We recently had an employee leave to join one of the biggest tech/entertainment companies in the world. The amount of money that a tech company can throw at people isn't something that can be beaten. Whether it be Facebook, Google, Netflix, or a startup that raised $100M, traditional companies can't compete and shouldn't want to.
The old rule in recruiting is true: if a company can hire you by throwing money at you then they won't hesitate to fire you just as quickly. It doesn't mean you shouldn't leave for more money. It just means buyer beware.
The Yankees threw money around for 20 years trying to reclaim their titles from the 1990s, and only won one additional World Series (with a proclaimed cheater as their leader). When they won in the 1990s, it was with a core of homegrown players who were passionate, and cared about the team and the history.
There will always be a place in Silicon Valley or NY or Boston or Chicago that is flashy and shiny. You will have employees that have short-term goals and may not want a "home" for 5, 10, 15, 20 years. A lot of people are chasing the dollar, and in certain cities and certain companies it can be had.
So don't compete. Win the battles you can win. Culture. Build a sense of community. Create and execute a training program that is second to none. When companies start buying talent versus growing it, they neglect training. People don't want it anymore because they think that's why they were hired.
When your goal is to provide a sense of community and support for your employees, you will win. Community beats a farm to table kitchen any day. Because while people can eat anywhere, they can't feel emotional support everywhere.
All of your employees won't stay forever, and that's OK. Fresh attitude, people and thoughts are necessary. But when you create and foster a sense of community, people will want to stay.
Remember, there are a lot of people who can afford fancy cars but still drive Hondas. Just because companies can pay more doesn't mean it's a better home for anyone. Focus on what you can be better at and win.
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