Seven Ways Great Leaders Attract The Best Talent Like a Magnet
How great leaders attract the best talent like a magnet? How strong leaders attract talented people to make their organization thrive? Aside from outsized perks, what can leaders do to address the talent shortage?
One of the most vital challenges any leader faces in the modern business world is that of employee hiring and retention.
Leaders need to wear many hats and assume different roles in an organization. From making sure that clients are happy, to ensuring that each employee works on the right project, to creating high engagement among teams, leaders have their hands full.
Even in a competitive job market, leaders need a strategy to attract and keep good people.
WarningOur ever-changing way of life and the rise of the gig economy have enabled many talented individuals to abandon the classic nine-to-five schedule and work for various businesses on a project basis.
Whatever phase your business is in, you need a well-defined strategy.
Your personal involvement must always be part of the strategy when hiring management and team members. The best people are going to recognize this involvement, and they will want to join you.
Loyalty to the leader and the organization begins with initial contact and matures as the recruiting process evolves.
The role of business leaders and senior executives in the talent acquisition process is often under emphasized as a success criterion. Many leaders unwittingly relinquish their vast power in aiding organizational recruiting and retention efforts.
Investing in your team members is essential to you becoming more successful.
If you’re looking for effective solutions to attract and retain the best talent like a magnet in your industry here are a few tried and tested tactics that can help you grow your organization with the right people by your side.
They Build Feedback Loops
So much has been said about feedback that business owners now use it as a buzzword and not an actual method. Even the ones that try their best to elicit comments and reviews from time to time tend to leave things as they are without addressing the issues that arise.
Treat feedback as a two-way street. Devise surveys, set up regular meetings among your teams and talk one-on-one with employees.
As soon as you implement the changes, let each employee know what you’ve done to accommodate their needs and resolve the issues they’ve pointed out. By doing this, they’ll know their voices are being heard and they’ll feel like a part of your business.
A feedback loop is a recurring loop to analyze the quality of work that is being done and to uncover the solutions to continue to improve.
WarningIt should not be viewed as negative reinforcement as part of the loop is the positive actions that are being performed. Leadership feedback is a self-sustaining process meaning that it is designed with everything needed for productivity, a positive to enhance the good, and solutions to rectify the areas needed to be improved.
Request feedback persistently. If your employees appear to operate like mere cogs in a machine, they may feel like we view them as little else. They may have no clue whether we value their input and ideas.
It’s easy to think of performance management as identifying underperformers, but we forget about the importance of recognizing the great work that high achievers are doing on a daily basis.
Many of your employees who quietly, consistently do well are yearning for a grateful, reassuring pat on the back, and an ongoing conversation about performance with specific feedback is a great way to do that. When great talent feels valued and seen in the workplace, they’re much more likely to stick around or develop into leaders themselves.
Your feedback culture starts with your managers. Most people say that when their managers give them feedback, they feel valued.
WarningWhen employees do not receive feedback, they feel discouraged. You need to nail the best feedback loop and ensure that the leadership at your company is striving for an environment that encourages learning and continuous improvement.
They Know Their Purpose
Do your employees know what they are working for and do they understand your company’s purpose? It does not have to be elaborate or complicated, in fact, simple statements of purpose are often the most powerful.
By having a clear purpose, and transparency to go with it, it makes it much easier for your employees to buy-in to what you are doing, where you are going and their role in helping you get there.
A mission statement is a short paragraph that summarizes what you do, who you do it for and why you do it. It serves as an easy way for competitors, partners and customers to see why you’re different, what you stand for and what your ultimate goals are as a business.
You should also incorporate the mission statement into the job description you write for the open position.
WarningIf you’re treating a job description as an afterthought, you’re doing a disservice to your company and to potential new hires. Spend the time necessary to create a thoughtful, detailed job description, and you’ll find hiring is easier because candidates come in knowing what to expect.
When you’re looking to fill an open role, it can be tough to determine whether someone has the skills to do the job properly, as well as the personality to fit in well at your organization. In order to gain a clearer perspective about whether this candidate is a good all-around fit, make it a point to separate skills interviews from values interviews.
Your company mission statement will naturally attract candidates that share the same values and have the same goals as your business.
A report by Deloitte has shown that almost two thirds of millennials deliberately chose to work with organisations that they felt were purpose-driven. Another research into workplace happiness has shown that having a sense of purpose at work is one of six factors which drive satisfaction.
Give candidates a compelling mission and purpose that motivates them to work for you.
