Anyone lurking on LinkedIn these days cannot help but see the many blog articles and links to content on effective management from the “top things great managers do” to the “biggest mistakes made by poor managers.” One theme in particular runs throughout these articles: poor management alienates good workers. Before a manager can work on retaining a good worker, he or she must find and hire exceptional talent. Writing for Kinesis, Inc. in March 2016, Wendy Maynard states
"employers today face a shrinking talent pool and a low unemployment rate"
which resulted in over a third of employers reporting difficulties in filling job vacancies. Aggravating the rising trend of a shrinking talent pool is the looming mass retirement of Baby Boomers.
What do you want? Let’s be honest: Every company wants to find that 18 year-old whiz kid with an MBA and 10 years of experience who will work for minimum wage. That won’t happen, so let’s face reality. According to Maynard, your best candidate is already employed by someone else and probably not looking for another job. In order to command that candidate’s attention, you’ll have to provide such a person with a compelling reason to consider leaving his or her current job. You cannot, however, hire someone whom you cannot find. Effective recruitment means going beyond posting an employment notice in Monster or ZipRecruiter. It means perusing social media to learn who your fans are and engage with them. Offering flexible working arrangements to accommodate candidates’ needs and preferences. Effective recruitment can involve publishing work in magazines and peer-reviewed journals, speaking at events, and, of course, constant networking. Understand social media works both ways: candidates will also be researching your company to learn whether accepting your offer is in their best interests. Disgruntled employees can do great harm to an organization. Before poaching an employee from another company or contacting a prospective employee seeking work, you must first know two things: (1) What does your company really need and (2) what does your candidate really want? For the second question, the answer isn’t necessarily money. Top talent wants more than above-average compensation; they want autonomy, meaning and growth.
You’re hired! Now what? When you hire a talented candidate, you’ve hired that person because he knows what he’s doing. Don’t sow contempt or distrust with your failure to have confidence in his skill or integrity. Top talent want recognition for their great work and to be challenged to learn, grow and build upon their existing skills. They also want to contribute to a greater purpose, something meaningful. If your company experiences high turnover, consider that second question and the corporate response. If you and/or your managers have the attitude your employees should be grateful to be working for you, then your best employees won’t work for you for very long. They’ll find better opportunities elsewhere.