Vistage Research Center

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3 strategies to win the war for talent

If issues related to talent, growth, or hiring are causing you to lose sleep, you are not alone.

Eighty-seven percent of CEOs list talent as their top challenge. Although most (72 percent) plan to increase hiring and expect fierce competition, the National Center for the Middle Market reports that 44 percent cannot find candidates with the skills they need, and 4 in 10 say this limits their growth.

The U.S. labor market is screaming numbers at you, and I hope you are listening. In May, we had the biggest hiring gain in 17 years. Also in May, Americans quit their jobs for a better one at the fastest rate since 2001. We’ve waited a long time for this surging economy, and now that it’s here you need to take advantage of the opportunity to grow your business—and that takes top talent.

To make talent a strategic focus, there are three critical areas to explore:

1. Create culture by design vs. default

Culture is more than just a boardroom buzzword. It is a “must-have” rather than a “nice to have” for today’s companies. In the same way that marketing sets the table for sales, culture sets the table for recruiting and retaining top talent. It also plays a critical role in the long-term performance of a company. But a strong culture doesn’t just happen by accident. It requires thoughtful planning and purposeful design. Develop your workplace culture by design, vs. by default. Then enhance and promote your employment brand, so you are the employer of choice for your current workforce and prospective employees.

2. Treat talent recruitment as a sales process

Establish an ongoing, strategic, and proactive recruitment process that includes identifying current and future skills gaps. Develop a candidate pipeline by nurturing relationships with potential hires and offering an exceptional candidate experience.

This process ensures you’ll hire and retain talented individuals to fit your unique culture and help drive your company’s growth. You’ll address immediate hiring needs and have a pipeline of candidates available when you need them.

3. Get More Strategic in HR

Give HR a seat at the table, and get strategic regarding your people. Increasingly, companies recognize that effective HR strategies are what attract and retain the best people, and they are pivotal in achieving sustainable strategic success. The present and future of work are pushing HR into a strategic role. Holding on to outdated views of HR can make your company less effective, less competitive, and less profitable.

For actionable advice on these three topics, watch my recent Vistage webinar, “3 strategies to win the war for talent.”

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