Everyone must decide what is most important for them to have happen during their careers.  It could be pay, benefits, security, promotions, appreciation, growth, being a member of a true team, having the right leadership, or a positive work culture.  It could be a combination of magnets which attract you to specific employers.  Everyone must identify their personal values.  Everyone should also write down the legacy they want to leave when they complete their careers (Abrashoff, 2022).

Once you have this personal and professional assessment accurate, it is much more likely you will enter the right career and choose the best employer.  You have to be able to achieve your goals with them while helping attain theirs.  Your values have to align.  They have to be able to provide you with the opportunity to create the legacy you seek.  When an employee and employer’s goals and values can both be fulfilled, this is a partnership which will work best for both of them.

Applicants should take time to fully research employers.  Employers should have a process which enables them to truly get to know those aspiring to work with them.  Partnerships work best with clarity, transparency, honesty, genuine understanding, and solid agreement.

No one will join or stay for the long term if pay and benefits are nowhere near competitive.  On the other hand, no amount of money and generous benefits will compensate for dysfunctional leadership, an unhealthy work culture, and a lack of trust and teamwork.

To win the competition for the talent they need to succeed, leaders have to know which individuals are the best fit given their mission, goals, objectives, culture, team, leadership, and customers.  If you recruit, hire, train, evaluate, supervise, and promote for it, you will get it.  Job seekers need to also be confident they are the right match for the position and employer given the leadership, team, mission, culture, roles, and responsibilities and their goals, values, and desired legacy.

Although they must remain competitive, employers are usually not losing the right employees on recruitment and retention on pay and benefits.  Someone who will choose you for just a little more money will also leave you for a little more money.  Pay and benefits within a specific regional talent market often do not dramatically vary by employer for the same position.  Both employers and employees can lose when it is a mismatch.  Employers will definitely lose the chance to hire and retain talented individuals of integrity due to poor leadership, the wrong culture, and the lack of a real team at work.

It is a different American workplace now.  Much smaller generations must replace the retirements created by the largest generational cohort in American history.  The labor force non-participation rate is at an all-time high.  Generational expectations can significantly influence career decisions.  Employers may or may not be adjusting to the changing realities of their talent markets.  Automation and technology will alter some industries and professions.  There are major workforce deficits in the skilled professions or what were once termed the trades.

To win in the long term, leaders will need to constantly evaluate who they need to hire, who makes the best employees, where their top performers come from, and how to effectively attract and retain them.  The competition for talent will determine the winners and losers in 21st century America.