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  • Writer's pictureMatt Sitter

The Great Reshuffle

Talent - Where are all the best people going?

In a recent roundtable discussion losing and gaining talent became a core focus. After all, talent is a critical ingredient (and in many cases “THE critical ingredient) in driving the success of an organization. In many industries, we’re seeing a profound shortage of talent. Particularly in IT Services during the course of the pandemic, services have been bid up substantially.

If you ask where talent is going you will hear that they are running away from companies and running towards some of those same companies. In McKinsey, quarterly, Aaron De Smet and his co-authors recently wrote about talent movement in the “‘Great Attrition’ or ‘Great Attraction’? The choice is yours”. People are quitting and they are being hired, and one of the CEOs on our roundtable simply and quite effectively stated that this is “The Great Reshuffle”.

What we’re finding through our Roundtables and conversations with our members is that the pandemic made employment at firms stale. In some cases, people are finding better, higher paying opportunities, but in many cases a significant factor is the need for something just different. With the pandemic, being stuck at home and staring at your colleagues through a Zoom meeting gave the general impression of Groundhog Day; the same thing over and over again. From our CEOs we’ve also heard that when they engage with former employees, the grass turned out to not be greener. Many of the same restrictions exist at new employers.

In light of this, we’ve identified a few things to think about with your talent planning:

  1. Interview ahead of your need - Attrition will be around. Continuing to interview prior to being ready to hire gives you that ready bench that you can activate when you are ready.

  2. Considering interviewing as a source of knowledge - Interviewing provides valuable insight into the market and the mindset of your talent base. Reframing your talent acquisition around learning can give you a whole new perspective on what is valuable in managing and acquiring talent and the market you address generally

  3. Manage relationships with former employees - I prefer the view that anyone who leaves an organization should become a “treasured alumni”. Staying connected with employees who leave allows you to perhaps attract back a productive employee (Boomerangs happen!) and can become exceptional sources for growing your business. A member of our community is finding that he can accelerate his customer revenue cycle by working through his former employees that are now working for a potential customer.

With the Talent Reshuffle, there’s more than one way to bake a cake and losing an employee doesn’t have to be the end!

About Matt Sitter

Matt is CEO of the Advantage Foundry Network (AFN). He is passionate about optimizing team collaboration and harnessing the power of networks. Matt has led a wide variety of functional areas, and served on multiple executive management teams. He received his BA from Brown University and MBA from the Tuck School at Dartmouth.

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