We network to find the right connections, the right business partners, the next client. We often forget that we also network to find the right employees; the talent that will help move the business ahead. How do you go about finding your next top performer? More importantly, how do you hold onto them once you've got them?
What is a top performer?
A top perfromer can save a business; they are individuals who, on average, can produce two to four times more than a typical worker. The value of a top peformer is not only measured in efficiency, research from the Human Capital Institute shows that fully engaged employees return 120% of their salary in value! Top performers are driven and committed to the company they work for. They seek out new challenges and opportunities for growth. They not only have the ability to do the work, they want to do it.
How to find a top performer
Here comes the next big question, where do you find these model employees? There are so many channels to find talent: job fairs, networking events or events hosted by schools to showcase fresh graduates. Then there are a plethora of social media platforms that are career-oriented - LinkedIn being the big one. Internal sources are also a great asset to tap into. Internal referral programs are the #1 source for high quality hires as they help connect you with people that already fit your company's culture, require less training and are more likely to stay with the organization.
Of course, as most networkers know, the more people you meet, the better your chances of finding that great employee. If you are not on the lookout for new employees, make it heard. Let your network know that you are looking to hire, word travels fast and referrals are always worth looking into.
It also helps if your business is known as a good place to work. The more alluring your company is, the easier it is to find top talent. People will seek out desirable work environments; keep in mind, word travels equally fast among prospective employees. Flexible hours, benefits, free coffee, complimentary gym membership, these can all add to the glamour of your business. Take the time and look at it from your employees' perspective.
How to develop a top performer
What kind of ocmpany do you run? Is it about creative input or structure results? Knowing what makes your wheels turn will help you pick the ideal candidate. Once you find a top performer, your job does not stop there. The employee has to be coached, trained, and made to feel comfortable. Give them feedback, and be ready to listen as well. And perhaps the most importan aspect of a good boss is the ability to recognize the difference between people. We all have a tendency to base our judgments on the one thing we are most familiar with, ourselves. However, a versatile and successful company does not need clones of the boss. So take your time and encourage self-awareness, both in yourself and in your employees. Understand what makes you and your team click. Recognize the elements that work well together, and the ones that need improvement; make "why" the mantra of your company.
How to hold onto a top perfomer
You've foudn the perfect candidate, you've explained and listened. Great! How you have to hold onto your greatest asset, the talented and driven employee. Retaining top peformers is easy if done from the beginning. Provide tools to develop and support the employee in his or her career goals. Provie and environment where all of your employees feel comfortable. Boost morale and employee engagement by creating social events where all are welcome to participate.
Thus, the power of your business doesn't only lie in people, but in the RIGHT people. Spread the word throughout your network that you are actively seeking to hire. Make your company desirable for your ideal candidate, and create an environment that enables growth. And lastly, make sure you encourage development not only for your top performer but for all of your employees.