How To Attract and Retain Top Talent

In my regular discussions with CEO’s and the leaders of large multi-national businesses about the value of top talent to their business we will often conclude that:

  1. A top talent company means having top talent in all areas of the business. A business can’t survive with top talent at the top or in specific areas of the business whilst having little top talentin all the other parts of the business.
  2. Many organisations fail to recognise that they may already have top talent within their business. As a result they will often seek to recruit expensive outsiders. This is because they don’t have a system for identifying their top talent at an early stage in the employment cycle.
  3. Top talent is often attracted to the prospect of personal development as opposed to a high salary.
  4. A company filled with top talent will always attract other top talent to it
  5. A company filled wwith top talent will grow faster, be seen as a market leader and produce more profits than its competition.

When describing how the above impacts upon a business I will often make the analogy to a highly successful restaurant. Any restaurant that fills all of its tables every night and has a full diary of forward bookings will have acapable, stable and motivated team of chefs in the kitchen. However having a team of top talent creating the product, in this case food, is not enough. To provide a great customer eating experience there must be a team of professional front of house and waiting staff to meet, greet and serve the customers. Otrher aspects such as decor, entertainment value and ease of access may play a part but the main criteria are the people and the product.

However if that top talent leaves the restaurant this is often immediately noticeable by regular customers. Either the food or the service will suffer and customers immediately will stay away in droves.

Why top talent is attracted to a business:

  • The work is interesting and challenging
  • There are promotion opportunities
  • The company will look good on the CV
  • High performers are recruited and looked after
  • There is a boss or mentor that is admired
  • The company has a good reputation and is a strong performer
  • There is long-term commitment to top talent
  • Culture and values are liked
  • There is trust in the senior management
  • Top talent is recognised and rewarded for their individual and team contribution

Why top talent leaves a business

  • There is change in the management that does not appreciate the top talent
  • There is conflict with immediate superiors
  • Close friends (other top talent) leaves
  • There are no further learning opportunities
  • Another company will look better on the resume (CV)

Stephen?Harvard Davis is described as the UK’s leading authority on job transition and is the author of “Why do 40% of Executives Fail?”. He also advises companies on transion managment and attracting and retaining top talent within a business. He is also a sought after speaker at high level conferences and business meetings.

Tel: 44 (0) 1727 838321



1 Comment so far

  1. Paul Matthews March 28th, 2007 10:28 pm

    I left a company due to conflict with a manager because the talent programme was altered so that I could remain in his department for lomger than was promised. As a result my learning was reduced and so were the promotion prospects.

    Actually it was quite easy finding another firm to take me on their graduate programme

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