A funny thing happened on the way to the economic recovery. Companies forgot how to compete for talent in the marketplace. Well, to be honest, some of them were not adept at this to begin with. At the same time, many organizations became complacent about taking care of their top performers.
In a competitive landscape, being able to attract and retain the most talented people can mean the difference between success and failure—just ask the leaders of top companies like Google, Apple, eBay and Facebook, or, conversely, the hundreds of companies that didn’t make it. Companies want candidates with excellent educational credentials, professional certifications and a history of accomplishment, but their efforts to attract and retain these top performers are often severely lacking.
With regard to recruiting talent, I like to use the analogy of online dating. Say you are trying to attract a potential mate on an online dating site. You probably wouldn’t be advised to post a hastily constructed profile that only focuses on what you are looking for and not what you have to offer a prospective partner. And if you are lucky enough to get a response, you would not go out on a first date without any kind of plan and then spend much of the date talking about how horrible your ex was. And if you did, it certainly wouldn’t land you a George Clooney or Beyoncé.
Yet, this is the approach that many companies employ on a regular basis in an often futile attempt to attract and recruit top-caliber talent.
Wondering how you stack up? Ask yourself the following:
- What kind of messaging do you put forward in the recruiting process?
- Is it the right messaging? What does it say about your company and opportunity?
- Is that message carried out consistently at every candidate touch point (job postings, external recruiters, internal recruiters, interviewers)?
- Are you utilizing all of the recruiting resources at your disposal?
- Does your company have internal HR/recruiting policies that actually limit your exposure to top- caliber talent?
- When it comes time to make an offer, do you have accurate and up-to- date information on the marketplace with which to craft a competitive offer?
- Are you recruiting candidates that are the right fit for your corporate culture?
- Are you choosing the right people to be on your interview panel? And do you have a coordinated interview approach among your interview slate?
- Do you have a well crafted on-boarding process, and do you follow it?
Of course, recruiting top-caliber talent is only part of the story. Just as with our dating scenario, once you are in a relationship, that relationship is sure to fail over time if not properly cultivated. Likewise, it doesn’t do any good to recruit superstars if they are leaving the organization as fast as you bring them in.
Are you doing all you can to maintain your best performers? Consider the following:
- Do you understand what really makes your employees tick?
- What do you do to recognize high-caliber performance?
- Do you have an active mentoring program?
- Are you actively involved in career-pathing for your team?
- Do you have customized training that synchs with that career-pathing?
- What does your company do to make its employees’ lives easier?
- Does your company/department foster a healthy team dynamic?
- Is there room for open upward communication?
- If your culture has certain limitations, are you recruiting people who are consistent with that culture?
I’m looking forward to addressing these vexing questions in greater depth at the ISACA World Congress: INSIGHTS 2012 event in San Francisco this June. I hope to see you there!
President and Chief Recruiting Officer, The Weinman Group
Note: Todd can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org or on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/in/toddweinman.
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