20-year-olds or Craigslist Ads. Are You Correctly Managing Talent For Your Small Business?

As a small business owner I struggle periodically with filling and holding my most technical people. I need x,y, and z from people who have “x,y,z” tattooed on their backs. Anything less than that will and I am out of commission. Once I placed an online ad the way I learned to do from a business book I am not able to name now. It said to post the skill set needed of an applicant not a description of the position. I cannot remember what I posted, but it must have been along the lines of “anyone who has ever opened Photoshop within the last 12 months, please sign up here” as the responses of many well-meaning, yet unpolished designers were overwhelming. I give great credit to those trying to learn and develop new skills in any economy, but when someone sends a graphic design sample as an image on a word document it takes more than a deep breath to keep from replying with “Wth???????”

You can make as many assumptions as you want as to why I had gaps in my team, but whether all their grandmas died at once or I was crushing them under the hammer of my sparse and sporadic client proposals, the issue at the end of the day was there was a highly specialized piece of my machine missing and it was not fun trying to find it.

Someone smarter than me alluded to this phenomenon. D. Ready and J. Conger put together a short piece called “Make Your Company a Talent Factory” where they explained very clearly how not-so-small-businesses with their big budgets and good intentions for maintaining talents were not. Whether talent retention systems were in place or money was being set aside for such or executive managers were totally clueless of its importance, the issue was the same; not having a concise development program for the current talent within a company (employees) or one for reaching outside to potential talent (interns) was the leading cause of shortages in key roles within a company.

Part I – Are You Correctly Managing Talent For Your Small Business?
Part II – Motivating Employees
Part III – The Happy Camper Talent Management Factory: Running on Sunshine and Smiles
Part IV – How the Gears of Talent Management Work

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