Recruiting Top Talent Fruitless, Losing Your High Performers to Competitors

Is this You? Can’t attract top talent, competition lures away our top people, we hire too many applicants who are not a fit and don’t work. This is costing us tens of thousands in hiring, training and lost time and opportunity!

Top talent runs rings around the average performers, they are up to 800% more productive when the job is complex and requires more talented people according to a study done by McKinsey and Company.  Small wonder Jim Collins says: “… the single biggest constraint on the organization is the ability to get and hang on to enough of the right people.”

Are you having trouble getting the A players? Do you get them only to see them leave within a year or two?  Don’t feel alone.  There are far more companies looking for and trying to hire away top talent than there is talent available.  If you have them, they are a target of your competition, if you don’t have top talent, well… let’s just hope your business isn’t very complicated.

Why is Hiring and Keeping Top Employees So Hard?

It starts with understanding what your prospective employees and current ones value and expect from their company and job.

The main reason people leave businesses is because they find the company is not delivering what they want.  During the “Great Recession” and its aftermath, there were few jobs with many people seeking any position, those days are gone.  We are at near 100% employment for even B & C level people and the A level employees? Yea, more than fully employed.

Employees are considerably more likely to leave a bad boss than the company itself so it’s not just the employee or your compensation plan etc., that must be top notch, your managers have to possess excellent management skills too.

This may come as a surprise to some owners because they were used to being in a company where most of the top people were baby boomers.  Boomers are retiring in droves today and new, younger people are replacing them.  Those new employees are different. Millennials change jobs readily – about every two years compared to over four years for all employees.

What do prospective new employees and your current staff look for in their company?

  1. A Company with Vision and Mission That Matters.
  • Making you rich is not a motivator, but “Curing Cancer” or “Reinventing the Future of Transportation” is inspiring.  If you include a social responsibility component to “raise the education level of the disadvantaged” or “eliminate hunger” for example, you’ll be on the right track. Today’s employee is not inspired to work for you based on a mission like “return maximum value to shareholders.”  Make your company meaningful and inspiring to work for.
  1. A Culture of Developing Employee Skills and Potential in an environment that gives people control and authority.
  • Millennials and others realize that there is no gold watch after 30 years.  Therefore, they are examining how the company they work for will increase their skills and knowledge which makes them more valuable in the marketplace.  Investing in training and improving both people skills and work-related competencies is not just a luxury, it’s now essential.
  1. Value Given for Value Delivered.
  • The internet and highly connected social networks of today’s younger worker means they know what they are worth.  They look to be paid at competitive rates and are scrutinizing your benefits package including health care.  With the cost of health insurance out of control and many of them with a family, you can easily see why coming through with a great package of benefits is essential.  Flexible schedules and time off for family emergencies are big considerations for many.
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  • How about retirement contributions?  They don’t believe anyone is going to be there for them when they retire but themselves so they are expecting you to play a part there too. That, by the way isn’t all bad news, add sweeteners in for people who remain as both an incentive to stay and as a way to reward those whose tenure means they contribute more to the success and resilience of your business.
  1. A Company Culture of Psychological Safety with Great Leaders.
  • Simon Sinek, in his best-selling book, “Leaders Eat Last” points out that no one wants to work where a fellow worker will stab them in the back.  Amazingly, there are companies who think that this is a great way to manage or are oblivious to it.  They may be oblivious but their employees and particularly the top employees understand it all too well.
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  • Working in an environment where all feel able to point out problems, ask hard questions and engage each other constructively to solve problems are what motivates people to do their best.

    How employees are managed is arguably one of the most important areas since huge amounts of productivity and human potential are wasted because done so poorly. 

    The Gallup Organization found in a 2017 study that 79% of employees are not motivated by how they are currently managed and only one third of employees are actively engaged in their job and enthusiastic about working for the company.

    When a good employee does not have a strong relationship with their manager, no incentive or brand loyalty will keep the employee fully engaged.  Margaret Graziano in a recent article in the Huffington Post noted People need to feel appreciated, respected, acknowledged and important; when their direct manager does not provide meaningful assignments, regular feedback and mentoring, engagement is thwarted.

You Know What It Takes to Attract and Keep Top Talent, How Will You Adapt?

That is the question.  There are proven solutions and many are ones you can deploy quickly to rapidly improve your attractiveness to top skilled employees as well as others.  We have transformed companies and their leaders for decades, shouldn’t we have a conversation about your company?

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