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Action steps for talent battles

A low unemployment rate coupled with retirements of baby boomers is creating a new urgency behind the “talent wars,” or the battle among companies to attract and keep the best people. Finding talent for positions is currently a huge problem for organizations of all sizes.

Findings of recent PI Worldwide survey on recruitment and retention indicated some interesting findings:


When asked why a new hire wasn’t a fit, almost half said either because of behavior or inadequate skills (47 percent).
Small businesses report candidate misrepresentation as the primary reason why new hires don’t work out. However, they rely primarily on interviews and don’t use cognitive assessments and knowledge/skills tests as frequently as larger companies.


Almost 75% of large companies have lost a top performer due to a poor performer.
While small and medium businesses terminate poor fits, over 20 percent of large companies opt to do nothing.
The data found that most companies look to retain and motivate employees through bonuses; however, compensation is cited as the number one reason for talent turnover.
After compensation, the top reason given for why employees voluntarily left their positions was a lack of career development, followed by poor job fit and conflict with a peer or manager. (Credit)

So, what can action steps can organizations take to address these issues?

  1. Hire for potential over experience. While many accomplishments, certifications and education are important considerations when hiring, cultural fit and behavioral tendencies are just as important. You can train for skills, but you can’t change someone’s behavioral motivations. Organizations can leverage assessments to hire people for their potential, then they can train for skills.


Motivate employees. Utilize data from behavioral assessments to figure out what activities and environments engage people the most. Being in a fulfilling role with duties that suit their personalities and motivating needs will help to retain employees. If they are happy with what they do, they will be less likely to leave their employers, even for a raise.

Train leaders and managers: People leave managers, not companies, so the saying goes. If leaders in a company are formally trained in management and leadership, they will be better equipped to engage their reports and experience less negative conflict; therefore their reports will be less likely to leave in search of greener pastures.

By addressing the issues of recruitment and retention with assessment insights and talent development, organizations will have a chance of emerging as winners in the talent wars.

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