You can’t afford not to be in the ‘talent’ business

Book Review

The Alliance: Managing Talent in a Networked Age

Reid Hoffman, Ben Casnocha, and Chris Yeh; Harvard Business Review Press, 2014

“A business without loyalty is a business without long-term thinking. A business without long-term thinking is a business that’s unable to invest in the future. And a business that isn’t investing in tomorrow’s opportunities and technologies—well, that’s a company already in the process of dying.”[i]

Most leaders would agree that managing talent is an enormous challenge. Putting aside the costs associated with the recruitment and development of staff, holding onto someone that you can’t afford to lose is a battle often lost.

By identifying some of the generational characteristics and emerging cultural trends contemporary leaders need to be considerate of, the authors make it clear that a modern company can no longer “expect its corporate purpose to become the sole purpose of the employee.”[ii]

They argue that new ways have to be found to rebuild the employer-employee relationship, and encourage employees to develop their personal networks and act entrepreneurially without becoming mercenary job-hoppers. A key way to facilitate this as employers is, to better understand the core aspirations and values of those that work for them, and look for where they are in alignment.[iii]

The authors have avoided the temptation to provide a set of prescriptive answers that might cause someone to not explore some of the more creative solutions available.

If you’ve discovered that some of the traditional strategies for retaining talent are not working, then you’ve got to especially read the chapters on ‘Tours of Duty.’

You might not be in the recruitment business, but as a leader you can’t afford not to be in the talent business.

What’s the best tip you have for increasing employee engagement? (Leave a comment below)

 

[i] Reid Hoffman, Ben Casnocha, and Chris Yeh. The Alliance: Managing Talent in a Networked Age (Boston: Massachusetts: Harvard Business Review Press, 2014), 7.

[ii] Ibid., 58.

[iii] Ibid., 64.

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