When There is no Talent to be Found


Let’s face it, finding good employees can be difficult. Sometimes those wonderful employees that will help bring your business to the next level either aren’t available, or have higher expectations than what your business can offer. This presents a lot of problems for any business, whether it is a start-up or one that has been around for years.

In fact, finding good employees might be the single most difficult thing for a business to do, other than retaining them.

We have all experienced it, working in a job with a coworker that doesn’t seem to do much at all. I mean, what do they do? Sit there. Pick at their nails. Check their phone. Talk to other coworkers. Take a lot of breaks, and I mean a lot. It was always a wonder to me how these people didn’t get fired.

The truth is that poor employees who are so detrimental to an organization are kept around because it often costs too much to let them go. First, there has to be good reason to fire an employee, unless you live in an at-will state. Second, hiring and training a new employee is often time consuming and costly. Besides, if a new employee is hired, what if they exhibit the same behavior?

This is why having a good talent management strategy in place is so important. Businesses want to hire good employees, but they also want to train them and retain them. Businesses want their employees help the business grow, but that isn’t possible if the employees are second rate.

Several things must be considered when thinking about talent management:

  • Short-term goals
  • Long-term goals

Short-term goals are based on urgency. If a business needs employees now, it is likely that they won’t take a long time to find the perfect fit. Instead, it is likely they will settle for the person most likely to be good in the position. This might sound like a terrible idea, but it might not be, depending on the long-term goals that are in place.

Long-term goals are not based on urgency, but rather based on the strategies that are in place for the organization, as well as the commitment the organization has for talent management. When the long-term goals are clear, such as “finding and retaining talented employees is essential to organizational success,” then the commitment will follow.

What goes into talent management in the long-term sense?

Developing talent within

 Rather than going outside of the organization to find talent, look inside the organization for the possibilities. Which employees do well in their jobs? Who shows innovation and creativity? Who always tries to produce an above average product?

While these questions might seem a bit ridiculous, they are important, because the talent the organization has to find is likely already in the organization. It is then these employees that do pretty well for the organization who should be:

  • Given opportunities to take on more responsibilities and move into higher positions
  • Given incentives for a job well done
  • Mentored to learn new tasks

Align employee goals with organizational strategy

If you want to see the organization perform better, as well as see employees perform better, ensure that employees have goals that will help achieve the strategies in place for the organization. This can be done by:

  • Ensuring understanding of the responsibilities associated with the goals
  • Increasing accountability through measurable goals
  • Only focusing on goals that are important

Allow for competitiveness

It might be a dog eat dog world, but in reality, competition makes individuals strive for something better. When allowing, or even encouraging, competitiveness within an organization, this can increase performance while help increase potential talent.

Allow for collaboration

Collaboration is one of those essential things that some organizations overlook. Allow employees to work together towards a goal. Allow supervisors to mentor employees that really shine. Collaboration is one of the best ways to accomplish a goal.

Finding talented employees may seem difficult and frustrating, but often this can change when giving those already employed in the organization a chance to learn, take on new responsibilities, and have the potential for promotion. Developing talent from within is so important. Try it and its benefits will be apparent.


About Author

Margaret Murrow

Margaret obtained her M.S. in Organizational Psychology and Nonprofit Management in 2014 after spending a decade focused on homeschooling her four children. She is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Health Psychology and has earned a certification in stress management coaching. When she is not studying, she spends time working as a freelance writer and a certified stress management and business coach for employers around the world.