Talent is a scarce commodity. We predict this will continue to be the new normal for businesses. Staff turnover is expensive, unproductive, and can deliver a devastating blow to morale.

The companies who are winning the war for talent are not only recruiting people who are the best fit for their business, but are working hard to develop and engage their staff so that they will remain and grow from within.

First, some facts:

December’s US Bureau of Labor Statistics results share that 2.6 million jobs were added in 2018, up from 2.2 million in 2017. Future indicators based on recent trends and the projected population of available workers predicts a global labor shortage over the next decade.

A recent study conducted by Korn Ferry Institute, predicts that by 2030, there will be a global human talent shortage of more than 85 million people, which could result in about $8.5 trillion in unrealized annual revenues.

Many of the articles and studies on this topic focus on the need to develop “Knowledge Workers” – people who can keep up with technological developments and be sufficiently agile to develop new skills and talents to keep up with changing business needs. The most successful companies are facing this shortfall head on and investing in their talent by providing opportunities for continuous training and development.

We offer a simple 3-step framework from which to start to develop your own successful talent strategy.

      3 steps to build your dynamic team    

1. Create a compelling message – articulate the Vision, Mission, and Core Values that resonate with like-minded people

Vision – a clear picture of where your business will be at a specific point in the future.

For example:  “By 2025 we will be the number one provider of alternative healthcare options in Busyville, USA, generating $5 million in annual revenue”.

Mission – your purpose for being in business.

For example:  “We improve the lives of every customer or patient we encounter.”

Core Values – the driving forces you espouse that employees or customers can expect to experience in your business.

For example:  “We find new and creative ways to help others daily. We respect each other’s perspective while fostering an environment of continuous learning to solve the problems and concerns of our constituents.”

How would you define your business and team culture? What are your values?

Do your team member’s values align with the values of the business? Our own research and experience have shown that the connection of an employee’s values to the requirements and rewards within a role is the most important predictor of employee engagement and effectiveness. A person, who can’t wait to get out of bed in the morning to get to work, will be more productive and will remain in role longer than one without passion or purpose.


Provide your team members with an opportunity to share their wants and needs. A third party employee engagement survey, where employees can be candid, coupled with feedback and follow up from management can go a long way to improving employee morale. Employees want to feel heard and acknowledged. If you want them to take ownership at work, it’s important to help them feel that they have say in impacting that work environment. After conducting an employee engagement survey, the most important step you can take is to share the results. Then ask for input on changes that would improve the environment. You don’t have to agree to all employee requests, especially if they don’t make economic sense. But the requests you can accommodate will tell your employees that you care about their opinions and respect their needs.

Do you have a clear set of business goals and strategies? 

Defining your goals and strategies will naturally help you identify the talent profiles you will need to fulfill those goals. Also, by sharing your goals with your team, you have an opportunity to soliciting input on how they can assist with achieving those goals. The ability of your team to achieve results may surprise you. Of course, if your team has values that are aligned, you will be in a much better position to create meaningful incentives that will motivate the kinds of behaviors you seek.

You may find that you’ve identified skill gaps within your team needed to achieve your goals. The good news is that skills are trainable and offering developmental opportunities for your team to grow the skills required for business success will engage them and help your business.

2. Seek people who fit with your team values, and hire the candidate who best fits with the open role.

Once you’ve established your business culture and core values, don’t compromise those values by hiring skilled talent that does not fit you’re your culture. Skills can be learned and even behaviors can change with effort. Values (the driving forces that get us into action) change very slowly, if at all. Look for candidates who match your business values and have a shared passion around similar drivers.

We recommend developing a role benchmark that clearly spells out the ideal candidate profile, identifying those factors that will lead to success in a specific role. Then use gap assessments for applicants that tell you how close a candidate under consideration matches your ideal profile.

The best way to build your new applicant pipeline is to build a strong team and culture of employee development and empowerment. Social media and word of mouth rule the day. Happy employees will post positive comments on social media sites and will talk amongst their friends.

Some of the best sources for new hires can come from your own internal staff. They know the jobs and the business culture best and can recommend others who fit the criteria. Job applicants will scour social media sites looking for comments about what it is like to work in your business. If the comments are negative, the best candidates will not apply.

3. Develop a consistent culture of continuous learning and development

Given the tight labor market we face today in this country, finding good talent will inevitably get much more difficult before it improves. That means for those managing a workforce, the biggest challenge will be to  keep the good talent and take action to undermine those who wish to poach your best employees.

Keeping good talent is not simply about erecting barriers (real or virtual) to prevent access. Rather it requires a strategy aimed at making your workplace so attractive that your employees are truly uninterested in considering other options. Once you have articulated and shared your business Mission, Vision, and Core Values, plus built a team that is aligned with your direction, you need to foster an environment that lives your promise.

If your team is excited to come to work, charged up by their daily roles, fulfilled in their achievements, and happy in the environment you foster, there is only one thing left to do. You need to provide ongoing opportunities to learn and grow at work through continuous improvement, embracing reasonable change consistent with your plan, and seeking ways to reward and reinforce your values.