The War on Talent

Fast Company recently posted a blog titled, The War for Talent Is Over, And Everyone Lost. The gist of the article can be summed up with a few quotes. First, there is this: 

“Instead of winning a war for talent, organizations appear to waging a war on talent, repelling and alienating employees more successfully than harnessing their skills.” 

One of You Won’t Be Here Next Year

And then, adding insult to injury, there is this: 

“More people than ever are dissatisfied enough with their current jobs to want to consider other opportunities. Over the past few years, LinkedIn has estimated that figure at anywhere between 45% and 60% of its more than 400 million users. Some recruiters believe these so-called “passive jobseekers” now comprise up to 75% of the overall workforce.” 

Remember in college when your professor said, “Look to your left, look to your right, at the end of this year, one of you won’t be here.” In some workplaces, three out of four employees may not be with you at the end of the year, keeping their options open, and always passively looking. 

A lot of our clients are surprised to see that their existing employees have updated resumes on, CareerBuilder, and LinkedIn. We’re not. Our annual surveys show a growing trend that retention depends in large part on how people are treated. This should come as no surprise, but in past surveys, this has not been true. 

Caring is the Killer App

Now, and increasingly in the future, the killer app for retention is going to be caring about the people in your charge. 

You’re going to have to focus on creating psychological safety, where people feel that they are better off working for you than for someone else. 

You are also going to have to meet their personal and professional needs, whatever that means to them individually. 

The unemployment rate in the United States is at historic lows. The number of jobs available far exceeds the number of qualified candidates. Hiring the talent you need is going to continue to be a challenge, and having to replace the talent you churn is going to make that difficult task all but impossible.