Talent Rules!

Ten guiding principles for recruiting, retaining, and motivating great people from John Patterson, vice president of talent at

1. Protect Your Investment
The HR team must come down hard on managers who consistently drive away good talent or who inadequately prepare new recruits for the job ahead.


2. Re-recruit Your Best People
Call frequent reviews and conferences with employees to determine when, where, and how HR can induce star talent to stay on board.

3. Heed the Big Three: Contribution, Growth, and Fun
Measure your talent according to these three keywords. People are most likely to quit jobs that fail to offer stimulating projects that encourage personal development.

4. Web-ify Your Recruiting Process
Leverage the power of the Web by building and fostering a digital gateway where candidates can learn about the company, chat online with employees, and email the appropriate representatives with questions, comments, and resumes.


5. Sell Your Culture
Hire a marketing firm to specifically sell the company brand and personality to prospective candidates.

6. Think Outside the HotBot
Rather than simply post a job online, think creatively about referral incentives for employees and other alternative models for finding and attracting the top talent.

7. Blast Out Bad Policies
Seek and destroy toxic policies — such as inflexible work schedules and stringent dress codes — before they poison the corporate culture and turn away potential candidates.


8. Spell It Out
Communicate the rules clearly and openly, but don’t hesitate to rewrite them as needed. Small, thoughtful changes can have an enormous impact on morale and retention.

9. Demand Pre-Exit Interviews
Speak with employees before they submit two weeks’ notice. These interviews, based on trust and integrity, may help an unhappy employee and affect overall recruiting and retaining strategies.

10. Blame Yourself
“Start with the premise that you are a crappy manager, and that’s why your people are leaving,” Patterson says. “Treat your employees as resources for improving your performance and the performance of the company.”


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