WarningDon’t be afraid to state your purpose in a way that’s unique to your organization: Airbnb, for example, promises prospective workers the chance to “create a world that inspires human connection.” Instead of focusing on the details of what they will do, highlight how they will find meaning and help you change the world.
They Let People Grow
It’s best to act preventatively and help your employees understand from the moment they apply that there is room for growth. You will gain loyalty and enthusiasm from existing employees while also building trust in new hires, ensuring that there is room for growth and advancement in your organization.
You will want to inspire a collaborative culture in your company where everyone can contribute to the growth and development of others.
There are many different ways in which you can make this happen. From organizing workshops internally, inviting relevant experts to set up seminars, to organizing a mentorship program that allows people to cross-train in different areas and learn from the more experienced members in their field.
Where available, try to give employees the freedom to choose how to do their work. Employees tend to be most satisfied when they feel a sense of autonomy in their job.
Giving employees control over their work and how they complete it can be a great way to motivate employees and increase their feelings of competence while ensuring they are happy working for you as a leader and for your organization in general.
The first step to retaining great employees is to ask yourself some tough questions from their point of view. Do your people want to come to work every morning? Is the work interesting and meaningful — or does your staff just seem to be going through motions to pull down a paycheck? Is your team still learning and growing? If not, employees will feel it is time to move on.
Talented employees crave opportunity. They want to be able to grow, develop and learn as well as performing to high standards.
WarningGood salaries and a competitive benefits package are a given; all the top companies will offer this. Show employees the unique opportunities you can provide them to develop and thrive at your company.
When applying for jobs, many applicants look for growth opportunities; they might not want to sign up for a dead-end job.
At a small business, employees can learn more skills, take on more challenges, and move up through the company. Employees might need to do a little bit of each job which can help them develop their skills, a benefit that 87% of millennials and 69% of non-millennials want.
They Nurture Their Culture
To attract and retain the best people, you have to create an environment where people can enjoy work. This culture has to underpin all the work you do.
Enjoying work should not just be an aim, it should be something every employee does every day. It is from here where cultures grow to nourish the best performing teams.
Go the extra mile to make your employees feel valued, respected and wanted. While regular away days or kick off days are great, remember that creating a positive environment is not just about what you do but also how you act while at work.
Today’s workers want to feel valued. Show your appreciation for them through employee-recognition programs, performance bonuses and comfortable work environments.
Help them unwind as well. Activities like group yoga, friendly athletic competitions, and regular team-building activities outside the office provide welcome breaks.
Consider what you can offer employees. Employees value work-life balance. They appreciate it when you offer flexible work schedules, for instance. Candidates and employees also appreciate career opportunities like on-the-job training and potential promotions.
Turn your company into a place where people want to work. The best reputations are developed by having successful teams, a great product and strong leadership.
Build your reputation by delivering a 5-star experience to your customers but also your employees. Strong reputations are built by what you do and by what people say about you. Do great things and make it easy for people to want to talk about you.
Hiring talent that doesn’t align with your company culture creates personal conflict within the employee that will no doubt impact their work and those they work with.
WarningIt’s your responsibility to set your employees up for success, and making sure their values and work ethic is in line with your culture before extending an offer is the very first thing you can do for them and the rest of your workforce.
People Come First
Strong leadership means communicating clearly and consistently, setting reasonable expectations, listening to your employees, and having a positive attitude about finding the right people. This isn’t just about dollars out the door — it’s about building your company’s future while giving others a chance to grow and succeed.
Treat people well, empower them and give them everything they need to grow and develop.
Listen to people if they have good ideas and don’t be afraid to act upon them. Start here, and you will soon be the envy of your competition.
Being positive and friendly with employees can go a long way toward creating a supportive environment in which employees want to work.
When employees can bring forward issues to their leaders, they can feel confident that their concerns are heard. Employees who feel that the organization supports their development will feel motivated to stay.
If a potential recruit thinks work pressure at your company can affect their personal life, they may bounce. An open environment office is another great option. To keep the employees entertained, you can also have friendly sports matches.
Employers of choice treat people well. There are no shortcuts. Treat people well, and your reputation will attract the best.
Treating people well starts with having a robust interview process, where candidates are respected and informed at every step. It extends to having fair policies, consistently applied, and benefits that reflect the caliber of employee you want to attract.
Kindness always works. Kindness works in customer service and it works in relation to attracting and retaining talent.
WarningBenefits can be matched, but kindness is unique. Employees will always ask the question: Does this company care about me? Great companies work hard to create ways of showing kindness to their employees.
