An Open Letter To CEOs On Talent


Roberta Matuson

August 20, 2016

Dear CEO,

I can no longer sit back while executives in your company stand idly by, waiting for members of the HR team to lasso in anyone who vaguely resembles people who can fill the minimum job requirements. This strategy may have worked for you earlier this decade, but with unemployment rates hitting record lows in many parts of the country, I’m going to go out on a limb and venture to say that this approach is no longer serving you well. Yet, here we are.

I’m hosting an executive breakfast next month on how to create a solar system of talent. The event should be a sellout and would be if I gave every CEO a pass and permitted members of his or her HR team to attend. But here’s the problem. The HR team already knows there is no way they can possibly prevent talent from leaving nor can they fill all the vacancies. They are telling their executives this, only no one is listening. It’s up to you to take the lead and demonstrate that finding and keeping talent is everyone’s job. Here’s where to begin.

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Assess your current leadership team. Let’s face it. The world is changing rapidly. The people you may have hired to take on leadership roles may no longer be the people who are well suited to manage your business today. Many are repelling talent. That means that no matter how many great candidates your HR team presents and how many you are actually able to hire, you’ve got people inside your company who can’t seem to hold onto anyone. You know who these leaders are. Stop making excuses. Either invest in a coach, if you think they are worthy, or release them.

Yes, I know this means another job opening to fill. However, now you have an opportunity to hire someone people may really enjoy working for.

Revise your job descriptions and performance metrics. Included in every hiring manager’s job descriptions and performance metrics should be a section devoted to talent. This will ensure that your managers no longer wait on the sidelines for HR to toss them a resume or two. They will take ownership of the hiring process and as a result, you will be able to hire better people more rapidly, while at the same time increasing employee retention.

Invest in your people. Candidates today want to work for companies that invest in the development of their people. How does your company rate when it comes to employee development? I understand that not everyone has a Google-sized wallet to create the kinds of development programs usually reserved for the Fortune 500, but that doesn’t mean you can’t take some of these best practices and size them for your own company.

For example, one of my non-profit clients has elected to enroll one of her key executives in my Rapid Results Coaching program. The program is three months, versus a longer coaching program that requires more of an investment. Others are implementing mentoring programs to ensure their team members are continuing to grow. What can you do in your own company to show your people they matter?

Finding and keeping talent today is the most important thing your company should be focusing on for without people, you are nothing more than a legal entity, which may disappear in the not-so-distant future.


Roberta Matuson


This article was written by Roberta Matuson from Forbes and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

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