Attracting and Keeping Star Players

by Cass Murray

Here’s What Top Companies Are Doing Now To Attract and Retain Top Talent

Leadership is a big job, and it’s not for the faint of heart! Having to fill a role is the last thing you need, as you have so much on your plate right now.

At the moment, it can be difficult to hire. Whether you’re hiring for a new position or backfilling a position, you always run into the same issues.

TIME.

Time to fill when the position opens.

The current workload for existing team members has increased.

The time it takes you to figure out how to maintain day-to-day tasks when you have less than a full staff.

MONEY.

Compensation figures are on the rise daily.

It is typically unnecessary to spend money on contingent recruiters and job boards because they are one and the same, since your recruiter will definitely post your job description on multiple job boards, so you are always looking at the same few candidates.

And you are PAYING for that service.

And most importantly, YOUR REPUTATION.

A leader’s hardest challenge is not reaching goals with the staff he or she has in place.

Furthermore, you have to evaluate a stranger and place your trust in them to achieve company goals. Unless they do, you’ll look bad.

Hiring can be stressful when you need to hire someone who can work well with the current team and achieve your department’s goals. An assessment of your current team is always a good idea even before considering new hires. We’ve all had them.

Great employees are top performers, and those we may have inherited along the way aren’t necessarily STAR players, but you don’t have a good reason to let them go.

However, sometimes you can’t help but wonder, “Are they doing all that they can to help you reach department goals, YOUR professional goals?”

You deserve to have a good team supporting you because not doing so will negatively impact your career. I’m sure you can relate if you have ever had to report less than stellar numbers to your CEO or Investor.

Keeping the Good Ones- Just How Do You Do It?
Unfortunately, most employees don’t like their current jobs. There are 84% of job seekers who are willing to talk with recruiters about new opportunities, and whether you like it or not, this includes your current staff.

It has nothing to do with compensation in most cases, and they’ll consider relocating to a new position if they feel unsatisfied. One of the major problems employees have in their current position is that they don’t feel appreciated.

As the leader of your flock, you should take the time to talk with your employees about their goals, upcoming projects, and even their family is one of the best ways to avoid losing good employees.

Making It Personal Means You Care
Don’t wait until the job market is booming to appreciate them. You don’t want them to pick up the phone and talk to a recruiter.

It won’t cost you a dime to make your employees feel valued and appreciated, but it could save you a couple of dollars. Give them the opportunity to vent any frustrations or celebrate their successes for an uninterrupted hour. This hour is better spent while your employee is still in your employ rather than in an exit interview. Ask them for referrals as well.

“STAR players want to work with other star players.”

It’s important to take everything in stride since a little investment now keeps you from paying the price when you have to replace your STAR talent after they leave for another organization.

Alternatively, if you don’t agree with this or think that it won’t affect you, then you may already have a team filled with players who don’t matter too much to you, and as such, you should be anticipating they will need to be replaced anyway.

Even if they’re a C player, they’ll get picked up because most companies are not recruiting A and B players.

Here is where you can set yourself apart from the competition. You can have a team of A-players with potential hires waiting in the wings.

The steps are below.

Create an engaging work environment

Paying competitively

Invest in reorganizing your recruitment process

By meeting these three goals, you will reduce turnover, prevent headhunters from entering your company, and KEEP your employees.

Headhunters will attempt to recruit your employees more often when you foster a rockstar culture.

Think about it.

The more your team starts to sing your praises and the more you are known as a “First in Class,” company, the more recruiters will be interested in your team as an opportunity to find new talent.

More than 100,000 recruiters across the country are looking for outstanding candidates. In case you have at least some of them, you should take precautions to ensure that they remain with you.

The vast majority of companies have no protection against recruiters poaching from their teams. In fact, there’s a good chance recruiters are calling some of your team members about a new opportunity.

I’m certain you understand how it works by now.

Most companies are completely surprised when they lose a great employee to another opportunity. Despite the fact that you may have wished them well when they left because they had significantly contributed to the company, you’ve got to understand their position and why they couldn’t turn it down.

But now you’re left with a gaping hole in your organization, and the order of the day becomes a reallocation of duties and crunch times to fill this gap ASAP!

Don’t blame the player; blame the game. Recruiters are a sneaky bunch like that- they scalp your talent right from under your nose, then another reaches out and offers to help backfill the role, and the cycle continues.

The only way to prevent losing your best talent is to prepare ahead of time, even during busy times (when you are likely to be attacked since your employees are focused on work). As you step back and evaluate the bigger picture, you will realize that quality talent is your only true differentiator.

By eliminating inefficiencies, overcoming challenges, and even directing the entire process, employees will gain knowledge from you. You’re doing something right if you don’t have to micromanage your team constantly. Unfortunately, if you lose talent, you start over -micromanaging just to make sure tasks are completed.

