This week I received a ‘phone call from headhunters – no they weren’t after me, but they were trying to extract talent from my organisation. I expect you might receive similar calls, “Any aspiring talent in your organisation that could fulfill this wonderful new job opportunity?”
This creates a bit of a conundrum for me. Generally, I take a stance with headhunters that I’m polite to them – after all they have a difficult job to do (in case any are reading this!) and equally I hope I’m not too over-confident to realise at some future point I might need the services of Tribal, Gatenby Sanderson, Odgers and the like. But – and this is a big BUT – ‘phone calls of this nature engender a feeling in me of “Please go away and stop trying to rob me of my best people”.
However, my conscience then pricks me and I ponder, “But should I keep my people shackled to the organisation – don’t they need to develop grow and move on?” I might even contemplate “Are some of my best people on the cusp of making their next move in any event?”
As we embark on a journey of public sector transformation, my prognosis is that we’ll need to retain the best talent we possibly can as we’re in for tough times ahead. That might mean trying to persuade top people to stay through fulfilling their development needs, or even looking to increase their salary to hold on to the very best – although this will be tricky with the piggy bank hemorrhaging pennies as fast as trying to fill a bucket with a hole in the bottom.
So what would be your answer to my ‘phone call – and the broader issue of having too much talent?