1. Encouraging passion
Talented individuals want to work for an organisation and in an environment that suits their values, attitudes and expectations. They generally won’t settle for ‘a job’ just because it pays quite well and they are capable of meeting the job requirements. Those attitudes may be typical of the average employee (though even that might be a dangerous assumption) but are simply not enough to attract the real talent.
Highly talented individuals believe they are worth more than that, and want to be aligned with the organisation (or vice versa) and for it to be doing something that they care about. They want a job that engages and suits them. The simple truth is, that most organisations and most senior leaders just aren’t ready for these kinds of employees, or able to meet their needs and aspirations.
Many commentators, particularly Philp Whiteley and Neela Betteridge in their important work ‘New Normal: Radical Shift’, and more recently Vlatka Hupic in her watershed book ‘The Management Shift’, feel that commonplace business models, based as they are on economists’ views of what business is for, are in need of a radical re-imagination to deal with a very different and fast-changing world.
2. Embracing new interests
Part of that re-imagining is driven by the changing nature, needs and behaviour of younger recruits – especially ‘digital natives’. It is from this more recent cohort that much of the ‘talent’ we are talking about will come. They interact with the world through technology as their first instinct.
Conversely, many of the senior leaders at the head of organisations are ‘baby boomers’. These two generations typically have a very different relationship with technology and modern methods of communication such as blogs, webinars, tweets and messaging. Many of the under 30’s that are often the ‘talent pool’ out in the market want to work in an organisation that feels, thinks, behaves and represents itself like them. They expect to be valued and developed, and to have interesting, satisfying and challenging work.
The senior leadership often believe that it is enough to pay them (reasonably) well and give them holidays and a few benefits. There is a fundamental mis-match of expectations here, and it has to be resolved if talent is to arrive and stay.