Take Control Of Your Process and Your Career

Creating a company culture that attracts and retains the best employees can’t be overstated. Compensating them appropriately cannot be overstated. Otherwise, they’ll be sad about leaving, but this won’t stop them.

Having a strong team of A-players will leave you with more time to focus on building a bulletproof process to attract more of the same talent, which will make you a more attractive employer, and ultimately elevate your career.

Your shareholders will be happy when you meet their demanding goals.

You will have more time to be proactive in your continual search for the best employees as you know, no one stays for 10+ years anymore. Why wouldn’t you want to have up-and-coming recruits in the wings?

In addition to stability, STAR players also want a sense of power. They want you to give them more responsibility so that they can succeed. You will have more vacation time if you meet your quarterly goals, and if you create that bonus structure, the more rockstar talent you hire, the more achievements you will celebrate with your team. You’ve got this in the bag. The trick is to be proactive. Don’t wait until you have a ragtag team that sucks the hours out of your day and the life out of you. This is what defines true leadership.

The Tools You Need to Attract and Keep STAR Players

Competitive Compensation Culture
Knowing what your team makes in comparison to what other companies are offering is important. Find a Market Map and Salary Comparison if you can. It’s always best to offer a salary at the upper end of the range to remain competitive. Unless you do that, can you really claim to hire TOP talent? Don’t hesitate to offer that bonus/ compensation adjustment to the benefit of your current star employee. Make sure your organization has a culture that attracts and retains the right talent.

Compensation is just the beginning.

Personalize It
What are some ways to make your employees feel valued? It may be wise to ask your top player about the internal processes that work for them. If they could change one thing about their job, what would it be? Would it increase their success?

Ask them to come up with a plan to achieve what they want, even if it seems impossible. Isn’t that what great leaders do? Empower others to reach their goals? The best leaders are the ones who can show their teams how great they really are.

Restructure Your Recruitment Process
To recruit the best players 24/7, 365 days a year, you need a new recruitment strategy that includes actively seeking out potential top players. Posting a job to a job board only when you have a need means you’re already behind. The vast majority of applicants on job boards are interested in many other positions. The number of candidates applying through job boards is a very small percentage of your targeted market’s TOP talent.

Have you thought about how effective it would be to market to your preferred candidate when considering how to market to customers? When it comes to meeting goals, expectations and creating leaders of tomorrow by finding the TOP talent in your area, a Market Map of talent is your best bet for your types of roles.

The old way of finding talent is obsolete.

Map of The Market
Essentially, a Market Map is a map of all the candidates in the local area. Assess the skills and responsibilities of your current employees and identify the job titles associated with them. It can be difficult to capture the email addresses and phone numbers for a list this large, but you can begin marketing your openings right away to qualified candidates once you have this list.

Marketing Your Company

What makes your company stand out from the rest? What makes TOP talent want to work with you? Making a list of these positive characteristics about your business will convince the best talent to reach out as soon as possible since they actively avoid job boards.

Think about using Facebook and Twitter to share new job openings in your organization, as well as inviting your network to do the same. It doesn’t matter how you plan to market your company to top talent, just make sure they hear about it often. In addition, let them know about your company and provide them with enough information so that they can decide to pursue working with you.

Bulletproof Interviews
The MOST effective way to run a successful recruitment process is to require candidates who clearly possess the skills you need to provide references upfront. Candidates who are prone to lying in job interviews are frightened by this initial part of the process. You should ask for them during the first conversation.

Candidates are highly motivated when they are put on the spot. You shouldn’t waste your time with those who don’t provide references upfront. TOP talent is THRILLED to have you speak with their former employers. Their previous employer can be contacted within hours since they maintain good working relations with them. TOP talent wants to hear from you when you share that their references were exceptional.

Their accomplishments make them feel special, and they are happy to let others know about them. YOU CAN’T SKIP THIS STEP! There are times when contingent recruiters skip references and pass you candidates that seem great on paper, but they cannot hold their own in a real-world scenario.

The situation occurs too often.

Scorecard Interviews and Video Interviews
When using a Scorecard for interviews, you alleviate ALL the pressure. Remember back in the day when we used our GUT to hire? Why go back to that old process when you failed nearly half of the time? No matter what our preconceptions about a candidate are, a Scorecard will never lie.

Establish your criteria for the role. After the criteria are set, DO NOT DEVIATE, as you may fall back into old, outdated practices. Keeping track of a candidate’s score removes the stress of guesswork in interviewing. The next step would be to check the references of the candidate once you are confident they possess the skills and many of the other criteria for the position are met.

TOP talent’s previous employers WILL offer glowing recommendations whether the company wants them to or not. Just make sure your candidate knows you will be calling ahead of time.

About the author

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