Last week I talked about the need for having “ball players” or superstars in your organization. What if you don’t have any ball players? What if you have some, how can you stop them from leaving to work at your competition? This week I am going to share with you three differentiators that will help you in recruiting talent and retaining superstars in your organization. Spoiler alert… it’s not money!
Identifying and retaining talent these days is difficult. In today’s work force highly skilled individuals are in high demand, and can often pick and choose where they want to work. When recruiting top talent, you don’t always have to be the highest bidder (i.e. pay the most) although you do have to be competitive. Today’s employees are looking for more than a paycheck, they are looking at what the company offers above and beyond the pay. College level athletics recruit talent all the time, and are unable to use pay as a differentiator. Let’s look at some of the strategies used by top athletic programs for recruiting and how that applies to your business.
Be a Winner
Everyone likes to win. I know we tell our kids things like; it doesn’t matter if you win or lose, it’s how you play the game, just do your best. But honestly, if you do your best and play fair it still hurts to lose. Right?
When colleges are recruiting athletes, they will boast their winning records. If they cannot boast about a winning record, they’ll talk about a history and a plan to start winning. We’ve hired new coaches, we recruited new players etc. When talented athletes have a choice of where to go to school, they will want to play for a winning team.
The same is true when recruiting talent to your company. They will want to see you have a winning organization, or at least the potential to be a winning organization. Boast about the growth you’ve seen recently, new large contracts or expansion. Let potential employees know about any awards you may have received, and company history. These things will send a message to your prospects that when they come work for you they will be joining a winning team.
Everyone wants to fit in. We are tribal by nature, and we want to be surrounded by people with the same values and motivations. Have ever worked at a company, or joined an organization, where you just didn’t fit in? How hard was it to make friends? Did you feel comfortable? Even if you did, did you really enjoy yourself? Probably not.
Again, it isn’t uncommon for college recruiters to have prospects visit for a day or more. Typically, they’ll shadow someone from the team and see what it’s like to be part of the program. The idea here is to get the prospect a “feel” for what it’s like to be part of the team. The coach, and the player will want to know if they will fit in, if they can be part of the culture or if they’ll be an outsider. Those that fit in can thrive, outsiders tend to hold back.
The same is true in your work place. Although it’s not typical for a company to invite a prospect to shadow another employee during a job interview, but there are other ways that prospects can learn about culture. When you bring in a prospect for an interview, how are they received? Websites like indeed.com or glassdoor.com often have employee reviews so candidates can get an idea what it’s like to work at your company. What do prospects see when they look you up online?
Prospective athletes understand that they are investing time to play at the college level, and in return want to know that they will become better during that process. In college sports, this is an easy discussion. Coaches can talk about the number of players that went on to play professional sports. If that isn’t an option, they will talk about graduation rates, and successes that former athletes have had in professional careers.
Your prospective employees will have similar questions:
- If I work for you, what will the future look like for me?
- Do I have career advancement opportunities, or will I be stuck doing the same thing for my entire career?
Top performers didn’t get to be top performers by accepting the status quo. Top performers achieved success by learning, developing and growing. Having a proven employee development system will help you attract and retain high performers and high potential employees.
This Week’s Challenge
I know there are still some employees that will go to the company that pays the most. Most of the time it’s best to let them work somewhere else. Eventually someone else will offer them more money and they’ll leave. Save yourself the headache and cost of losing talent. Create an environment that attracts and retains talent. Develop a strategy for:
- Competing and winning at a high level
- A welcoming and inclusive culture
- A proven effective employee development system
If you would like to discuss more ways to help your business grow or if you feel you have a specific problem that needs to be addressed, please reach out to me.