10 Aug Four Ways To Attract The Best People And Create Talent Gravity
There’s no lack of talent out there; the key is creating gravity the draws talent to you.
Few companies aren’t envious of the incredibly talent gravity that companies such as Google, Facebook, and Apple exert. Companies in these enviable situations literally have talent knocking down their doors.
So, how can you possibly compete? After all, you don’t have the expansive campus, the perks of daycare, a health club, free gourmet food, wi-fi equipped busses to ease long commutes, or stock purchase plans that promise a potential windfall in compensation. Yet you might be surprised to know that, while attractive, these alone do not create the gravity to attract the best performers. And, unlike nature, this sort of gravity can be created by more than just sheer mass.
Fundamentally there are four things that the all truly talented people want most out of their work and are drawn to: purpose, meaning, impact, and growth. Build a brand around these four themes and you’ll be amazed at the force of the gravity you’ll create.
- Purpose–What does your organization stand for? Not in terms of making a profit but in terms of making an impact on the world. Yes, I hear you, “But I’m just a small business!” Great, well then expect to attract the sort of talent that has similarly ambiguous ambitions. Businesses are like relationships; we get the partners that we think we deserve. Right, ouch! Sorry, but if you’re not willing to create an ambition that matches the self-worth of the best people, you simply won’t attract them. So, define your purpose in a big way in as few words as possible.
“Business are like relationships; we get the partners that we think we deserve.”
- Meaning–Meaning is the super-glue of culture, a shared set of beliefs that cause an employee to invest of him or herself because it so closely aligns with their values and beliefs. So what are your organization’s values and beliefs? Do you advertising them, talk about them, are they on your web site, do you stand behind them publicly? One of my clients, Luckstone, did this by building what they call “Values-based Leadership,” which focuses on innovation, community involvement, and respect for the individual. Soft and fuzzy? Not if you inculcate the term in the vernacular of the organization and then measure it constantly. They’ve set the objective to be a world leader in Values-based Leadership and even have an internal executive position dedicated to its execution.
“Meaning is the super-glue of culture, a shared set of beliefs that cause an employee to invest of him or herself because it so closely aligns with their values and beliefs.”
- Impact–It’s great to tell me that I’ll be recognized internally for my contributions but will I see my value in the eyes of the customer? I worked with a medical devices company that once a year brought in patients, who used their devices, to meet the people who designed and built them. The personal and human impact of those meetings was profound. Employees and customers would share stories, hugs and tears over the deep sense of value they were involved with. The motivation it gave employees to strive for excellence was extraordinary. When is the last time your employees had that sort of experience?
“Employees and customers would share stories, hugs and tears over the deep sense of value they were involved with.”
- Growth–The best, brightest, and most talented people know that their only edge is growth that gives them the ability to consistently expand their own sense of self-worth. New hires in my company were assigned a mentor whose responsibility it was to make sure that their protgs were challenged to achieve stretch goals. We would celebrate those achievements, advertise them, and reinforce the person’s value in him or her self.
“The best, brightest, and most talented people know that their only edge is growth.”
Still having trouble with how to create talent gravity? Consider some of these tactics to broadcast your commitment to purpose, meaning, impact, and growth to the world:
- Integrate purpose, meaning, impact, and growth into you advertising, social media, and marketing. Don’t shy away from them, put them on center stage.
- Write a book that expounds on the vision behind these themes.
- Create wallet-sized cards that are constant reminders of your commitment to purpose, meaning, impact, and growth.
- Make sure everyone in your organization who interviews an employee is taking a page out of the same book when they talk about these themes.
- Be relentless in reinforcing how your organization is supporting and sustaining these themes.
While I can’t guarantee that doing any or all of this will require barring your doors from the flood of prospective hires, I can guarantee that it will help you attract and retain more of the types of people who truly make a difference in growing a successful company.
Now go create some gravity!
Tom Koulopoulos is the author of ten books and founder of the Delphi Group, a 25-year-old Boston-based think tank and a past Inc 500 company, which focuses on innovation and the future of business. He is also an adjunct professor at the Boston University Graduate School of Management, an Executive in Residence at Bentley University, the past Executive Director of the Babson College Center for Business Innovation, and a frequent keynote speaker. The late Peter Drucker once said of his writing, that it challenges not only the way you run your business but the way you run yourself. Tom’s latest book is The Gen Z Effect: The Six Forces Shaping The Future of Business.
This post was originally published on Inc.com.
The opinions expressed herein or statements made in the above column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of WTN Media LLC.