The most critical part of recruiting is to identify top talent, not only for the immediate open position but for other roles that will emerge over time. I found in my experience with managing academic, business and nonprofit organizations, the recruiting process must link with retention strategies.
TO RECRUIT TOP TALENT, I RECOMMEND:
• Define requirements of immediate role, project potential future roles, and define best fits for immediate and longer term organizational needs
• Among the finalist pool, develop an in-depth understanding of strengths and motivators for each candidate. The key variables to understand prior to making an offer are:
o Strengths to lead. (Consider using www.strenghsfinders.com for assessment.)
o Satisfiers essential for the candidate to accept the position (John Meeker for tools.)
o Energizers to sustain engagement. (John Meeker for resources.)
o Drivers crucial for purposeful life and whole heartedness. (See Daniel H. Pink, DRiVE)
CHALLENGES TO RETAIN TOP TALENT:
Organizations are at an increasing risk that their top talent will accept other opportunities. Leaders at all levels have extended themselves to “get the job done” through difficult economic times. Working at full throttle for too long has negative consequences regardless of seniority of the employee.
And as there are indications of modest increases in hiring, top talent is highly visible to competitors and other organizations that will offer to provide a better array of motivators. Recent research by Execunet (www.execunet.com) and recent experience from my own national search practice reveals more openness among top talent to consider options, including even those that require relocation.
ESSENTIALS TO RETAIN TALENT, I RECOMMEND:
• With your top talent, frequently review how to better maximize their strengths, satisfy essential professional needs, energize engagement, and support drivers for life values. These will change over time. Staying current on these motivators are essential to retaining top players on your team.
• Encourage volunteering and leadership with outside organizations. (See article by Amy Psaris and John Meeker, “Career Development through Volunteering” at www.johnmeeker.com). The benefits of volunteering include: 1) collaborating with and learning from other leaders; 2) gaining fresh perspectives; 3) contributing to causes that contribute to the life purpose of your employee.
• Focus on top talent making a difference with the 20% of resources that have the capability to produce 80% of results. This is far more productive and energizing for leaders than focusing on the opposite proportion and the benefits to the organization are obvious.
• To recruit and retain top talent, I urge you to discover how to provide a professional environment in which your talented employees find wholeheartedness in what they do professionally and personally.