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War for talent? 5 tips to actually win!

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It looks like the following statement is an open-and-shut-case: A talented staff is the most important weapon in the battle to the top. Allright, we’ll admit that this sounds a little like a cliché, but this statement has in fact proven to be written down.

The American consulting bureau Gallup (2016) looked into no less than 50.000 business units worldwide within 22 organizations and with a total of 1,2 million employees. These organizations applied a development strategy with a paramount importance of strengthening talents. Compared to companies that do not or hardly ever apply a same sort of talent-oriented approach, the by Gallup researched companies showed a remarkable positive result. As well as on customer satisfaction, also employee engagement, sales and profits turned out to be far more positive.

All well and good, you might think, but it is well known that talented people do not show up in large groups on the pavement in front of your office. Then how do you ensure that the talented IT-professional from down the road or the enthusiastic number one marketeer actually connects him or herself to your company? New Heroes will give you five pointers to ease out this process.

1. Make sure you have a story to tell.

Talents are often not in need of work. So why would they change jobs to come and work at your office? Our advice is: Offer them more than just a ‘fun job’. Make sure your company has a story to tell - a story that enables young professionals to proudly brag about at birthday parties or business events. The misunderstanding is that in order to have such a brand story, you have to be a multinational like Google. False! A clear goal, a groundbreaking product, a bold and daring vision or an enthusiastic brand mission: All of these things matter. What makes your company different from the rest? Make sure that this story is implemented in all expressions the company makes an does. The story has to be true; it has to be sincere. It als has to be known to all of your employees because their enthusiasm will infect others. That specific talented young professional you are looking for will definitely notice the difference between your storytelling company and the large group of others.

2. Feedback and appreciation

One of the biggest catches in talent management is not just obtaining the talents, it’s keeping them. A cool-sounding job title and a good salary will not do anymore. Mainly young professionals increasingly demand to have good secondary benefits and joy in their work. Top talents enjoy being kept on their toes, but will be equally happy receiving a compliment or a token of appreciation. It does differ per person though what they think is the best way to show appreciation. Therefore: Dig into the people that work for you and find out what drives them. For one it might be a pat on the back, for the other it could be a publicly announced ‘’thank you’". And someone else would rather have one more day off, as a bonus. All of these are minimum efforts that will evoke a huge sense of motivation. And the best of it all is that this will work for almost everyone: From the new manager to the loyal secretary that has been there for years. An extra advice: Hint on this mindset and way of thinking as early as during a job interview; the talented applicant might choose your company over the other multinational simply because your company’s mindset suits them best.

3. Freedom is happiness!

No one is happy being locked up. Don’t keep a short leash on your staff, but give them space instead. Make sure they all have their own responsibilities and trust your employees to have the best interests at heart for you and your company. Encourage flexible working, grant ownership and enable your staff to work from home. Apply this in all of the company’s layers. This type of freedom ensures employee satisfaction and a happy staff that will not misuse the freedom they have gotten. And if they do, then this is a great way of spotting the bad apples. Natural selection in its optimal form!

4. Speck on the horizon

Dutch organizations have been decreasing their hierarchy over the past few years. The manager is your best pal and almost every organization claims ‘’their doors are always open’’. Which is a great development, of course, but make sure your company does not become too shallow. If there is no more challenging position than the one already pursued, no more prestige or an increase in salary: Then why would anyone still want to completely work their socks off? Ambitious go-getters want to know where they will be in 1, 3 or maybe even 10 years from now. If you do not offer them any career opportunities, then they will seek these elsewhere.

5. Personal development

Whoever wants to improve, wants to learn. They will want and need new information in order to deepen and grow. Learning goals, however, are different for and to all of your employees. Where one wants to improve on their planning skills in order to actually pursue their brainstorms, another might be insecure about their leadership qualities. It is a time consuming and cost-intensive job to find the perfect training for each and every talent on their own.

Good news: There is a solution for that! Online training specialist New Heroes offers unlimited online soft skills and leadership trainings in a Netflix kind of way for a low monthly fee. Employees follow courses where and whenever they want to; on any possible device. Together with a self-appointed coach, an overload on learning modules and practical assignments the online training will go smoothly. Your newly-minted talent as well as your faithful and loyal employee will learn to broaden their boundaries and optimize their qualities each day. Spirited, productive and happy employees are within arm’s reach and are, with the right handles, often closer than you might originally think.

And are they stalked by an overly-enthusiastic headhunter after all? Well, we’ll consider it a wager that after introducing these five issues of concern to your company, they will kindly pass to the headhunters offer.

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