Recruitment: Number Two Priority

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The financial textbooks refer to employees as human capital. The management textbooks label employees as human resources. However, the most successful companies treat employees as human beings.  When revered and treated with respect, great people will take a company to the highest levels of success.

As a member of corporate America, you hear it all the time, “Recruitment is our number one priority!” While continual recruitment of talent should be a top priority – even when the company doesn’t have immediate openings – it should still be considered priority number two. At the top of the list should be employee retention because while good people are hard to find, great people are much harder to replace.

The short version of your company’s leadership philosophy should consist of two words…“hire right.”  When management hires the right people, great results follow.  Few leadership techniques will ever have a lasting impact on the wrong hire. When you think about your most successful, most productive, and most enjoyable years in business, they tend to center around the years you surrounded yourself with the best people. And more often than not, it was rarely anything you did to make them great, except invite them to be part of your team.

So, how do you keep your best and brightest from crossing the street and taking the next best offer?  Hiring is only the first step.  From there, you need to train, coach, engage, support, encourage, recognize, reward, promote, and compensate them in a way that will exceed their expectations.  Contrary to managers’ perceptions, studies show that money is not the highest motivator in retaining employees; especially in the millennial generation (twenty-somethings), which places a greater importance on lifestyle and professional challenge.

As a result, management can no longer live by the former golden rule, “treat people the way that you want to be treated.”  A baby boomer’s motivations may differ dramatically from those of a 25-year-old Millennial.  Therefore, the golden rule is evolving to, “treat people the way that they want to be treated.”

In a leadership role, it’s vital to understand each staff member’s unique wants, needs, desires, and goals, and make sure your organization becomes a place where each can be realized. You may have superstar employees who, if they left the company, could significantly impact your profitability. Provide these individuals with golden handcuffs in the form of increased salary, bonuses, or other monetary and non-monetary incentives so they wouldn’t consider working anywhere else.  While initially this may not seem entirely fair, assets to the company should be treated as so; even professional sports franchises pay their athletes proportional to their value to their organization.

About the Author:

Michael Guld is an author, speaker, entrepreneur, and radio commentator whose business development expertise lies in increasing sales performance, marketing exposure, employee productivity, and creating a world-class service experience.  He is the president of System 21 and The Guld Resource Group and can be reached at (804) 356-7006 or

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