Business meeting

The recruitment game can be absurd

Throughout Toronto and all across Canada, there are countless stories of leaders at all levels of business (intermediate, senior, executive) currently being recruited at salaries that are absurdly high. Some of the top talent are even offered double their current salary, along with signing bonuses. These are prices that their present company simply can’t match to retain some of their most talented employees – and that is a problem.

So, what can these companies do? Since matching the salaries and signing bonuses is not an option, are there other ways to encourage employees to stay? Are there ways the company can operate that would make it harder for someone to leave their company?

I strongly believe that the answer is, “Yes,” and what it takes to achieve is a good look in the mirror.

Retention is in the mirror

Quality employees – the talent you want to retain – need to care about their place of work. Their work should be experienced as a journey, and one that they are sharing with others. A journey has meaning. Often, that fact gets lost in the activity of day-to-day business; and this is only compounded after the remote work environments we have all experienced the previous 18 months.

treasure map

Faced with this reality, you need to build a journey with them. That starts with you. When you look in the mirror, here’s what I think you should spend some time thinking about:

1. Your team wants to care about their boss, and know that their boss cares about them.

This involves you being open and showing true vulnerability as a leader. I had two bosses that I would have walked through fire for. They were empathetic and relatable, and I felt that we had each other’s backs: if your employees don’t feel that way about you, then you need to change something.

Definitely watch this video by Brene Brown about vulnerability and its impact (with 55M views, this video has an impact!!).

2. Your team wants to know what you expect of them, and what they can expect from you.

Use your own personal blueprint, which highlights your expectations, your values, your strengths and weaknesses, and your idiosyncrasies. Fill this out honestly, and request your team complete their own after sharing yours with them. An open relationship binds and bonds in a way that’s truly impactful.

3. You need to have a clear understanding of your team and their individual motivations.

By taking an Empathy Walk together, you will build a firm foundation, connecting you to your team, and the team to each other. Understanding each other’s ‘origin stories,’ life challenges, and the aspirations each team member has for the future will bring the team towards a more cohesive synchronicity; a synchronicity, moreover, that is founded on trust and openness.

4. Your team needs to understand your company’s story too.

Each member of your team needs to know not only your origin story and those of their colleagues, but also the origin story of your company: what is the purpose of the company? Why did you start it? How does it impact the community and people’s lives? What makes it special? Knowing the company for whom they work for is as important as knowing the person for whom they work for.

Use this story canvas as a template to help describe the company journey and its value to the world.

5. You and every member of your team need to have a noble purpose to rally around together.

Does your company have a ‘noble purpose’ that gets your team up in the morning?

Answer these three questions, and make sure everyone is aligned on their answers:

  • How does your company make a difference?
  • How does your company do it differently from your competition?
  • On your best day, what do you love about your job?

Recruitment doesn’t end the moment a hire is made. That ‘recruiting’ process – courting talented individuals – is something that needs to continue throughout their life as your team member. Retaining talented employees is equally as important as recruiting them, and that means you, as their leader, need to form lasting relationships that reward individuals in ways that transcend bloated contract offers and signing bonuses.

There are many things that are out of our control; however, by looking in the mirror, and coming to grips with what’s truly important to you and those on your team, you can retain that control. Small, critical moves with your team can make all the difference as to how your team see you and your company, and how they connect to your business.

Good luck with all your recruitment and retention challenges. For more tips and advice, please check out more resources on my blog, or connect with me directly, and let me know how I can help.