The War for Talent is Winnable

The War for Talent is Winnable

Do you have trouble finding and keeping great employees?If so, this month’s article is a must read. It’s from one of my suppliers, Hiring Smart.All too often employers look at the wrong indicators for a successful hire. They enter into a working relationship, spend a lot of money doing so, only to find their new prized employee is not the right fit for the company. Sound familiar?Enjoy the read. And let me know how I can help.Sincerely,

Ormond Rankin


 From:   Hiring Smart There has been a lot of press recently about how demographics are painting an ugly picture for any organization whose success depends on human capital. Simply put, the workforce in North America is shrinking as retirements outnumber new entries.

Virtually all executives are now aware of this coming talent shortage, but few know what to do about it. The days of success using traditional approaches to recruiting are over; attracting qualified applicants will require a more strategic approach.

Think it’s hard to find good help today? Fasten your seatbelt. This is just the beginning of a trend that will accelerate over the coming decades. This is not a recession we have to weather… this is going to be the new normal.

So how will you weather the storm? You can win the war for talent – you just need to act differently from your competition.

The secret to hiring – and keeping – great employees is not what most people think it is.


If your standard M.O. is to start from a résumé, think again. Sorry to say, the secret to hiring success is not education related. Nor is it about credentials, even in your industry. Or experience. Some of these factors may be important qualifiers, but not one of them is a reliable predictor of how well an employee will perform for you, or how long they will stay.

In First, Break All The Rules, the Gallup organization did an elegant job of documenting how and why productivity, retention, customer satisfaction and financial performance are actually outcomes, or trailing indicators… things that are not ends in and of themselves, but the natural result of a highly engaged team or department. They are, in fact, indicators of engagement. 

The degree to which an employee is engaged in their job determines how long they will stay, how productive they will be, how happy your customers will be and how much money they will make you. So how do we go about building engagement in order to achieve the outcomes we so desire? Not by mandating it, or even by asking for it. Engagement is itself the outcome of yet other things done well. The single best predictor of how engaged a person will be is fit across four levels. In order of importance;  

  • Fit and quality of relationship between the employee and their direct manager. This is self-evident and well documented, but most organizations pay little or no attention to getting it right, opting instead to throw people together and hope they figure it out.
  • Close second is the employee’s fit in their role. How much of their time will be spent drawing
    from their strengths, performing tasks that interest them and for which they have a natural affinity?
  • Third is the employee’s fit with their coworkers, internal or external customers, and others with whom they will come into contact? Will they enjoy those interactions or will they find them stressful?
  • Finally, fit with the company’s culture, values and mission. Does the employee feel that they are contributing to something worthwhile, and that they are in a place that’s right for them

Plainly put, if you don’t place a premium on (and invest resources in) getting the fit right and if managers aren’t focused on using the tools at their disposal to build and nurture productive relationships with and between each of their people, you’ll never achieve and sustain the levels of engagement that are required to achieve your turnover, productivity, satisfaction and financial targets. The cause-and-effect chain reaction is clear and well documented. The soft numbers are the leading indicators.


The War for Talent


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