Talent is an organization’s most powerful and sustainable competitive advantage.

Finding the best talent is a leader's most important task
Finding the best talent is a leader's most important task

As leaders face the most volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous business conditions ever, one thing is clear: improving the talent pipeline by attracting, developing and retaining the best possible employees is among a leader’s most fundamental priorities.

Here are some things to consider:

You are in the best possible position to source new talent

Attracting top talent can no longer be an activity that’s delegated to HR. Local leaders are the ones closest to the needs and creative in terms of where they seek out talent. Rather than mining the same tired sources as their competitors, they look in novel places and identify those who aren’t necessarily the “usual suspects.” And when they do that, they contribute powerfully to a rich and sustainable talent pipeline.

Your actions contribute directly to the employment brand we project in the marketplace

Increasingly, leaders are coming to appreciate that the company’s employment brand may be as important as the brand reflected to customers. And that brand is the cumulative effect of the culture, behaviors, and policies that affect employees. Building an effective employment brand – one that will attract the best and the brightest – begins with cultivating the right impressions in the marketplace, and those impressions must also come to life and create a congruent experience for people who choose to join the organization.

It’s your job to anticipate and understand talent needs and gaps — not just in one department or group but throughout the organization   

Effective leaders are constantly scanning the environment to understand how changing business conditions will affect the work of their group. They look at economic, environmental, demographic, political and other factors to plan for the future. Highly effective leaders also use this information to anticipate and begin taking early steps toward attracting the talent that will be needed for that new future. They recruit and hire today with tomorrow in mind.

You have a responsibility to continuously improve organizational processes to support the talent pipeline

Attracting and retaining the talent it needs to thrive is no longer the purview of HR alone. Leaders can provide the in-the-trenches perspectives, and these perspectives can inform improvements of the organization’s competitive advantage

  • Are competitors offering new benefits that are luring candidates and employees away?
  • Are unnecessarily protracted verification processes causing your best candidates to accept other offers?
  • Are opportunities for advancement not sufficiently transparent to capture the imagination of prospective employees?
Regardless the nature of your business, people are the key to driving results. And leaders must play a central role in attracting, recruiting and ultimately hiring the people required to ensure a free-flowing talent pipeline.

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