How To Attract “A” Level Performers: A Core Competency of Business Success
“Today, out-selling the competition for “A” level performers is a core competency of business success. That’s not hyperbole; it’s reality. It is the only way we can win the War for the Best Talent, and our victory is the only way employers can win the War for a Big Bottom Line.” Peter Weddle.
Peter Weddle has been writing columns for his own newsletter and for the Interactive Edition of The Wall Street Journal since 1999. The following column has been drawn from that work and updated:
- First, we have to recognize that the best and brightest have choices. They are highly valued by their current employer and sought out by other organizations all of the time. To be successful, therefore, we have to “out-sell” both. We have to develop and communicate a value proposition that is so persuasive it compels top talent to buy into our employer, even in the face of all of that other competition.
- Second, we have to recognize that consumers, but especially fickle consumers (and that’s precisely what top talent is), want a lot of detailed information about the product they are being asked to buy. And increasingly, they are turning to the Internet to find it.
- “A” level candidates don’t visit a career site to look at jobs, they visit it to look at the employer—its culture, values, mission and career advancement opportunity. In short, they want to know whether they’ll fit in and move up in their profession, craft or trade. They’ll look at the job postings, but only if they first find the employer’s value proposition appealing.
- “A” level candidates are not going to be persuaded by the electronic equivalent of a three-line classified ad or by the bureaucratic language of a position description.
- “A” level candidates hate soliloquies. They much prefer dialogues. To recruit them, therefore, we must supplement the “talking at them” we do in our job postings and on our career sites with some listening and “talking with them.”
- “A” level candidates want to be wooed. They want an employer to invest in developing a relationship with them, to care enough about recruiting them to spend the time and effort they need to build familiarity with and trust in your organization.
- American consumers (to include “A” level candidates) do not judge a product (whether it’s a new car or a new employer) based solely on their own observations of its merits. Instead, they are strongly influenced by the opinions of others around them.
According to the McKinsey & Company report called The War for Talent, they provide a 50-100% performance premium to their employers, adding significantly to sales booked, customer satisfaction, quality of output and internal morale. In other words, selling “A” level performers on the value proposition of your organization as an employer is the key to winning.