War on Talent
“War is Hell.” William Tecumseh Sherman wrote in a letter to the Mayor of Atlanta warning him that his war plans make it necessary for the inhabitants of the city to “make their exodus in any direction as easy and comfortable as possible.”
We know the devastation Sherman caused in his march through Georgia and, of course, the burning of Atlanta. And what does this have to do with the employment market? It is not a stretch to say that firms are facing a War on Talent – fortunately it is completely bloodless; but, the effect will be quite painful, chaotic, and expensive. So what can you do to protect your company?
John Sullivan, a recruiting expert says firms, “should begin planning for this next round of talent wars, because once the intense competition begins, there simply won’t be time to catch up and the lengths competitors will go to in order to steal away talent are bold, creative and sometimes downright tacky”.
Let’s look at some of the crazy things SOME Information Technology companies do to attract the A team! Can you say, KaBOOM?
Some Silicon Valley industries in social media, gaming, and oil and minerals are good examples. A recruiting firm sent 150 cookie baskets directly to key employees at Zynga, a social game developer. It was a legal, bold move designed to create buzz and alert employees that outside firms wanted them. Another low tech but effective move by Zapacer, a cloud security firm, involved driving a van advertising positions around the building of its target competitor. Although not as bold but certainly quirky and creative was the recruiting hook used by Hipster, a start up company in Silicon Valley, which offered new hires “$10,000, a lifetime supply of Pabst Blue Ribbon, ‘authentic’ skinny jeans, striped bow ties and a pair of Buddy Holly glasses.”
I’m sure you can you imagine that activities like these combined with the persuasive abilities of a professional headhunter have the potential to completely ravage a company’s top talent.
NO WAR IS GOING TO BE WON BY CONSERVATIVE ACTION – BOLDNESS AND INNOVATION ARE REQUIRED. (ere.net)
So how does this affect your company? “For firms to keep top talent they have to be ruthless about innovation – if they aren’t prepared to back employee ideas, they will lose those employees to a start-up, to a competitor or to disinterest.” (Rob Enderle)
It is up to managers, HR departments and ultimately the culture of the company to provide a climate that demonstrates flexibility and a willingness to create a dynamic innovative work environment. Business author Andrew Winston notes in his seminars that “millennials don’t have any loyalty.” Younger employees would rather work for companies that share their beliefs than to stay at a company for many years. This cultural shift toward innovation-not just sustainability gives small and medium businesses an advantage, in that they can move more quickly to embrace change. This shift, combined with a willingness to remain sensitive to employee’s expectations (and that doesn’t mean just salary) is what will keep the talent in a company.
Improving communication can be a relatively easy starting point at which to look, and it doesn’t cost a company anything but a little time and an attitude of genuine concern. Communication is multidimensional involving verbal and non verbal aspects. It is the nonverbal that is the most fascinating and some would say most important – surely the receptive communication skill of LISTENING will help to maintain a stable pool of talent that is not easily “raided.” Human Resources, are you listening to your employees? Employees, are you being heard?