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Retaining Your Talent, Are Doing Something About It?

I had been working on this post last week and decided to finish it up after seeing this on ERE today, There are Recruit-ers, Do We Need Retain-ers? Mike Goldman takes a look at the role of managers and management training programs in the retention of employees.

In the last month I have started working with three new clients. I have many questions I ask of a new client and I have been shocked at the responses from all three on one in particular. Not only were they identical but with the same tone and facial expression.

Here it is, the big question. “What are you doing to retain your staff?” The response “What do you mean?” came with a curious tone, a tilt of the head, and some wrinkled expressions.

Here’s the deal, the IT market here in Minneapolis and St. Paul has really tightened up the last 18+ months. My job is to find the best talent for the client. In the process of that I ask from what industries have your best employees come from and if they know what specific companies.

After asking the “big question” I was asked each time why I ask. Simply, if you have a list of companies you would like to see candidates from, are you on one of your competitor’s lists?

In three out of three cases I know with a certainty that my three new clients are on such a list with from their competitors.

I also found it interesting that of the three none had put much thought into it. They are doing the same things in terms of retention since the dot-com burst and recession which really was the bare minimum. Many companies had the attitude of "you should be happy to be employed here." Call it a pendulum swing from the late 90's.

Which was fine in during those times but in a tighter market it is time, passed time frankly, to think a little more about how to keep your best employees.

I am not talking about the foosball tables and cappuccino machines of the last century but I am talking at a minimum of an increase in monitoring of job/career satisfaction if not a more aggressive look at current programs.

Because I promise you this, you may covet talent from a certain other company but I promise you if you have the talent you think you do, others are doing the same to yours.


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