The war for talent is on and will not end soon. What is holding back the growth of your business? Talent. You cannot hire fast enough, and your teams are always being recruited to join other organizations. This challenge will become even harder. By 2030 the labour shortage will cost the US economy $8.45 trillion a year (Korn Ferry).
The talent philosophy that appeared more than 20 years ago was framed as employee engagement. That common language enabled us to design work to increase productivity and allows employers to stand out as the top talent.
Remembering what makes us human is how to show economic value in the age of smarter and smarter machines.” - Thomas Friedman
The above statement is not the current talent philosophy. However, the businesses that will attract and keep the talent they need to grow will be those that embrace a new talent philosophy. A talent philosophy based on fulfillment is part of a broader change in the workplace. It is helpful to look at how we got here to appreciate the significant changes that have taken place as we evolve from one era to the next.
We are in the early days of the Purpose Economy. The core narrative of the workplace is a higher sense of meaning and purpose in work. These are the sources of innovation. This shift needs:
- “humanizing” work in the digital age
- psychological safety in the workplace
- corporate well-being programs
- the concept of bringing one’s “whole self” to work
- diversity and inclusion
When people are fulfilled, the business flourishes — not the other way around .
Clients do not come first. Employees come first. If you take care of your employees, they will take care of the clients.” — Richard Branson
The development of neuroscience and positive psychology have advanced this change, and artificial intelligence and automation promise to accelerate it. In this new world of work, it is fulfillment—the ability to feel a personal sense of purpose and meaning—that is the new standard for employment. Fulfilment comes first then excellence follows.
Have you adopted the talent philosophy that will attract and keep people in the new economy?
Ask your leadership team to consider: Will the financial strength and ingenuity of large corporations squeeze us and leave our organization scrambling for talent?
The pressure on your organization to reduce costs while improving effectiveness and efficiency continues to boost stress levels. Especially when you already struggle to deliver the essential services needed by your clients or you are facing significant capital investments to keep up.
To compete today and in the long-term, adopt and embrace top-grading.
Top Grading is the practice of creating the highest quality workforce by ensuring that talent acquisition and talent management practices focus on attracting, finding, onboarding, developing, and keeping top performers.
Proven top-graders have:
- effective talent attraction methods
- outcome-based job descriptions and postings
- successful hiring methodologies that consider a candidate’s full talent stack
- a best-fit staffing approach that considers employee fulfilment
- advanced behavioural traits and competencies assessment to determine the likelihood that the candidate will meet or exceed expectations and achieve fulfillment
- customized onboarding programs
- a culture of development
- fair compensation practices
- coaching to foster career development
- succession plans and employees know where they stand and what they need to develop
Why Make the Investment?
Here are some facts that should motivate you to invest in top grading and to help your employees be fulfilled with their work:
- An engaged employee is 44% more productive than a satisfied worker
- An employee who feels fulfilled at work is 125% more productive than a satisfied one
- A high performer can deliver 400% more productivity than the average performer
- More than 50% of new hires fail
- The cost of a bad hire is at least $20,000
Attract and Retain Top Talent
For your organization to attract and keep top talent, some key considerations include:
- the state of your employer branding strategy
- your best-fit staffing approach
- the robustness of your employee onboarding program
- the advanced level of your employee-development initiatives
- the competitiveness of your total compensation package
Now, let us investigate each of these areas in greater detail.
Your Brand — Why Would Top Talent Work Here?
Branding is a way for top talent to find your business. It is how your customers recognize and experience your business. A brand is more than just a logo. Your brand reflects everything you do — from your website, customer service style, staff uniforms, business cards and premises to your marketing materials, advertising, and job postings.
Your brand echoes what your business stands for and what sets it apart from your competitors. It expresses the qualities, strengths, and 'personality' of your business. Even if you have not formally branded your organization, those who interact with you perceive one.
Creating a strong brand involves in-depth market research to work out why customers and potential employees should be attracted to your business. A business with a strong brand gives you a greater chance of successfully recruiting top talent. Consider:
- Would you want your organization to be viewed the same way as your competitors?
