Step 1 of 4: High Performance Teams

Farmer plowing in Fahrenwalde, Mecklenburg-Vor...

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Make recruiting a process that is structure and tracked

What would you think of a farmer who decided to skip all the plowing and sowing and jump right into harvesting?   You’d think the farmer was deluded and crazy?  How can a crop be harvested if the seeds were never sown?  How can crops grow if the soil isn’t plowed and watered?  It would be insanity to think a farmer could go straight to harvest without doing all the things necessary to cultivate their crop.

This is how many organizations approach recruiting.  They have a critical opening and suddenly they want to harvest top talent.  Like the farmer they too need to cultivate the talent pool and sow their employment brand long before they start to harvest.  This means that recruiting has to be a process that is incorporated into the overall company culture .  It has to be an ongoing activity that is measured and tuned.

Here are some simple ways high performing organizations sow seeds and cultivate a healthy crop of top talent:

  • Promote their company as a highly desired place to work
  • Create relationships with potential employees as early as high school
  • Advertise their jobs to attract top talent rather than screen out applicants
  • Profile key jobs
  • Establish an ongoing relationship with a niche search firm

Of course, there are variables specific to every organization.  But the faster companies begin to cultivate their talent pool, the faster they’ll have the right people to hire.


Hot in the Shade

Have you ever experienced a day of 115 degree temperatures?  That’s how I spend the past weekend while at a national lacrosse tournament in Towson, MD.  The combined heat and humidity created a heat index in excess of 115 degrees!  To say it was miserable would be an understatement.  It’s a wonder more players didn’t collapse on the field.

The experience taught me two things; 1) the human body’s ability to produce perspiration is endless and, 2) no matter how many tents, shade trees, umbrellas, misters, etc…. you can’t escape that kind of heat!  As the day wore on the heat began to impact the quality of play on the field.  Players started to make decisions out of expedience and fatigue rather than skill and experience.

This is also how a lot of hiring managers approach their open positions.  The heat of the open seat becomes so hot that they make poor decisions.  If their bench strength is shallow or if they don’t practice the habit of always looking for top talent, the heat will beat them down.  The hotter it gets the more likely they will compromise their judgment and instinct.   This is exactly how “miss-hires” happen.  The overheated urgency to find a body, anybody, causes short circuits in the hiring process.

Managers can provide some always present shade when they approach recruiting as a process and not as an event.  This is especially important today as the search, and need, for top talent is getting hotter.  Managers who have a system to constantly identify and attract top talent will avoid the oppressive heat caused by open seats.

10 Ways to Take Your Talent Strategy to the Next Level

Now that the economic recovery seems to be advancing, health care executives have to turn their attention to attracting and retaining professional talent.  Many key company employees put off retirement or career transitions until the economy improved.  Strategic leaders should ask themselves what steps have they taken to protect and transfer the departing corporate intelligence to new people?  What retention strategies are you implementing to avoid loosing even more?

Business and Human Capital pundits hypothesize that in a recession-altered workplace, employees are often adrift, without well-defined roles and accountability or managers who have a grasp on how to actually execute the business leaders key strategies and metrics.

Employers who need to drive more profitability, who need to maintain and sharpen their competitive edge recognize that it will be their people who create the differentiating factor.   This is especially true in our global economy.  The old way of recruiting people, interviewing, selecting, and retaining doesn’t work any longer.  In fact, it turns off the very top talent you seek.  Strategic leaders recognize the available workforce will actually shrink by 15% or more over the next 10 years.  Companies need to be more careful about who they hire because there will be fewer of them to choose.  Talent strategy then becomes a revenue generator. Executives have to take their corporate talent strategy to a new level.

Here are ten ways to supercharge your talent acquisition, selection, and retention strategies:

1.    Throw out old job descriptions and create performance profiles for each key contributor role.
2.    Benchmark your best performers in each job and create Key Performance Indicators.
3.    Re-engineer your interviewing process to ask the RIGHT questions.
4.    Make Organizational Development & effective Recruitment a priority.
5.    Alter the objectives, roles and accountability of HR Management.
6.    Hire the right people who shared common values and purpose.
7.    Establish an on-line employment presence flaunting their EVP.
8.    Implement a top grading culture.
9.    Make rewards personable and customized.
10.  Provide employee development, mentoring and coaching for high impact employees.

Don’t waste time; implement some or all of these TODAY.  If you haven’t started by now you are already behind.