Marcia Zidle Smart Moves Coach

Talent is the make-or-break issue for business success. Few leaders would challenge that statement. However, how many live and lead by it? If you are serious about improving your capacity to attract and retain top talent, here’s what you need to do to fire up your company’s growth engine to be a talent magnet.

1. Hang out with them.
Get to know the most talented individuals early on, when you don’t need them. Who are they really as people, versus what they do for a living? What interests them, excites them, drives them? The very best time to get to know people is to informally socialize with them at industry, professional or community events. Keep these individuals apprised of your company’s purpose, current work and potential exciting opportunities. If you don’t establish a relationship first, chances are you will end up not getting them when you need them.

2. Entice them.
Create and manage the right expectations from the start. Ask yourself the question: “Why would top talent want to work for us?” Paying top dollar is never a good enough reason for the best talent to join and stay with you. To break out of the pack, look within your organization. How are you different? It could be little things like free Friday lunch to big things like sabbaticals after so many years.

3. Excite them.
Look at their hearts — and not just their smarts. The average resume is long on accomplishments and qualifications, and short on purpose and passion. Which is fine if you’re merely in search of technical skills. Yet, in situations where you expect people to step up to uncertainty — to do unprecedented things and deliver breakthrough results — you need to focus on candidates’ motivation, values and purpose. What can you tap into?

4. Invest in them.
We’re frequently amazed by how a company transitions new talent into a new milieu. “Sink or swim” is a risky strategy for both the person and the organization. New talent wants to succeed so help them. Provide coaching, learning and development opportunities. Top talent can intuit when you’re only interested in what they can do for you and soon they’ll be looking for greener pastures.

Smart Moves Tip:
How well do you stack up against these four factors? Realize attracting, engaging and retaining top talent is the most critical factor to your business success today and the future. Do you need to fire up your talent growth engine? Do you want to be a talent magnet? Listen to my guest David Allen, CEO of Snelling, on The Business Edge giving insights into Developing an Employment Brand for Your Business.

Marcia Zidle:
The Business Edge with Marcia Zidle, your Smart Moves Coach, delivers practical advice to help business leaders take the growing pains out of growth. Are you facing overwhelming demands on your time? Are costly mistakes eating into your profits? Are you facing increased expectations from customers and clients and the need to strike a better balance in your life? Now’s the time to stop spending your energy managing problems and start doing your real work: growing your business to the next level and beyond. Learn to create a growth agenda to get your business on the right track and keep it there. Rev up your growth engine with exceptional talent. Develop the right kind of leadership to move it forward fast. Start by tuning in to The Business Edge, airing live every Wednesday at 11 AM Pacific Time.