Finding top talent for your business isn’t difficult-;we live in a world full of talented people. But let’s replace find with attract. The former throws the onus on you. The latter? Almost automatic.  

Build your business in a way that attracts top talent. Make something and be someone who people want to work for. Then, as you build a team full of uber talented disciples-;true believers of your company’s mission, values, and purpose-;find ways to retain them and travel into the sunset of business success together. 

Here’s how to start.  

Market your vision

American businessman Max De Pree (whose father, D.J. De Pree founded Herman Miller, Inc.) once said this: “Management has a lot to do with answers. Leadership is a function of questions. And the first question for a leader always is: ‘Who do we intend to be?’ Not ‘What are we going to do?’ but ‘Who do we intend to be?’”

In other words, purpose drives action, and your company’s purpose comes from a vision. A clear-cut vision is the first step to attracting top talent to join your ranks. Not only does a vision inspire, but it also organizes. It creates cohesion, acting as a unifying glue between team members. It guides the work of others. It sets the stage for short and long-term goal planning. Purpose, action, results.

Knowing that a vision is crucial to attracting the most zealous and qualified of talent, what must you do in order to craft one that speaks volumes to who you are, and then stick to it?

1. Be honest and transparent

A company vision isn’t the place for vague language or ambiguous intentions. It’s foundational; the driving force behind anything and everything you do moving forward. So be honest. Be transparent. Create a vision that truly represents who you are. And keep in mind-;ambition is recommended here. If your vision is the foundation for all future performance and success, then create something inspiring, something so enticing and fundamentally worthwhile that top talent can’t wait to be a part of it. 

2. Stay nimble; never stop learning

Truth doesn’t stop with your vision, and everything that comes after represents an endless opportunity for learning. A strong vision spawns your short and long-term goals. Some of these you’ll accomplish. Some you won’t. Some you’ll refine and change. Others, you’ll learn, are no longer a priority. Learn through experience, and never stop doing it. 

3. Do what’s right, always

There will always be opportunities to cut corners. You’ll have those dark days where a short-term goal falters or a long-term goal feels doubly long. No matter what, stick to your values. Integrity and honesty will always serve you well. Follow the righteous path in this land of opportunity and competition. You’ll be better for it.

4. Make it fun; don’t be a jerk

We all work hard, and it’s the humor that we share that makes it fun to work together. No one benefits from 24/7 gravity, and no one wants to work for a company that takes itself way too seriously. Life’s short. Get things done but make them fun. Maybe you’ve attracted top talent. Good job. But if your company culture is all work and no play, then wave goodbye to retention. We often send GIFs to one another just to keep people smiling. Create an environment that is fun, then watch as employees stay with you for the long haul.

Make your employees feel valued and heard

Too many companies’ leadership teams get lost in the work. Employees aren’t recognized. Morale runs dry. People abandon ship (and for good reason).

Value the people around you. Celebrate wins, share credit, value one another, and build each other up. Incent them in achieving goals that support the company’s vision.

Today, togetherness is more important than ever. Embrace and practice radical empathy, empowering each other via clear intentions, outcomes, and support. Celebrate your workplace’s diversity, in people, in beliefs, in ideas. Value each other, look out for one another, and believe in the team and mission.  

It really is a matter of mindset and practice. Offer your team chances to grow and develop their skills, and acknowledge their accomplishments. Promote from within whenever possible and see how high your employee retention is when it’s known that your company is a place for personal and professional development; a place to grow into roles and expand into others.

And don’t forget-;always be willing to grow yourself and be the boss you’d like to work for. Continuously be willing to assess and reassess your company’s culture. Ask for input from employees. Hear others’ voices and use feedback to improve. We regularly survey our employees to keep our finger on the pulse. A successful company grows, but in the right ways. 

When you start with a strong vision, communicate authentically, and create a healthy company culture, you won’t be going out anymore to find top talent. Your company will become a talent magnet. These individuals will come to you, eager to learn, and contribute to the company reaching its goals. 

 

Jason Hennessey

jason@hennessey.com