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Leading to Attract and Retain Top Talent

So, you’ve found the right person for a critical role in your business: the skills and experience you need, solid character and values, fun personality, and cultural fit. You know this person is interviewing with other companies … what’s the one thing you can do as a leader to make sure this candidate chooses you over the competition? I’ll get to that one thing, but first there is much more you must do to set the stage for retaining this valuable new member of your team. After all, why bother to do the one critical thing if you haven’t done what’s necessary to keep the people you want to attract? 

It falls to leaders to set the tone for culture and day-to-day work life in their organizations, and like everything related to recruitment and retention over the past few years, the role of leaders has been changing. People want different things from you now. A paycheck is not enough on any level. Leaders who have been holding onto outdated management styles like top-down control and decision-making, distrust of anyone working from home, and pretending to know all the answers, have surely seen their role turn upside down. Leadership today is more humane, which allows all of us to be more authentic and kind.  

Today, you can count on the fact that top talent is evaluating your values and leadership style, your level of commitment to putting people first, and the effort you put into creating mutually beneficial relationships with employees. More than anything else, these are the things that determine whether people stay with you or go.  

People want leaders who trust them; listen to them; are honest and transparent; show empathy, patience, and humility; and support and empower them. They want leaders who reward and celebrate their people, not the other way around. Retaining your talent means creating an amazing, positive, inclusive culture where everyone is paid fairly and people feel appreciated, supported, and able to grow and thrive both professionally and personally. People who stay with you aren’t worked to burnout levels and their individual needs for flexibility are respected. How well does your work environment stand up to these new standards? 

People today have choices, and no one should have to, or will, endure the poor management practices of the past. Leaders who embrace more humane work environments are the ones who inspire people to stay. And the one critical thing you can do to attract the candidates you most want on your team? Call them before they make their decision. Describe your leadership approach and explain what you’ve done to create that winning culture. Tell them you understand the value they will bring to the business. There is nothing like a personal call from the CEO to set you apart from the competition. Be the one who calls. 

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