Top Gun was one of the first "cool" movies I remember watching. Maverick and Goose are rebellious Navy pilots that are chosen to attend an elite aerial combat school where they duke it out to see who would be the best of the best. I am pretty sure every boy fantasizes about that kind of glory, but I have always wondered how they knew who should attend the Top Gun flight school. How did they know who the best were?
Now that I am getting more intimately acquainted with HR I have begun to wonder the same thing about nurses and managers and executives. When we are out looking for new talent for the organization, how do we know who the best are and where do we find them? It would seem that most of the time we are just sifting through the available pool of local talent to fill positions with “the best available”. But how far will that get us? For an organization, like my own, that strives to be the best medical center in the nation, I don’t think it gets us far enough.
The problem is that healthcare workers don’t have box scores printed in the Sunday paper. The best of the best are likely humming along within their organizations and potentially invisible to the outside world. There are people that receive public awards, but those are few and far between (and those are often popularity contests anyways).
I can hear the recruitment specialists of the world saying that you find talented people by offering the right incentives and then the best will come to you. Perhaps there is something to that, but what do the best want that would distinguish them from the rest? More responsibility…more pay…more prestige…more freedom…more resources at their disposal?
But maybe it is another truism about business – it is who you know – that is the secret to finding the best. We already give referral bonuses to employees for finding new talent, but maybe we haven’t gone far enough down that road. Do your best employees know other high performers? Perhaps LinkedIn
is a better search tool than Monster
These are some interesting questions and, obviously, I don’t have the answers. I would be interested to hear from people on this subject. And don’t worry, we won’t steal you best people…yet.