They Empower Teams
A good leader inspires people. Whether it is in business, sports or politics, great leaders instil a desire in others to be better, to perform better and to exceed their expectations.
Empowerment and trust are more than buzzwords. The best leaders give their people challenging and interesting work and trust them to get it done.
Challenging your people by placing problems in front of them creates unity, sparks invention, and implies trust (which equates to feeling valued). Next time you’re facing a tough decision, seek the advice of your staff; you’ll probably find them ready and willing to help.
An empowered organization is one where individuals have the knowledge, skill, desire and opportunity to personally succeed in a way that leads to the success of the organization.
Amazon’s motto is to “Make employees think like owners”. Their 14 Leadership principles put emphasis on taking ownership and autonomy at work. The idea of offering stock options at Amazon while hiring puts another feather on the cap.
When it comes to hiring, leadership wins when they trust recruiters to do more than shoot over resumes for consideration, and instead empower them as their active partner in candidate engagement. Collaboration works when feedback, responsiveness and communication go hand in hand with empowerment and trust to enable success.
Don’t make the mistake of overreaching when it comes to solving your employees’ problems.
Acting as a reference instead of an authority means providing trustworthy, accurate advice rather than using your power to step in and solve issues. By putting employees in charge of finding their own solutions, you foster independence — something that can come in handy when multiple projects come raining down on the team.
It is difficult to attract young talents with old-style management approaches based on permanent control, distrust, lack of feedback and lack of good communication.
WarningManagers must learn how to lead the way and take the best of their teams’ creativity, passions, and intellect, while giving them a voice, caring for them and recognizing their contributions. That is also why companies that are better at attracting talent have adopted a management approach based on leadership.
They Think Beyond Money
Offering plenty of opportunities for employee training and growth will not only entice potential candidates, but it will also keep current employees on board. If you think you can entice today’s talent pool just with compensation, think again.
Career growth opportunities now rank as the most important factor when looking for a new job.
WarningWhile compensation is always a central part of the hiring process, there has never been a better time to land top talent, even if you can’t pay top dollar. Because younger generations of workers are expanding their career priorities.
When the employment relationship devolves into just the transactional, it ceases to be attractive, long-term, or motivating.
Today’s workforce, primarily millennials and Gen-Zs, value your entire Employment Value Proposition (EVP), not just money, in evaluating their employment relationships. A 2019 survey by Deloitte bears this out:
It’s not impossible to recruit top talent to work for you even if you can’t offer the world in return. Using what makes your company unique and clearly describing all the potential ways for growth and opportunities will lead you to the right top candidates.
In a workplace of freedom, employees are happier, have the autonomy to work in the most productive way, and require less time and energy from you.
WarningWhen people feel like they don’t have freedom, or if they believe that their employer takes away their freedom rather than helping them gain more freedom in life, they are going to feel trapped. They will dread coming to work, and eventually, they’ll quit.
Money alone doesn’t guarantee employee happiness. Employees want to feel fulfilled and validated in the work they do.
They want to feel they are a part of something bigger than themselves, that their function has actual impact on the dream that the company is building. Define and consistently remind employees of the big-picture goals the business is working to achieve.
It’s impossible to create a great organization when leaders treat candidates like gold and employees like they’re replaceable. Leaders never fail when they understand that it doesn’t matter if someone is on the recruiting team, the CEO, a VP, a new analyst or experienced manager, they all deserve time and respect for all that they do and contribute.
Building a great team and being a great leader starts with you. Your team is YOUR personal responsibility.
WarningWhile there will always be different challenges for you as a leader, keeping your employees happy and engaged should be one of the top priorities. Develop your own retention strategies with the help of these bits of wisdom, and each of your employees will slowly grow more loyal towards your brand over time.
Workers have many ways to find jobs, and often they have many employers competing for them. But you can still attract and retain the top talent.
While it can be easy to be intimidated as you are trying to recruit the same talent as the big guys, don’t forget that your business has a lot of benefits that larger companies simply can’t provide. There are talented individuals out there who would benefit from being a part of your company — you just need to find them.
The best talent chooses to work for a company where the values are aligned with their values. Ultimately, it is quite simple; do great things, and great people will want to do them with you.
When it comes to hiring and retaining the best talent, it can feel like you’re in a losing race against a continually changing technology environment. But by keeping the best practices below in mind, you can bring on talent that keeps pace with innovation, shifting customer needs, and new technologies.