“Where Do I Find the Right People?”
Apply Talent Management
By Dan Coughlin
the regional vice-president of sales in a national retail
organization, said, “Dan, I know it’s important to have the right
people ‘on the bus,’ but who exactly are the ‘right people’ and how
am I supposed to find them and keep them?” Good question.
the “right people” for an organization as “employees who have the
appropriate business talent.” What is business talent? The capacity
to help your customers achieve their goals in ways that generate
sustainable, profitable growth for your business.
An employee’s business talent consists of his or her VSPs: values,
skills, and passions.
Values are beliefs that determine behaviors.
Skills are the ability to do certain types of
Passions are what trips a person’s trigger, what
drives him or her to do the very best.
Three R’s for Optimizing Business Talent: The function of every
manager is to recruit, reward and reenergize employees with relevant
business talent so they help optimize their organization’s
Recruit by being a talent scout, not a position-filler.
Post or hunt. When you have an opening on your staff, there are
two ways to find a new employee:
You could post the opening, wait for
applications, review resumes, set up interviews, and pick the
best candidate for the job.
You can be on the hunt everyday for the type of
talent you want for each position in your organization.
method do you think will produce the best results? Right. If you
follow the first method, you will only hire people not coveted by
other organizations. Not the best way to bring in optimally
talented individuals who will catapult your company’s effectiveness.
the right talent requires hunting for it everyday. First, write down
the VSP (Values, Skills, and Passions) needed to be extraordinarily
efficient and effective at each position in your organization. Then
consciously look for this particular talent each day. Let other
people know the types of people you want if the position were to
ever open up. Keep a list of people you meet at industry
conferences, trade shows, and meetings who could potentially fill
different positions in your organization. Build relationships with
those people by staying in touch with them on a regular basis.
Make it daunting to get inside
boss said to me, “If you make getting hired seem too easy,
candidates will wonder if they found the right place to work.”
him what he meant by that and he said, “You don’t want the candidate
to think you’re desperate to get him or her on board. Be patient so
the candidate feels privileged to work for our organization rather
than like another warm body.”
on to say, “Make the hiring process respectful, but also evident
that you and the other members of the hiring committee take the
process very seriously and don’t just hire anyone. Show up on time
to conduct the interviews, have multiple people interview the
candidate, and, if possible, place the candidate in a variety of
settings to see how the person interacts with others.”
explained the importance of carefully building interview questions,
role plays, and case studies to ensure we selected the right talent
for a given role in our organization.
he warned me about being careful not to “fall in love” with a
candidate based on his or her charisma, charm, enthusiasm, past
jobs, or referrals. He said, “Make sure the person brings the
combination of values, passions, and skills we need for that
position. Be willing to prolong the search to find the right person.
Reward those who do it, not those who talk it. Hiring
talented people is one thing. Getting those individuals to apply
their values, skills, and passions in ways that generate
sustainable, profitable growth is another. The first one costs
money, and the second one makes money. Clearly communicate what you
expect in terms of behaviors and results. Then when your employees
move the business forward in the right ways, reward them. Give them
public and private recognition, awards, bonuses, pay increases, and
promotions. Rewarding the successful application of talent is
critical to managing the talent pipeline.
Reenergize the right stuff to retain top talent. “I’m
dying on the vine here.” Tom was the vice-president of the
business unit and earning over $220,000 per year, and yet he felt
unimportant. He felt his professional growth had come to a
standstill. He said, “Dan, I’m dying on the vine here. No one is
looking out for my growth or my future. I’m going to start looking
around for another job.”
want to keep your best business talent, make sure they constantly
grow as individuals. Provide hands on coaching, internal mentoring,
outside educational sessions, and mounds of real-world experience to
strengthen the skills of your employees. Create an environment that
encourages people to show what they’re passionate about.
Emotionally, not physically,
embrace your employees every day.
talented people know how important they are to the success of the
organization. You’ve worked incredibly hard to attract, select,
develop, and reward the right talent for your organization. You now
have an organization that is humming along. However if your
employees leave your organization to take similar jobs elsewhere for
similar amounts of money then you know you’ve blown it. Retaining
key talent is a critical business driver.
handwritten note to each member of your group once a quarter. In a
world of e-mail and text messages, handwritten notes stand out like
a bright spotlight. At company social gatherings, go up to the
spouse of an employee and talk about the great things she brings to
the organization. Stop an employee in the hallway and ask about his
family. Go by a person’s desk and ask how she is doing. Find ways
every day to let your employees know they are important to you,
regardless if they are the highest or lowest paid employee.
Fuel for Future Results
task of building a truly creative society is not a game of
solitaire. This game, we play as a team.”
- Richard Florida, Best-Selling Author, The Rise of
the Creative Class
a manager does impacts the future of his or her organization more
than recruiting, rewarding and reenergizing the right talent. Make
this task the primary work you do with other managers to accelerate
the sustainable, profitable growth of your organization.
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about Dan Coughlin.
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