November 30, 2018 – Organizations could be doing a better job of describing their value proposition to attract top talent, according to search firm Battalia Winston. In its efforts to keep its processes for delivering talent and leadership solutions current and relevant, the firm recently examined a dozen research studies on attraction and retention, and what it found was revealing.
“What is clear is that the workforce has changed in fundamental ways, as have the key attributes you need to attract the talent required to successfully grow your enterprise,” said Terry Gallagher, president of the firm and author of the report.
Attracting Top Talent
Using data from talent management reports by LinkedIn, Coca-Cola, Workopolis, Right Management, Cordant, and Gallup, Mr. Gallagher laid out the best way for organizations to appeal and attract top talent.
1. Culture Matters
“To attract the best talent for your organization, you’ve got to clearly articulate what makes your culture attractive and what kind of culture you’re trying to build,” said Mr. Gallagher. “A-players want to know who you are, not just what you do. They want to be a part of an organizational culture, to enjoy and contribute to it. Cultural imperatives include leadership, teamwork, customer focus, communications and continuous improvement.”
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A recent LinkedIn study found that 36 percent of workers left their employer because of work environment and culture. Another Coca-Cola employee engagement report cited lack of recognition for a job well done as the top reason and work environment/culture as the second reason employees changed jobs. A Workopolis study cited work environment/culture as the second reason people left their jobs. Work/life balance was cited as the third reason for new job acceptance in the same study.
The LinkedIn study also said that 41 percent joined new organizations to make a difference and do meaningful work. Forty-seven percent joined for more challenging work. And 36 percent left because of the lack of it. A Right Management report cited new challenges as the top reason for changing jobs.
2. Meaningful and Challenging Work, Purpose and Making a Difference
“We all want to be excited and feel great about our work and yet most of the world’s workforce is disengaged,” Mr. Gallagher said. “Talk about why the work at your company matters and why your employees feel challenged and connected. A clue here: It can’t be just about making money.”
A recent Gallup study said that the combination of purpose, meaningful work and making a difference is the top reason why Millennials join organizations. Jim Clifton, Gallup’s chairman and CEO, said that in the past, “the focus among younger workers was: 1) My Future, 2) My Paycheck, 3) My Satisfaction, 4) My Boss, 5) My Annual Review and 6) My Weaknesses.
Millennials, workers who either are or will shortly control the global workforce, are now focused on: 1) My Purpose, 2) My Development, 3) My Coach, 4) My Ongoing Conversations, 5) My Strengths and 6) My Life. Another recent report by HR services firm Cordant said that 50 percent of its respondents joined their new employer for interesting work.
3. Senior Management Leadership is Key
“People rarely join companies,” said Mr. Gallagher. “They join leaders and people with whom they are well aligned, and with whom they can make a difference and enjoy themselves. Many organizations are over managed and under led. Articulate what great looks like in your organization. Great leadership can be felt and appreciated from the board room to the front lines and the customer base.”
Perhaps the best way to get the most out of employees is to make sure they are engaged in their respective jobs. Employee engagement forms the foundation of many talent acquisition leaders’ approach to human capital. Engagement binds employees to an organization’s core values and its purpose. And it is engagement that puts people first, front and center, as an integral part of corporate business strategy ….. Here’s some further reading from Hunt Scanlon Media.
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The Coca-Cola employee engagement study cited lack of senior management leadership as the No. 2 reason employees changed jobs. The LinkedIn study said that 41 percent left because of the senior management. Right Management cited ineffective leadership as the No.2 reason for changing jobs, a poor relationship with supervision as the No.3 reason and lack of recognition as the No.4 reason for changing jobs.
What Does This Mean for Recruiting Top Talent?
“Communicating your company culture to potential candidates is absolutely crucial,” Mr. Gallagher said. “How can you accomplish this? Consider allocating funds in your budget to make a recruiting video.” According to LinkedIn Talent Solutions blog, not only do videos do a better job of engaging candidates, but they also make a company seem “more human and personable. Bring your company to life with a recruiting video.”
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Answering the “why” question, meanwhile, can be a game changer for your organization. “Having a compelling reason the best talent available should consider your organization will allow you to sell the opportunity, and not the candidate,” said Mr. Gallagher. “Once the candidate is sold on the opportunity, you can determine if a real match exists.”
“Ninety percent of hiring failures occur because of lack of alignment around cultural nuances or the ability to deliver on specific performance expectations and 90 percent of the interview process should be spent on the most critical dimension of the fit: culture and performance,” said Mr. Gallagher. “If you position the opportunity early in the recruiting process, you can remain in the role of facilitator and out of the role of salesperson.”
Mr. Gallagher has consulted for a broad range of industries including: industrial, financial services & insurance, business services, technology, consumer and healthcare. He is thought leader regarding executive recruitment and retention, organizational effectiveness, management development and succession planning.
Mr. Gallagher joined Battalia Winston in 1991 and was promoted to EVP in 1994 and president in 1997. His primary focus has been in recruiting CEOs, presidents, division general managers, CFOs, CIOs, board directors and all C-suite executives for Fortune 500 as well as middle market companies and private equity firms as well as partners, practice leaders and rainmakers for consulting firms.
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor; and Andrew W. Mitchell, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media