Sunday, November 2, 2008

Finding and Retaining Top Talent

Proper staffing constitutes 95% of the success of any company, yet few managers have ever been trained in how to do it. In today’s turbulent times, even fewer have the experience or the expertise. That is unfortunate, since with the staffing cut backs by many companies and the dissatisfaction at many others, there is a pool of top talent that could be available.

How do you know who and what to look for in this pool? Once you get them, how do you keep them?

It may seem simple, but it isn’t. It takes a great deal of thought and experience to be able to do it well. If your company doesn’t have this expertise in house, you would be well advised to make the investment and bring it in on a temporary basis. You will benefit from the assistance greatly.

Best practices would suggest these are the critical elements:
* Fully understanding the company’s strategic plan and the human capital needs to achieve it.
* Creating the right organizational design to meet the strategic plan.
* Identifying the skills, now and in the future, required to deliver the plan.
* Identifying the prime sources of talent with those skills.
* Strategically determining the “find, fill and fire” or “find, develop and keep” strategy.
* Selecting criteria for retention.
* Having a process that facilitates the valuing of prospects.
* Selling the company and setting expectations during recruitment.

Once you have the top talent, then what? How do you keep them?

Widespread research suggests that people do not leave organizations; they leave their managers. The implication of this finding is that managers who are respected and seen as supportive of the people who work with them are indispensable to successful organizations. Without them, competent people will leave their current organization in search of better treatment. The resultant costs of recruitment, engagement and subsequent retention can be enormous. Less tangible are the indirect costs associated with the loss of corporate intelligence and the impact on morale.

The characteristics of individuals deemed to have been exceptional managers:
-have vision
-treat people supportively
-make work fun
-challenge people to be their best
-provide lots of feedback
-listen intently
-encourage teamwork

Traditionally, these skills have been labeled, somewhat pejoratively, as the "soft skills".

Managers who refine these skills will be seen as more authentic by those they lead. The outcome will be more people who feel that they are respected and valued by their managers. Under these conditions, people are more likely to be fully engaged in their workplace and to contribute their maximum effort for their manager. They are also less likely to shop the market for other opportunities.

Effective managers are indispensable to successful organizations. How do you stack up against these qualities? How do your executives and managers stack up? If you are having trouble attracting and retaining key employees, this may be the reason.

We can help you. Contact us to find out how.



John Maver
Maver Management Group
(925) 648-7561
Maver Management

View John Maver's profile on LinkedIn

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