- Does your current brand attract the best and brightest talent?
- Would you want to be recognized as the place where people want to work and build careers?
Quality Brand Attracts Talent
Many leading organizations now understand that an effective employer branding strategy means more than merely being present in the market. Instead, it means knowing what qualities will attract talent. The first critical step in this process is understanding what makes your organization unique. Some key questions to ask your managers and senior leaders:
- Why would anyone want to leave a good job to work here?
- Why would anyone want to continue to work here?
- What drives our workplace culture, values, and competencies?
It then comes down to understanding the type of talent you wish to attract. Build your strategy on what you know about this talent and what is going to draw top performers into your organization. Then, use your innate ability to embed your brand, your mission, your vision, and your values – and watch your brand grow exponentially.
If you could see into the future, would you change the course of what you are doing today?
When it comes to careers, Gallup research points to a resounding “yes.”
- 7 out of 10 working adults believe they are in the wrong job
- 1 out of those dissatisfied seven thinks they are in career hell
These statistics do not show widespread fulfillment today! What if, like your chromosomal DNA can predict your future health, you could analyze your unique behavioural make-up and career interests (let us call it your behavioural DNA) to predict your potential success across 600 of the most sought-after job roles?
That is a vision I have pursued vigorously for most of my career. Moreover, the short answer is: yes, we can tell you the likelihood that you will meet or exceed expectations. Our analytics are 85% reliable. Learn more in our insight— Behavioral DNA: The 23 and Me of Predicting Career Success.
In smaller organizations, individuals often must wear multiple hats. We can assess your candidates against many benchmarks, so you ensure all areas are covered. The best-fit staffing process places the right candidate for the right job. It is a win-win. They find fulfillment, and you have top talent.
Employee Retention Starts with Great Onboarding
The time, energy, and effort to hire someone is a significant investment. Welcoming new talent into your organization is an event to be celebrated. When you hire a top performer with the talent stack — skills, knowledge, wisdom, accomplishments, and behavioural DNA to do an incredible job, you want them to be as productive and successful as possible in a short period. The more the new hire is actively and practically engaged, the more successful they will feel. Thus, the need for individualized onboarding.
The trouble is that many organizations still use traditional orientation programs. These old programs are ineffective. They foster employee disengagement and create early employee turnover rates. A survey by the Wynhurst Group found that 22 percent of employee turnover occurs in the first 45 days of employment. That is half of the bad hire numbers.
You individualize onboarding need alternatives that achieve:
Outcome-Based Job Description and Posting
By putting the six priorities in the job posting, that if reached, you would say you hired a top performer, onboarding starts when the candidate applies for the job. By using these priorities in the interview, the candidate can assess if they are likely to be fulfilled in the role and you can quickly determine if they have the ability beyond their credentials to be successful.
Managing Gaps in Behavioural Traits
If you want to treat your employees well, recognize their efforts and help them in their weaknesses.
Top performers in a role share a standard set of behavioural traits. Not only can we predict the success of a candidate in a position with 85% reliability, but we also find the strengths and the challenge area for the person you hire in a specific job. During the onboarding process, they need to learn how to use their superpowers. However, equally important they need to develop strategies to manage their challenges. Executing the complete set of traits, when needed is necessary for success.
Engage and Motivate New Talent
Your traditional orientation practices – featuring stacks of forms, reading materials, and endless PowerPoint presentations – need to go. Instead, your organization should embrace the realities of our fast-paced, digital culture to generate meaningful first impressions among your new hires. Consider a “newcomers” group to foster an instant relationship with another new employee. They get to understand your culture together. It also supports cross-department relationships.
Focus on Communication
We assume that people will merely know their role and fit in. However, the onus is on leadership to supply the tools, resources, and training that new employees need – all while fostering effective communication that helps them build cross-organizational relationships. Weekly check-ins should be scheduled by your manager's supply opportunities to discuss challenges and paths for advancement. These regular check-ins will create a strong bond between the new hire and his or her manager.
