Two facts about high performing workers:
- They do the best work
- They do the most work
In fact, your high performers can be up to eight times more productive* than their less impressive co-workers.
So, why do so many companies do such a terrible job of attracting high performers?
In a global survey of CEOs in 2016, ‘failure to attract and retain top talent’ was cited as their number one issue – a bigger challenge than either economic growth or competitive intensity.
The fact is, unemployment is low, and there is a skills gap. So the top tier candidates are in huge demand. How do you make them want to work with you rather than your competitors? In a nutshell, you need to differentiate yourself and show how you can help them achieve their career objectives.
1. Be clear about what you are offering. Most people want similar things from a job, and most companies fail to show how they will meet their needs. Workers want clarity on their purpose, to work with teams who share their values, to feel what they are doing matters and to know that there is opportunity for new experience and career progression. Find ways to demonstrate these things clearly and in relevant ways.
2. Develop an employer value proposition that communicates what people can expect their employee experience to be like. The purpose of this is to promote your organisation as the employer of choice to a target audience. Research shows that organisations that develop a positive employer brand get up to double the applications of other less well-positioned companies**.
3. Use your existing staff as advocates. The people who best know what it’s like to work for you are your existing staff. Encourage staff to generate positive content, use them in recruitment videos, pursue a strategy of creating talent ambassadors through LinkedIn profiles. As part of this, you should also build an efficient employee referral programme. Statistics show that candidates referred by existing employees are often high quality.
4. Be careful how you manage temporary staff. Many organisations are growing their use of temporary workers. This gives a great opportunity to see first-hand someone’s skills and attitude – almost operating as a practical interview! Ensure these staff are given a truly positive experience – and keep a very close eye on which of them could become top permanent employees.
5. Be a people organisation. Really care for your staff. We’re not just talking about pay and benefits, but creating a working environment that thrives on trust and mutual respect. You’ll find your reputation spreads, people will talk about the amazing place they work, and you’ll attract people who are aligned with your culture and values.
6. Offer something different. The 9-5 office is rapidly becoming a thing of the past. In many cases, people value flexibility above salary. Be clear that you are interested in what someone can achieve, not in where they sit or what hours they work.
It’s not easy finding the cream of the crop, but it can be done with the right approach. Do you have any tips to share? We’d love to hear from you.
*Herman Aguinis and Ernest O’Boyle Jr. “The best and the rest: Revisiting the norm of normality in individual performance”
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