The War For Talent

development of people Mar 01, 2022

Attracting and Retaining the Best Talent.

Last Sunday I read a fascinating article in the Sunday Times by Jamie Nimmo titled “The War for Talent”. 

It was a strange title and I am not sure who the combatants are. Companies in all industries need the best talent and the only way of getting them is through attraction. Maybe the war is between immoral tactics and moral tactics but in reality, it is between the old mindset and a new mindset.

The old mindset believes that pay is the ultimate weapon in a company's arsenal regarding recruitment. Yes, they also think about benefits and perks, but the old mindset thinks, “if I pay enough, people will do what I want them to”.

The new mindset has evolved from this old-fashioned command and control culture of paying more to get allegiance. They have learned that true allegiance is not bought but earned.

In reality, these two mindsets coexist in every organisation, which is the ‘war for talent’. The battles are for each new hire. Will money or something else get you the best new hire possible?

The question is, therefore, “How can you turn your organisation into a talent magnet?”

Work as we know it has a bad reputation for many. Just go to Glassdoor and read the employee reviews. Whilst there may be many different reasons for this poor reputation, at a fundamental level, people are disengaged at work because of the conditions of work. They impede the natural human values that work should fulfil. We call these values the "Natural Law of People".

If the conditions at work call forth the four elements of Participation, Contribution, Appreciation and Making a difference, extraordinary results are produced.

Pay is part of the process, yet genuine appreciation has more power. Appreciation and "fair" remuneration almost guarantee participation, contribution, retention and importantly, attraction. 

BUT, if the organisation's purpose no longer matches the purpose of the contributor’s desire to make a difference, "watch out"! When the influence of a shared purpose is absent, that absence rapidly diminishes the desire to contribute or stay.

The questions organisations of all sizes must answer are what they believe “fair remuneration” looks like and “how do we organise for the values of the Natural Law of People!”

In our new book,  Michael McMaster and I set out the fundamental ideas for designing an organisation so that the Natural Law of People flourishes. It is the fastest and most effective way to increase performance and return on capital invested. 

Our new book was published in July and is available on amazon here: The Power of Organisation


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