Wednesday, October 31, 2012

4 Ways to Attract Outstanding Talent

Having just made a well-educated and difficult career transition, I had a chance to experience the job seekers world in 2012. I met corporate recruiters who asked qualifying questions irrelevant to my skill set, was thrown large cash bonus offers, and received the "why our company is the best" speech from CEOs. None of it mattered!

In the HR blogosphere, job seekers are advised how to market themselves. Companies are aflood with resumes. The inundation of potential hires has created space for under-qualified gatekeepers to ask stupid questions that scare away talent. The strategy for attracting talent is a major focus for every company, many of them are doing it wrong, and that is why their turnover is higher than their hire rate.

The best talent are those who have options, may be satisfied with their current employment, and have a history of business results that speak volumes.

Advice: if you are hiring someone for a six figure salary don't make the first point of contact a college intern. Hiring is a two way street and first impressions are important on both sides of the street.

There are 4 things that attract outstanding talent:
1. Leadership
2. Company Culture
3. Go-to-Market Strategy
4. Products and Services

This is Not a Test
I sat down with a CEO who rushed into a high rise building, drilled me with challenging questions, and proceeded to tell me that I was too tame. Leaders at the highest level should not assume that they have the right to dictate what job seekers want. Arrogance is the least form of leadership.

People want leaders who are accessible. We want to see an uncompromising vision, a passion for their company, and the consistent adaptation to change (which means you may have to admit your company is not perfect).

Leaders have to walk the walk! The vision laid out from the stage at the international company meeting will be exposed as executive bravado if you are faking it. If you exist in an ivory tower the folks in the trenches will know it. Don't ask for bottoms up feedback if you are not planning to take action on employee feedback.

How Does It Feel
I remember sitting in an orientation at a company I had joined when one employee told another that their idea for program improvement was stupid. I knew at that moment that I was in a bad environment. Great companies will expose you to a variety of employees in the hiring process. Of course, no company is perfect and some employees are more candid than others. Wouldn't you rather know in advance how people treat one another than to sign a contract and then find out the real story.

Progress is made through collaborative, progressive thought leadership. Titles are not protected in great companies. Internal competition is merely a way for individuals to get over on one another. It serves no relevance to organizational progress.

Newsflash: it is OK to be nice!

Sales People Must Be Lead By Sales People
If I am working as a sales executive leading a team in a 7 figure deal, I need to be assured that the leadership in my organization understands every element of getting that done. This means the VP of Sales better have carried a bag longer than I have been alive. You cannot pretend to know the roller coaster of sales if you have never sold. Operational and Administrative mind frames are budget aware, Sales is a strategic revenue producing game! You cannot be a dog if you are a cat - stop pretending!

"You can fool some people, some time, but you can't fool all the people all the time" - Bob Marley

Bottom Line Capabilities
I hearken back to Simon Sinek and the golden circle: people don't buy what you do they buy why you do it. With this in mind, products cannot be the driving force in your go-to-market strategy. There are, however, minimum qualifications. If your product doesn't work, I cannot sell it. If you tell me your product can do something it cannot, I will not buy it.

Innovate or Perish!
The adaptation to change speaks to all of the aforementioned characteristics of what makes a company great! Every day is a new opportunity to experience something new, there is no finish line, and highly engaged people appreciate a challenge. Those who wish to stand still will be run over.

If you are an outstanding company you live every day with the motivation of what can be done not what has been done.

Don't Forget to Remember!


1 comment:

  1. Your blog is a valuable source of information that can help individuals obtain good careers in their chosen field. You are lucky to have a talk with corporate recruiters.