As the boss, it’s important to find the right people to work with. You want employees that have talent, are willing to work hard, and who will make a difference in your company. Sadly, that’s easier said than done!
Finding talent is a challenge, and you can’t simply put out a "Help Wanted" ad and expect talented individuals to find you. The more talented professionals are likely to have people chasing them, rather than the other way around. Good talent can be hard to find, and just working with a recruiting agency may not be enough.
The best way to find talent is to know what you’re looking for. Make a list of all the skills your ideal employee will have, and start infiltrating the communities where those skilled people hang out. You can visit online forums, help websites, and other online communities, and look for the experts. Attend conferences and see who are the "rockstar" attendees. They are the ones you want to hire.
Once you have found the talent, the hiring process is an art in itself. You need to find the right person for the job, but you also need to offer them something that will interest them in your position. Your goal is to ensure that your company is the most enticing option for them.
After the talent is hired, you need to work hard to keep them. You want them to work hard for you, but you’ll need to give back to them as well. Here are a few ways to keep the talent you’ve recruited:
- Give them lifestyle freedom (telecommute, more vacation days, etc.)
- Pay them an above-average salary
- Spend time nurturing them and developing their skills
- Give them something to work toward: a goal, a promotion, a financial reward, etc.
- Help them have a life outside of work (employees who have productive social lives often have productive professional lives)
- Listen to their opinions, resolve any issues that arise, and prove that their complaints are heeded
- Encourage them to make personal commitments to their goals, thus helping them feel like the goals are actually worth achieving
- Promote loyalty to the company, not just the paycheck
- Help them find projects that interest them, and make it possible for them to work on those projects. Interested employees are motivated employees and motivated employees are happy.
- Let them solve the company’s biggest problems. It will make them feel like rockstars!
- Get feedback from the employees regularly to ensure that they are engaged and happy
- Give them responsibility and a team to lead
There are a lot of "do’s" for nurturing talent, but here’s a big "don’t": Don’t shield them from mistakes! Many companies will shield their top talent from making mistakes that could derail their career progress or even get them fired, but all that does is stops that top talent from learning valuable lessons. Your top talent cannot be so comfortable in their job security that they are no longer pushed to work harder and do more. If they know they can lose their job, they’ll do as much as they can to prevent it from happening!
It is finding, keeping and nurturing top talent is by no means an easy process, but it is achievable. Following the tips above is a perfect starting point.
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