One of the toughest things that we go through is our ability to recruit employees. The toughest thing we need to consider is that the world is shrinking and it is very easy for candidates to find out what our organizations are like as well as specific managers and their leadership styles. A brief example might be a candidate going to work for a company and not knowing much about the company. What will the candidate do knowing he or she may have multiple offers from different companies? They may go to LinkedIn and see if they know anybody at the company. This is where a manager's personal leadership brand becomes evident or least it’s perception. A candidate might call someone at the company to find out what that bosses like. On one hand what if the boss has a reputation of not being very engaged and occasionally flies off the handle yelling in staff meetings? On the other hand what if the manager is engaged and has developed a relationship of being positive in a great developer of talent? Here’s the tough thing about writing this blog some managers will convince themselves that they coach and have a strong leadership brand; nevertheless, a candidate will never notify us that they learned of this information. The number one thing that motivates people today is progress and it’s not money or reward; therefore, if a manager develops a strong reputation of engagement and continuous talent development this will draw candidates like a magnet.
Let’s take the example of Joe. Joe is a customer service person who simply wanted to come in and do his job and go home after a good day’s work. He does not possess a degree and had relegated himself to simply being a customer service representative. His boss Lisa really thought highly of Joe and sat down with him one day and asked him some really good coaching questions. Lisa learned Joe had aspirations of management but had heard through the grapevine that managers needed a college degree. Like many organizations the tribal knowledge often is incorrect and Lisa quickly corrected this assumption. They both agreed to get together on a weekly basis to work on Joe learning the merits of becoming a good manager, leader, and coach. Within two years Joe became a supervisor and then ultimately a manager of a team. By the way this is a real story and Joe is still a manager at that company. Here’s the funny thing and the reason I wrote this blog we recently had a candidate who knew Joe and wanted to see what it was like to work for Lisa. A small world indeed. You can imagine Joe’s feedback on Lisa as a leader! Sadly, if that initial conversation never took place you can also imagine Joe’s feedback which may have deterred the candidate from even pursuing the job. One question and one simple conversation led to a weekly realtionship That kept and developed a great employee. In the end the candidate joined and why because of Joe’s recommendation and belief in this manager. So this begs the question will your employees endorse managers the way Joe did?