The Quest For the Best Talent

“Help, we need somebody, not just anybody…you know we need”-The Beatles

By: Dawn Penfold, President, Meetingjobs, LLC

The job market and economy in many ways has stabilized. Unemployment hovers around 4%, although in many cities it is less. Wages are creeping up as demand for employees outpaces supply.

Last month, Fortune dedicated an issue headlined “You’re Hired”, it showcased companies competing for good talent. The difficulties of both attracting and keeping talented employees is more difficult now than it has been for over a decade. It was also a great read for candidates seeking new opportunities on ways to show their “grit”, as they seek the spectacular job opportunity they’ve been waiting for.

The article brought a smile to my face. One of the most respected financial publications in America dovetailed exactly with my own observations regarding the state of employment in this country.

I have been explaining to hiring officials for more than a year how the recruitment and employment environment has changed. Technology and social media continue to gain impact in the recruitment world.

Traditional job boards and recruitment techniques are still critical to target and attract candidates, but they are not equally effective across the entire candidate spectrum. For the first time, four full generations are simultaneously engaged in the work place. Millennials and Gen-Z candidates are motivated by different factors than Gen Y and Baby Boomers. Below are my thoughts about RETAINING good talent and FINDING great talent!

To retain good talent: First step…Identify your top talent!

Listen to their needs. You may have to lead different employees with different styles. This does not mean that you can be inconsistent or play favorites with your staff. But you may have to lead in ways that take you out of your comfort zone.

As with all generations, positive reinforcement is key, but Millennials and Gen-Z it is critical.

Baby Boomers know their career path. By virtue of their age, they’re already at the top of their game. The Millennials and Gen-Z employees will appreciate having their career paths mapped out and shared with them.

Give your superstars “stretch assignments”… something that offers challenge and makes them grow.

Be their leader and motivate.

To find great talent:

Think beyond the task at hand.
Strategically hire for the future, not just for today’s need.

Be open to virtual candidates. Many very talented people do not want to commute and go into an office every day. Statistics show that the right virtual candidate can be just as productive as those in your office. When your talent pool crosses different cities, time zones and even national borders, you’ve opened up the potential to recruit talent from a much deeper pool. It may also improve your retention and employee satisfaction.
Create an effective plan for onboarding your new superstar. This is critical. Ensure that both you and your new hires start off on the right foot.

Share the career path you offer and strategies you envision to ensure success. Get buy- in from the start.

Utilize niche job boards such as Meetingjobs to target your search more effectively.
Integrate social media into your recruitment efforts. Your Gen-Z and Millennial candidates will know a lot about your company before you ever reach out to them. Make certain that you provide an atmosphere and environment they will think of in a positive manner. Generate a “Good Buzz”.
Seek skill sets and potential that goes beyond the initial needs for the tasks of the job at hand.

The world is changing; be part of that change.
Look at their accomplishments and ability to overcome obstacles. Think bigger and consider their potential to grow long-term within your organization. Look at their “grit”; the ability to think creatively and bring new ideas to the table versus focusing only on what the current position requires.

Need help? We can help!
Through the retained search at, we work directly with you from job conception through the candidate’s first 90 days of employment.

We will market, source, pre-qualify, set up interviews, check references, and perform as an extension of your HR staff throughout the hiring process.

Need help determining exactly what criteria is needed to find the right candidate? Our expertise in the meetings industry will help ensure you’re accessing the right talent. Our promise is to work with you until we find the right candidate!

For more information…call us at 212-689-7686 or email

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