Put the Work Where the Talent Is

A famous thief was once asked, “Why do you rob banks?” He responded simply: “Because that’s where the money is!” Managers need to adopt a similar approach if they want to win the “war for talent.” Managers need to begin to “put the work where the talent is” (or wants to be) if they want to be successful in the recruiting world. Companies have been a little arrogant in their approach to locating new hires. New hires were always told to “leave where you are and come to work where I want you.” Now, however, advanced firms are learning that “free agents” are not always willing to relocate, and that if you put the work in a great location, recruiting gets a lot easier. Managers must adapt bold new strategies in which they re-think where they place the work that they want the new hires to do, based on the preferences of the targeted people.

Find Out Where The Best Talent Wants To Reside…And Put A Facility There!

By surveying top performers you can get a reasonable idea of physically where they would like to work. In these days of technology, not all work needs to be done where your facility is located or even in an office at all. Here are some other tips:

  • Do focus groups and surveys to find out where top talent wants to be (or not to be).
  • Place “hard to hire” work in dream spots like Hawaii.
  • Add the availability of talent as a key criteria in determining plant locations.
  • Allow top performers in “creative” jobs to start a “design studio” in a desirable location, and then build it to size.
  • Put summer internships and college hire positions in desirable spots also.
  • Locate facilities in the same city as the colleges you recruit in. Then you can offer year-round internships, attend campus events, and build faculty relationships. In addition, new grads can stay and work in their college town and maintain their current friendships if they like.
  • Allow more work to be done at home so that the work is done in surroundings that top talent likes.
  • Free agents are reluctant to relocate. So if you can’t put the work exactly where they want to be, you need to make their relocation package highly competitive, and then you must sell them on the benefits of the new community.
  • Place ads showing the great weather at your site during bad weather periods at a competitor’s site.

Find Out Where The Best Talent Lives/Works…And Put A Recruiter There!

Don’t assume the best talent resides close to your facility. It is highly unlikely that you will find that the best workers coincidentally live within commuting distance from your facility. Recruiters should learn from game hunters: “Hunt where the game is!” Companies should focus their recruiting in geographic areas that have the best talent. By looking at unemployment rates and where other firms have large employee populations, you can narrow down the geographic areas where you want to focus your remote recruiting.

About Dr John Sullivan

Dr John Sullivan is an internationally known HR thought-leader from the Silicon Valley who specializes in providing bold and high business impact; strategic Talent Management solutions to large corporations.

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