Trouble Finding Talent?

It’s natural to connect an organization’s difficulty in finding qualified workers to the tightness of the labor market. Attracting talent has always been a part of the business dialogue; however, it doesn’t seem to be as closely connected to unemployment rates or other labor indicators as we may think.

If we can’t find good talent, what does that tell us? In my experience, it’s a reflection more on the organization, than the market. What we have found is that it has less to do with the labor market and is more related to elements that you have control over as an employer. Certainly, the industry you are in matters. But you can still be the best company to work for in that space.


Here’s what we’ve found are the key qualities that attract talent:

  • Growth Rate
    People like working for growth companies better than shrinking companies. If we had to choose a single attribute that attracts talent, this likely would be it. Employees want to be a part of a winning team and growth creates more paths of opportunity for team members. It’s also important to have a consistent track record of growth – usually three years or more. What does your performance say about your organization?
  • Good Culture
    We know a good culture when we feel it. It’s not one quality that makes the culture stand out, but rather a collection of traits that naturally draws us in. Everyone claims to have a good culture, but seldom can validate it. We’re seeing more third-party tools help job seekers assess it. A go-to site, particularly among younger workers, is Glassdoor. This job site allows individuals to read reviews, see what an organization pays by role and city and dig deeper into benefits. As I wrote this, Marco had a 94 percent recommend rate. How does your organization rank on Glassdoor?

  • Fair Compensation
    Notice that I did not say high compensation. People often think that Marco pays more to attract talent. In most cases, we don’t. (When we do, our expectations also increase). You cannot make up for the other elements that attract talent by paying more. We provide a fair compensation package. We aim to keep our compensation and benefits at a competitive level and will pay in the upper quartile for hard-to-fill positions. How does your compensation plan stack up?

  • Strong Leadership
    Job interviews are not a monologue, but a dialogue. Top talent is interviewing you as much as you are interviewing them. They’re assessing your leadership to determine if you’re someone they want to work for. The likability of leadership is becoming more important to attracting key talent. How you portray yourself and your organization during an interview will have a strong impact on the outcome. How likeable is your leadership team?

It’s easy to point to labor statistics as to why an organization may be struggling to find qualified workers. But in most cases, I think it should be directed more toward leadership. Are you creating a culture that people want to be a part of? Are you performing in the top of your industry? If not, take steps to improve. We have more control over the talent we attract than we give ourselves credit for.

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Topics: Culture, Hiring, Growth