The War on Talent

Recent reports have shown that more and more people are finding jobs. And for those of us with an ongoing need to hire great talent, that’s not necessarily good. KETV recently reported that Nebraska’s unemployment rate has dropped to an astonishing 2.7%. So our question is: Do you have a plan to win the war on talent?

Consider this: the best talent is already employed. So where are you going to find your next employee? It pays to have a plan or strategy to recruit and retain those employees that have the best skills, the most knowledge, and the ability to hit the ground running to meet business goals. And here’s the thing: hope is not a strategy! “In a recent survey of 500 Nebraska businesses, 21 percent of those that responded named labor availability and quality as their top issue,” reports an article in the Omaha World Herald.

Barry Asin tells us, “What got us here is not going to get us to the next place. That’s not a guarantee for the future.” When it comes to creating a strategy for the future, how many of us are only thinking about the strategy for our current business, current employees, and current industries? Your strategy revolves around goals you have created for the company. You’re probably thinking, “Hey we are sitting pretty good, we have our plan under control.” The problem is that we’re not always thinking about how to attract, hire, and retain great talent in the future. It’s time to consider how you are going to keep hiring great talent to meet your future goals.

As you look for candidates, there are so many things to consider.

  1. Does the person you are considering have the required skills for the position?
  2. Does the person have the knowledge and experience to take your company to the next level?
  3. Does the person have what you’ll need in the future, or what you need right now?

And if they don’t quite have what you need, should you hire them anyway? Well, that’s up to you. But as you are interviewing, think about these things:

  1. Candidates will tell you they can do the job. Most, if they really want the job, will do everything in their power to convince you of their talents and skills. Are they too convincing? Listen to their stories, not just their answers to your questions. Do their stories demonstrate what you’re looking for?
  2. You’ve probably heard that “good is the enemy of great.” Be careful not to settle for mediocre employees just because you’re having trouble finding them. If you really want to remain competitive in your market and grow your business, you must have people who truly have the talent. If you only hire “good” but not “great,” your company will also be good…not great.
  3. Future employees have a choice, just like you. Is your company one that people fight to work for? There’s nothing worse than taking a position with a new company, only to find out that the leadership doesn’t allow for the use of one’s potential. If the company isn’t walking the talk of growth (both financially and personally), tell the truth…or change the way you’re leading the company.

The best talent truly has the option of being picky about the company and leader they choose to work for. If you are serious about the future of your company, you have to be serious about who you’re choosing to hire. It could be the difference between good and great.

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