To headhunt, to be headhunted or TO STAY?

The lack of talent and especially top talent in various fields is a reality in all markets. Therefore, my job is to help detect and attract top talent for progressively minded top companies. I love to participate as “the bridge”.  I found my very own “Simon Sinek’s WHY” decades ago when I started out in this profession. Luckily, as an HR developer, I also contribute to people and organisational development skills – people grow and are not necessarily constantly switching jobs in order to develop their experience. In other words, in my opinion, we – as headhunters – indirectly contribute to the mission of companies to invest in their people as well as in the development of their own healthy business in order to retain their employees, happy and motivated.

I am also a GM of my own company and my employees were headhunted to join us when they first came onboard. Do you know the feeling? What can a company do? It all starts and ends with leaders and leadership. In my opinion, every employee is responsible for his/her own satisfaction at work however there is a tremendous potential for excellent leaders to influence employees’ motivation. Research conducted by world renowned consulting companies as well as our own carried out in the past, shows that the majority of people would change their jobs in the case of a bad relationship with their boss. So often the two way “I care for you” moment in the relationship with the superior is not there. This then provides an easy target for a headhunter. But companies have changed, many have improved through conscious leadership programs, chief happiness officers and transparency; these are all brining results. Most of the people I interview, especially in IT, claim to have great relationships with their boss and colleagues.

But leaders influence all the three corners of the employee’s motivation: the relationship, the package (salary, title, location) and the job itself. Where leaders can really improve is in the area of assigning the right jobs to the right people in order to seriously shape the task and challenge around the person.  This is not as easy as it seems. We have a job description don’t we, we have an employee who performs the job but the motivation of each individual is different. The “Why” of two people executing the same job is different. If you are a leader, you need to know which button to press, is it the task itself which the employee is particularly interested in?  Or does he/she like the feeling that comes from bringing a financial result for the company or themselves… Some people simply love the sound of money no matter if its theirs or the company’s; as research shows it has nothing to do with the hierarchy. Or is it the third motivational element namely: image/the chance to be seen by others to make an impact. Skilled leaders make employees aware of what specific tailormade “candy challenge” the job brings and why they have assigned it especially to him/her. They act as a lighthouse and clearly indicate next year’s challenges both for the company and specific employee. If you don’t do so, remember that as headhunters, most of the time we are successful in selling challenges and interesting assignments to candidates. Many times, people are not aware of what interesting assignments they could have in their own organisations.

Ensuring that people stay, are engaged and happy, means that top management, the leaders, constantly care about 3 dimensions: it (what is to be achieved here and company purpose), we (the relationship and company culture) and I (the leader’s own motivation and ability to be followed).

As headhunters, we force global leaders to be better. Consciously and sustainably. People, product, profit, and planet concept. And I love being the bridge. The “Triple Bridge” is one of the main tourist attractions in Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia, my home country.

Author: Petra Treven Bernat, CFR Global Executive Search Slovenia
Photo source: Pixabay

Share this article: