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Rick Blabolil
July 7, 2016

You Won’t Get Today’s Top Talent with Yesterday’s Approach

Top talent is priceless. But too often organizations short change themselves by going about attracting talent the wrong way. Here’s what I mean: many organizations begin their search by looking at attributes laid out in a job description, such as, so many years’ experience, XYZ skills, specific levels of education in specific fields, and then there are the usual soft requirements like “team player,” “entrepreneurial,” “multi-tasker,” and so on.

So resumes fly in, and there are typically “keyword sorts” in place, interviews arranged and ultimately the candidate that most closely matches the pre-defined attributes comes on board. And in short order, they leave. What went wrong?

What went wrong is underestimating who is really doing the search. If an organization is positioned to attract top talent, then all sorts of talent will be knocking on its door every day. The talent will be the suitor, not the organization. The dilemma then is to make sure you hire the right person, not the right resume. Selecting the best candidate is a function of evaluating each person holistically. Attributes such as skills, personality, experience, problem-solving, communications, and teamwork will give a great window into the person and their work ethic. Hiring people who align with your culture increases the probability that the person will contribute and that the candidate will more likely stay.

Organizations that take this approach begin their searches on the inside, not on the outside. They’ve paid careful attention to their brand. Their brand is distinct, it is consistent across the organization, and it represents something that is very attractive. People understand it and they want to be associated with it.

Organizations that win in today’s talent quest also pay attention to their culture. They have a clear mission and they have a set of values that define the way they conduct business and treat all stakeholders. Employees are accountable for living those values, and its leadership demonstrates those values.

Finally, organizations that attract high-caliber talent focus on what they can offer candidates, not just what candidates can offer the organization. Flexible work schedules, work/life balance programs, assistance with transportation, daycare and wellness are but a few of the perks companies may have to attract talent. It might be a highly personalized rewards and recognition program, or maybe even a sabbatical. Whatever it is, these organizations pay particular attention to employee needs and desires.

In today’s world, organizations that attract top talent begin by looking at themselves first. They fearlessly examine their brand, their culture, and their commitment to the employees they already have. When that takes place, they no longer have to search to find high caliber talent. The talent will come to them.

Is your organization looking for ways to attract, engage, and retain top talent? Talk to a Marketing Innovations solutions expert about MI’s industry-leading engagement, recognition and incentive programs.

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