• Timothy Osborn

Winning & Attracting Top Talent for Your Organization


Winning Top Talent

As the economy moves toward full employment and as the competition for top talent increases, how does an organization position itself to "win top talent"? I recently was speaking with a friend of mine about the state of top talent in the workforce and shared a few conversations that I have had after speaking and interviewing several hundred "Top Talented" professionals this year. I began the conversation explaining the similarities between today's job market and what I saw in the housing market as a Real Estate Broker/ CEO during the housing shift.


Supply and demand drive the economics of price and valuation. In real estate, when houses are available in vast supply and buyers are few, the market is often referred to as a "buyers market" and sellers compete for a qualified buyer resulting in price contraction. On the other end of the spectrum, when the supply of homes are few and multiple buyers are competing for a home the market is known as a "sellers market" resulting in value appreciation. Buyers usually end up paying more for a property in a "sellers market" due to competition. Today, we are in a Top Talent market. Jobs are more plentiful and Top Talented professionals have a greater number of viable options and opportunities. For the employer, it is more important than ever to be aggressive and purposeful when attempting to negotiate and attract these individuals. And, for Top Talented professionals, it is more important than ever to position oneself to leverage the best contract terms or compensation package through talent representation.


What strategies can an organization or HR Department employ to attract, reach and "win Top Talent".

1. Define clearly what Top Talent means to your organization. Job sculpting and clearly defining what is being sought in a new hire can help establish clear expectations and set the parameters for the type of talent to recruit. What do you really need? What skill sets are a must to fulfill the job role? What type of personal values are you looking to find in a future employee? What are the qualifications for the job? Be realistic and ask the necessary questions required to strategically chart and plan your hiring goals. Avoid bidding wars for "perceived" Top Talent and only pursue true Top Talent when that is necessary, appropriate and required. Don't get lost in the hype of the job market and loose sight of the goals that need to be achieved. Be clear and stay focused.


2. Connect with Top Talented Acquisition Specialists in your industry. I know this can seem a little cliche because a "Talent Acquisition" founder is writing this article, but hear me out. Long before resumes are ever submitted for a position on a job board, usually a seasoned talent acquisition specialist is approached by Top Talented professionals who are ready to shift upward in their career paths or entrepreneurial goals. In most cases, these individuals have hit a glass ceiling where growth opportunity is limited and/or they desire to work with or lead a more engaging culture where creativity, collaboration and innovation can thrive. Personally, I can tell you there are many C- level executives, VP's, Industry leaders and innovative thinkers who are actively looking for a qualified opportunity. And, they are out there in abundance! Dissatisfaction is at an all time high. Working with a talent acquisition specialist in your industry, that you trust, can open up the doors for these introductions. Top Talented professionals are realizing their value and wanting to be represented in a future opportunity while being able to maintain confidentiality with their current obligations. Basically, if you are a known competitor these individuals are not going to submit a resume on your company career page or job board - but they might be willing to speak through a facilitator or Talent Acquisition Specialist.


3. Examine the benefits you are offering. What benefits are Top Talented professionals wanting in today's market? And, do the benefit packages offered by your organization meet or exceed those expectations? Let me share a few thoughts from my conversations with Top Talented professionals about what they are looking for in a new opportunity. (Note: I'm sharing what I have been told and I'm not advocating that these are all inclusive or feasible in some organizations):

  • They want insurance - health, dental, vision and life insurance for their whole family.

  • They want a competitive salary and a bonus structure that rewards them for exceeding expectations.

  • They want a 401-K and/or profit sharing plan.

  • They want "ownership" opportunities after a certain period of time.

  • They want student loan debt paid off.

  • They want health and wellness programs - membership in a local gym would be a real perk here.

  • They want ownership of their ideas when those ideas add value and revenue to the organization. Don't pay me $70K when I'm responsible for generating $5 Million + in additional revenue for the company(they want a piece of the action).

  • They want recognition for what they do and how they contribute toward the goals and success of the companies they serve.

  • They want a life outside of work, vacation pay comparable to their current job and PTO time for when they just need a break.

  • They want a retirement plan or coach that can provide them with one-on-one support for planning their personal financial and retirement goals.

You can only imagine what some of my CEO/ Founder friends had to say about this list! But, my response is "Don't shoot the messenger!" I'm only sharing what Top Talented professionals are saying. And, how they are "qualifying their future opportunities". It is up to an organization and their management team to decide how to respond to the climate of the job market. I will say this, however, in real estate the seller never wants to hear from the realtor their house is not worth what they want. Sellers who listened prior to the housing collapse were able to successfully navigate the changing waters - others - well...they became the foreclosures.


Think of it like this... If you were going to produce a film and wanted to hire Brad Pitt, Julia Roberts or some other A-list movie star, would you be able to contact them directly and have access to their number? NO! You would work with them through their Talent Agent, attorney or publicist. Why? They are Top Talent in their field and understand the value of being represented and introduced to a qualified opportunity. Top Talented professionals, like top employers, qualify their opportunities before they engage a conversation. A-list professionals (such as C-level executives, lawyers, accomplished CPAs, senior software engineers, VPs, patent holders, founders, co-founders, industry leaders, physicians, nurse practitioners, engineers, advisory board members, executive board members, celebrities that represent brands, and influential industry voices) are probably not posting resumes on job boards. If you need one of these individuals - where do you go?


(C) Copyright 2018 - The Osborn Group, LLC - All rights reserved. Sharing is permitted and appreciated.


About the Author - Timothy G. Osborn is the Senior Consultant/Founder at The Osborn Group, LLC where "We build top talented teams to enhance and create next level solutions for efficient business operations, learning & development, human resources, content marketing, engagement, brand development, talent acquisition,startup mentoring services, feasibility studies, and management consulting."


"Expect exceptional experiences every time!"


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