Like the movie Moneyball, one of the biggest mistakes we see leaders make is overlooking genuine talent. It can be right in front of them at work each day or in a job interview. Leaders have to be excellent talent scouts and employee recruiters.

The second major challenge today is retaining talent. It’s not a winning formula to spend a lot of your time and money training talented individuals of integrity for your competitors. If you are making the right hires and promotions, then retention must be a top priority.

The collective cost to organizations in terms of lost talent and missed gains in performance and revenue are very high. The wrong leadership can cost a company tens of millions of dollars by being allowed to make dumb personnel decisions year after year unchecked.

It could be they have a stupid stereotype in mind or they rush key personnel decisions. Recruit, hire, and promote for integrity and performance only. Never make a personnel decision for a personal reason (e.g. my buddy, they are like me, etc.) – don’t write personal checks on the company account. These should be team decisions.

Take time to clearly and carefully identify who you need based upon mission, goals, culture, and the team. Create and sustain the right talent pipelines. Talent attracts talent so members of your team will be your best recruiters.

Hire up not down. Hire the people who you need for success. Add new and needed strengths and don’t reinforce weaknesses. Hire slow and fire fast.

Gain as much information about them from different sources and interactions with different members of your team. Hire culture. Hire those who love to be on a team. Have an applicant-friendly process – if you make it unnecessarily difficult to apply or take too much time making a decision, you will lose high quality applicants.

Regularly review all your talent metrics and leadership, culture, policies, benefits, etc. to make sure you are the model employer for the talent you seek. Measure for success and identify and implement improvements.

Identify, recruit, attract, hire, promote, and retain the best by being the best. Organizations only attract talent when they are who they say they are and talent wants to work and stay working there. Be the model employer.

Value valuable employees. Offer the leadership, culture, team, professional growth, incentives, and appreciation which makes them want to stay. Find ways to appeal to what motivates each employee. Make sure the company wins and they win.

Talent rules the 21st century and when you disrespect it, it leaves. Employers only have magnets not handcuffs today. It is a major competitive advantage to consistently win when it comes to attracting and retaining talent.


From the Teacher: Leadership Lessons with Dr. Saviak is a weekly column with the esteemed Joseph C. Saviak, Ph.D., J.D., M.A., M.S., Management Consulting & Leadership Training.