Talent Management

Are You Using the Recession to Upgrade Your Team?

Every recession provides a special opportunity to grab top talent that you might otherwise never have the chance to acquire.

You might ask “What is so special about the recession that it represents a unique opportunity to acquire top talent?”

I would answer with two benefit statements:

1. Most top talent will be open to talking with you about your opportunity. In a thriving job market, they’ll just blow you off.

2. Salary expectations are at an all-time low – you could acquire a great candidate now at a “more rational level” of what it will cost when the job market heats up again.

In July of last year, I was interviewed by Forbes.com for an article on leveraging the recession to upgrade management teams. Very few companies take advantage of this “window of opportunity” to acquire great talent.

In almost every Vistage presentation of our Hiring Program, “You’re NOT the Person I Hired”, the vast majority of CEOs and executives raise their hands to the question of:

Do you have one or two roles on your management team that could be upgraded with better talent?

Another way of asking this question is:

Are there one or two individuals that report to you right now that are NOT living up to your expectations of performance?

Have you selected one or two key roles and upgrade the positions yet?

If not, what’s holding you back? Don’t miss out on this wonderful  special time in history to attract a level of talent to a couple of key  roles that you might never again have the opportunity to acquire.

What’s holding you back from taking the first step?

Here are some of the “arguments” I hear against upgrading when I  mention this idea in our workshops and to our CEO/President clients:

This person has been with me a long time and is loyal

– The individual in that role might have a hard time finding a new job

– I’m embarrassed that the hire didn’t work out – I’m hoping it turns  around

– I think the person will eventually get better

– I don’t have time to spend on hiring someone

– The person is okay – they do some things well – no rush to make a  decision

– Not sure I won’t make a mistake the second time around again

– No idea where to start or find this person

– I can live with this person – I’ll do part of their job

– What if I screw up the hire – then I wouldn’t look good to my ____  (fill in the blank)

Does this sound  dysfunctional? Sure it does.

The number ONE trait of success for managers and executives is the  ability to hire and retain an outstanding team of people. Are you a  great manager/executive or an average one?

Do you have an  exceptional team in place right now?
Why are you tolerating  average/mediocre performance?
Are you doing part of  the work your team should be doing?

Do you have some people on your team that are good at doing 70-75-80%  of their job, but stink at the other 30-25-20% of their job. Who gets  to do this piece your subordinate cannot do? You guessed it – you do.

Before you can blink, 50% of your workload is doing the work your  team should be doing. You’re doing 8% of Mark’s job, 5% of Susan’s job,  20% of Kelly’s job. Now you can’t do your job because so much time is  being consumed by doing the work of your team.

Why are you continuing to accept this less than stellar performance?

Take action now and upgrade a few key roles that are below your  expectations. Emerge from the recession with a team that truly is a  strategic advantage.

Recognize that right now is a unique historical time period for  hiring. There are some exceptionally talented individuals who might  consider your opportunity. As the job market recovers – you may never  again be able to acquire and/or afford this talent.

Category: Talent Management

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Barry Deutsch About the Author: Barry Deutsch

Barry Deutsch has been a popular Vistage Speaker for over a decade in the areas of hiring and retention. In recognition of the value of his presentations, Vistage has given him the prestigious IMPACT Speaker of the Year Award. He is a co-aut…

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