Creating a Culture of Development by Cultivating Self-Development
Train people well enough so they can leave, treat them well enough, so they don’t want to.”— Richard Branson
Today, there is an increasing need for employees to keep pace with the rapid changes experienced by their organizations and to also keep pace with the changing needs and demands of their clients. Many employees, however, become disengaged because they lack a clear career development path. The reason: employees require the resources and nurturing. However, manager training tends to focus on meeting operational requirements, not helping their team members to reach the next level in their careers.
To build a comprehensive employee development program, consider the following steps.
Encourage Employees to Seek Out Feedback
Provide your employees with the necessary tools to seek feedback from their co-workers and managers independently. Moreover, equip them with techniques on how to be open to receive constructive criticism — learning feedback. Show them how they can build capabilities, remain current and increase their competency.
Create Unique Learning Experiences
The more organizations encourage ongoing learning, the better their employees’ workplace performance will be. However, actual development starts by creating innovative learning experiences that help develop employee capabilities. There is some basic compliance training that you need to provide during the onboarding process, but beyond that consideration, you need to create learning experiences that are unique and encourage the transfer of learning.
It all starts by:
- assessing knowledge, skills, ability, and behavioural traits gaps
- focusing experiences on blended learning events, including on-the-job training as well as peer-to-peer coaching and structured learning
- showing an employee his or her future career path
- driving and sustaining career development once critical milestones are achieved
Develop Your Leaders
Failing organizations are usually over-managed and under-led." -Warren Bennis
Drive remarkable leadership performance. Climbing the leadership ladder is no exception. Creating s fulfilling environment for each team member is hard work. You leaders need the skills to do it.
Our ladder of leadership identifies the 9 or 10 critical competencies at each management level from the frontline manager to the C-Suite. Our program helps you identify your high potential employees — succession planning and talent management initiatives as well provide a basis for meaningful individual career planning one, two and three moves ahead.
The research identified the two fundamental behavioural competencies that are important at every level of management — Leads Decisively and Thrives in Chaos. Specific competencies are key on more than one level as one progresses up the ladder. Some stay important through a leadership transition, and some competencies are less relevant, and therefore their demonstration must be adjusted to be an agile leader.
Offering Competitive Compensation to Attract and Retain Top Talent
In the war for talent, providing competitive compensation is a must-have first step to attracting and keeping the best and brightest. People leave organizations due to their working relationship with their direct manager and peers, or the non-challenging work being performed. You also need to consider compensation practices in this process.
Salary information is hard for individuals to find out. Often ranges are vast. Organizations obtain external salary data to design and manage their compensation structures to ensure external competitiveness and internal compensation equity. Having a rigid salary policy at the mid-point of the marketplace is a challenge when you are recruiting top talent. Like Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game by Michael Lewis is about the Oakland Athletics baseball team and its general manager Billy Beane. Its focus is the team's analytical, evidence-based, sabermetric approach to assembling a competitive baseball team despite Oakland's small budget. Using our analytics can find the best-fit talent you need within your salary policy.
To ensure that your organization is paying talent competitively, benchmark your salary grades often. Depending on the region in which your organization exists – and the level of competition for employees – it may be critical to benchmark salaries, benefits, and other forms of compensation on an annual basis. At a minimum, your organization should be comparing internal wages to the market at least every two years. Most organizations recognize that an individual’s talent stack is transferable to other industries. That means benchmarking across all sectors.
Retain and Succeed — Ready to Compete
The simplest way to stop your employees from leaving is to develop a plan to make them want to stay. More than ever, people want to know we more valuable than machines. Today, your staff are looking for the unique human elements of their work experience.
How do you tap into what helps your people find meaning at work? Studies have shown that you must create a more fulfilling employee experience.
More than ever, we need to take a broader and more comprehensive view of attracting top talent, and to emphasize the importance of their ability to the success of your organization. That means acting proactively to ensure your organization is ready to do what it takes to compete in a challenging employment landscape. It will become increasingly harder to find and replace top talent, so the ability to attract, recruit, onboard, develop, and keep talent in unique and innovative ways is increasingly gaining momentum.
The good news: staying at the top of the talent practices means reaping the organizational rewards in the long-term.