I am not much for going through walls, I usually look for a way around them.

It a recent study released by the Northern California Human Resource Association, the following statistics were shared:

93% believe there is now or will soon be a talent shortage
44% report full leadership support for the New Reality
78% said retention is a high priority this year

When I hear the words high priority this year, I automatically think initiative.  I can hear the front-line business leaders now – “HR wants us to do something new this year . . . “.

So a slew of new priorities and initiatives are happening to deal with the talent shortage and make retention a high priority.  We get in the talent wars because we join the same battle everyone else is fighting – post the job, recruit for the job, hope they can do the job, hope they stay, hope the skilled people mentor the new people effectively, and hope people tell us when they want to do more.  Here are some questions to help you think about how you are fighting this war:

  • Do you have a list of key jobs and are you adding names to it every couple months that you would hire today if you had an opening?
  • Is every candidate greeted by the nicest person in the company?
  • Do you allow yourself to smile during the interview?
  • Do you always respond to interviewees in a timely manner?
  • Do you(manager) send a present/personal note to people when they accept an offer?
  • Do you(manager) personally call people back when you want to have another interview with them?
  • Do you(manager) personally call people back after interviewing them and deciding not to continue the process with them?
  • Do you share with people as part of the interview how important this role is to the strategy of the team/organization and take five minutes to share with them why you love to work here?
  • Do you tell them the truth without prefacing it with “Let me be completely honest with you” or “I am going to be 100% truthful on this one”.
  • Do you(manager) map out a path to success for new people(onboarding) and spend extra time with them over the first 3-6 months?
  • When they say No to your offer do you(manager) personally call them to learn more about their Yes to someone else and No to you – then wish them great success. Do you then invite them to connect on LinkedIn so you can stay in touch?

Talent wars are real in areas where skills are scarce, but they are also about every employer being equal in the eyes of the people looking for work.

What if you were so good at telling your story and matching passions/talents with your needs that people could not imagine going anywhere else when you offered them a job?  What if your people were recruiting for you because they were so passionate about your organization?

Don’t have time to worry about these little things?  Wars are expensive, but good luck fighting it.

Personally, I would try and position myself so everyone else is fighting over the people I passed on.


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