Take a look at the most admired companies in America. Apple, Berkshire & Hathaway, Southwest Airlines. The list goes on and on depending on the industry you look in. However, all of them have ONE thing in common. They all focus on keeping the "Diversified " A" List" of talent under their belt. Regardless of if it's in product development, sales, service, etc... These companies look for, keep, and CULTIVATE the overachievers in their respective field. This is done chiefly by diversification as well as ability qualification.
You see, you can't have all of your top talent coming from the same background. If you did that then, as times and clients tastes change, you will find yourself unable to compete. Let's look at a couple of the pitfalls companies routinely find themselves in as they search for talent and drown their organizations into mediocracy.
1. PRIORITIZING EVERYTHING BUT THE "A" PLAYERS
The top 10% of your producers bring in 10 to 25 times more than your mediocre producers. Otherwise known as the "B" team. One of the most common mistakes hiring managers make is hiring candidates that can potentially do a job versus the candidates that will turn in stellar performance at the position month after month after month. These are the movers and shakers of your industry. They come from varied backgrounds and cultures but they all have the common behavior of success in the industry.
When you hire based on this principle of not getting the hard hitters, its like adding a tremendous amount of ice to an otherwise great drink. You simply just water it down to mediocracy. Eventually making it ineffective.
" A-players contribute more, innovate more, work smarter, earn more trust, display more resourcefulness, take more initiative, develop better business strategies, articulate their vision more passionately, implement change more effectively, deliver higher quality of work, demonstrate greater teamwork, and find ways to get the job done in less time for less money." – Brad & Geoff Smart, 2007
2. NOT PAYING ENOUGH (BELOW MARKET) FOR THE BEST TALENT
There are no truer words than "You get what you pay for". Let's face it. The majority of "A" players are happily employed, or if they are not happy, they are hitting numbers out of the park and getting paid well. When you pay below the belt, you attract the wrong people. The "B" and "C" candidates. You may hire the best candidate from the bunch. However, ultimately you will hire a "B" or "C" player. This is definitely a step into mediocracy and effectively putting a nail in your organizations coffin. These non-diverse "B" and "C" producers will miss sales targets, completely by-passing new markets because of their lack of diverse vision and land your company at back of the pack.
Find out what it takes to pay the "A" talent in your industry and pay the competitive wage to get them and keep them. You will be able to afford it because they will hit the sales and production goals you need. NOT paying them and struggling with "B" and "C" players is an expense you cannot afford.
3. THE WORST SINS: NO OUTSIDE AGENCIES! USING JOB BOARDS AND SHARK FEEDING FRENZIES
Organizations routinely think they can save money by taking on the task of recruiting themselves. They post their positions on job boards, ask employees for referrals, and otherwise paper the town and internet with a request for resumes. Let me be clear... This is insane.
Finding and attracting top talent is not easy by any means. Its ironic that despite this very true fact, companies continue to believe they can find top talent through job boards. This is very rare to find an "A" player on these venues. And even then, you will have found a needle in a haystack.
"A" players generally are not looking or responding to job boards. You will not find them on any keyword search. They don't respond to robot emails from job boards saying "We have a job for you!!" Generally the "A" players are not looking because they are mostly happy in their positions. They are knockin' the cover off the ball, and they are taking your competition right past your organization to the next level. Essentially, they are not looking for jobs and they will know nothing about your open position. This leaves the "B" and "C" candidates. They have their resumes posted EVERYWHERE. They are actively searching job boards and responding to ads by the masses. Many have been downsized because their performance was sub-par or their position was very expendable. At the end of the day, even if you hire the best from the bunch, usually, you get the best WORST candidate for the position.
The "shark feeding frenzy" can be identified by organizations that use multiple recruiting agencies to find top talent for one position. This is as bad as not using an agency at all. Instead of a top flight diversity driven agency focusing on bringing you the best candidate for the position. All the agencies focus on filling the search before their competition does. This brings you a lot of resumes, job board database entries, and typically not "A" player talent. You are in the same boat as not using an agency at all. Essentially because you turned this into a race instead of a true hunt for treasure. When you make agencies compete, you are faced with making the best choice out of the worst talent. This is NOT what you want to introduce into your company.
Organizations that excel in the art of talent acquisition understand that using the right executive recruiter is an investment and not an expense or cost-prohibitive transaction. They understand that the ROI is exponential!
If you would like more information on how to locate and recruit "A" talent that is diverse and flexible. Contact 925Hire.com 216.373.7511 to speak with an inclusion specialist.
The Inclusionist & Job Mingler