Pay your people better wages and offer more flexible working arrangements to attract the best talent fast.
As a part of my HR Strategy Series, I’m talking to top experts in the field to teach prospects what hiring managers are actually looking for, while also supporting business leaders in their hiring and retention strategies. Today I had the pleasure of talking with Fletcher Wimbush.
Fletcher is the CEO of The Hire Talent. In addition to talent assessment and executive search work, Fletcher co-authored a book with his late father, “Hiring Talent Team Players: a guide to getting it right” and created the “Power Interview Guide”.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?
Oh boy, I was pretty much born to do this work. My father was a management consultant and self-improvement junky. I was raised under constant assault of the best communication and business practices. Maybe unlike others who despise their parents’ careers, I kinda liked this stuff and it was all downhill from there!
Subsequently, I was the captain of every football team I played on, became the student body president in my senior year of high school, wrote papers on the subject as a high school final project, lead my fraternity, and held supervisory or management roles from the age of 18 through 33 prior to taking over this business.
Leadership is in my blood. I am not necessarily a great leader, it’s just what I do, constantly working to get better at it. I have learned so much over my lifetime as an aspiring leader. First and foremost, I subscribe to the idea that people are any organization’s greatest assets. I have committed my life and leadership career to finding, identifying, and growing A players within the organizations I serve.
Wonderful. Can you share 5 techniques that you use to identify the talent that would be best suited for the job you want to fill?
- If I had only 1 interview question it would be the reference questions. Can you get a reference from your past boss(es) and what would they say about you and your performance while working for them? Their response to this question tells me more about the candidate than any other question and within minutes of meeting them, not after hours. It is a major predictor and time saver.
- Applicant Tracking System. Candidate experience is a big deal. Being able to personalize candidate communications and do it in bulk is huge for sifting through the masses to get to the ideal candidate.
- Pay better and offer a better work-life balance. Pay your people better wages and offer more flexible working arrangements to attract the best talent fast.
- Longevity in roles is not dead. I’ll tell you this, all my friends are millennials and the ones who have been doing the same job their whole career with the same company for most of it are very wealthy successful people.
- Use assessments! Make sure to match the suite of assessment tools to each position and use them regularly. Assessments will improve your hiring outcomes by a little to a lot so you have nothing to lose, except better hiring outcomes if you don’t use them!
With so much noise and competition out there, what are your top ways to attract and engage the best talent in an industry when they haven’t already reached out to you?
- Have a more interesting message. Most companies are offering the same boring old job, offer people somewhere they can enjoy spending 2000+ hours a year and the opportunity to grow, we all go mad being stagnant.
- Referrals are hands down the number one way to find the best talent fast. If your best friend reached out to you and said, “Hey, my company is hiring and it’s an amazing place to work,’’ you would be first in line to learn more about they’re offering. All the studies show hands down that referrals drastically improve the quality of hire and speed to fill roles!
- If the industry and talent are well defined, simply use data miners to create a comprehensive list of every single qualified person in the industry and role you are looking to fill. You will never know if you have done everything possible to attract the target talent if you don’t know how big the pool is. You might be surprised by what you find out!
What are the 3 most effective strategies you use to retain employees?
- Training, training, and training. Nobody likes being stagnant in their jobs.
- Offer flexible working environments. People need work-life balance in this modern age so make it easier for them to take care of their family and personal needs without hassles.
- Meet with employees often to provide performance feedback and to receive feedback from them.
Can you give an example of a creative way to increase the value provided to employees without breaking the bank?
Simple work-life balance is so easy to offer. Give people the chance to take off when they need to and let them take care of their responsibilities as needed. Great people always get the job done and the bad ones will shake loose real fast.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
“Your greatest expectations are your greatest disappointments” When you expect a little you will be pleasantly surprised on how much you will actually get!
Some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world whom you would love to have a private lunch with, and why?
Bill Gates. That guy is amazing. I saw his Netflix special the other day and his tenacity to learn everything he can about the problems he is trying to solve and his commitment to trying to solve some of the world’s biggest, most challenging problems is amazing. He leaves no stone unturned and how he never half-asses anything is admirable.
Thank you so much for these fantastic insights!