and Compensation & Benefits teams, which all directly work on Talent Attraction, Engagement and Retention practices and progress. Talent Management further oversees our Talent Acquisition & Employee Experience, Leadership & Organizational Development, Learning & Development and Digital HR teams, which have a large role in our practices and progress.

For more information about our leadership on inclusion and diversity, please see our Leadership on Diversity section. 


We recruit people who embody our core values. We foster an environment where diverse backgrounds are respected and valued and where all employees have equal opportunity and voice. We maintain inclusion and diversity from the highest levels of our company, beginning with the Board of Directors, Executive Leadership and Senior Leadership Teams, down to our entry-level employees.

Investing in Our Talent Pipeline

Throughout our footprint, we pursue partnerships to promote STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) careers to students at all grade levels. Our Communications team regularly engages with middle school students to inspire interest in the sciences. Our Talent Acquisition team partners with local colleges and universities to develop internship and co-op programs in areas where we operate. In addition, our Engineering team hosts an engaging co-op program that encourages local students to gain relevant experience. 

Hiring & Promoting Diverse Candidates

Diversity is a focus for all of our job requisitions and candidate pools. Since 2017, we have had a focused I&D recruitment strategy with annual goals to improve diversity across the company. We set goals in 2021 to increase representation of females and racial minorities across our workforce and in leadership roles. Our strategy for inclusive and diverse talent acquisition focuses on three key areas: recruitment, selection and conversion. We solicit feedback from both employees and candidates to improve and refine our I&D strategy.

Talent Acquisition

Recruitment aims to cultivate and grow diverse talent in the labor market. We leverage our I&D Advisory Council, a robust employee referral program and I&D Champion network to identify diverse talent during the recruitment process. We also engage with Historically Black Colleges and Universities and Hispanic Serving Institutions to increase our diverse talent candidate pool.


Inclusion & Diversity

American Water published our first ever Inclusion & Diversity Annual Report in April 2021. This report details how far our company has come in recognizing that all backgrounds, ethnicities and experiences make our company better. We’re constantly striving to continue to build an inclusive and mutually respectful workplace. We are working to increase representation of females and racial minorities across our company, and we continue to have deeper, relevant and impactful dialogue across our company. We are engaging in and facilitating conversations that affect our female, African American, Asian American, Latinx, LGBTQ+, military and disabled employees. 


Our Performance

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We have received various awards and recognitions demonstrating our accomplishments as an inclusive employer and employer of choice. 

  • 2020 DiversityInc Noteworthy Company;
  • 2019 Top Corporations for Women’s Business Enterprises by the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council;
  • Inclusion in the Bloomberg Gender Equality Index for the third consecutive year;
  • 2021 Top Score on the Disability Equality Index for the third consecutive year;
  • 2020 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award from the Department of Defense;
  • Recognized by U.S. Veterans Magazine and Military Times Magazine for Industry Leading Support of Veterans;
  • Highest ranked utility on Barron’s 2020 (#22) and 2021 (#15) 100 Most Sustainable Companies; and
  • Military Friendly® designation since 2019. 2021 Military Friendly® Gold Employer, 2021 Military Spouse designation, 2021 Supplier Diversity Program designation.

We measure key employment metrics such as employee turnover to gauge our management performance over time. In 2020, even with our aging workforce, we experienced low employee turnover rates with a 0.07 overall turnover rate across our workforce. This extends to regrettable turnover rates, which are employee departures whom the organization would otherwise hope to retain. In 2020, we had just 0.009 regrettable turnover rate, representing an approximately 25% improvement over 2019.