The value of talent is undeniable.  The talent on your workforce is a major determining factor as to the long term success or failure of your company.  In just about every industry, the businesses that are able to attract top talent rise to the top.  High-tech companies such as Google, Facebook, Apple, and others are constantly battling to keep their own talent and acquire skilled employees from their competitors.  The obvious question for business owners, then, is how can you attract top talent in your industry?  Here are three ideas that have been helpful for my clients.

  1. Understand that attracting top talent requires a long term strategy.  You can’t pick up the telephone and expect to be able to lure talented employees the instant you need them.  Instead, you need to develop a process of identifying talent and building relationships with the individuals that you’re potentially interested in.  This process needs to start well before you’re looking to hire for a specific position.  Regularly attend industry events and make it a point to get to know the individuals you’ve identified on a personal and a professional level.  By developing and cultivating relationships, you’re laying the groundwork to actually hire them in the future when the need arises.
  2. Look beyond their resume.  As you know if you’ve been in business for many years, a resume can be misleading.  So can a job history or a list of notable achievements.  It’s important to get a feel for the individual—discover their passions, goals, and desires.  Determine whether it’s likely that this talented individual is going to be passionate about your company.  If they aren’t, if it’s just another opportunity to earn a paycheck, then their talent is going to be mostly wasted.  Look for individuals that share your goals and have similar passions, don’t just look for talent.
  3. Don’t stop investing once you’ve made a hire.  By the time you actually hire an individual that you’ve identified as a top talent, you’ve invested substantial amounts of time and money.  But now that you’ve hired them, the process is only beginning!  It’s important to ensure that each employee is properly trained and mentored, in order to truly maximize their potential.  Think of this process like a college football powerhouse would approach their players: they spend months (not to mention plenty of money) wining and dining the top-rated high school recruits each year.  On signing day, when they finally secure commitments, are they done investing into the players?  Not at all… they’re just getting started.  Each recruit will be subjected to rigorous training and conditioning and will be integrated into the culture of the system.  If all goes well, by the time the talented recruit is an upperclassman, he will be a valuable contributor to a winning organization.

Attracting and developing top talent is critical for any business.  It’s important that you have a long-term system in place to help you identify, recruit, and develop talented individuals.  The future of your organization depends on it.

How do you attract talent in your workplace?