The great recession has officially ended according to experts however; the negative impact on top talent continues to ripple throughout organizations. While unemployment remains high, the U.S. and other countries prior to the recession were challenged in addressing the increasingly complex workforce trends including: demographic shifts, impending retirements, skill shortages, government regulations and sustainability as we transition from a knowledge based economy to the creative.

In today’s global economy, companies need to adopt a broader focus when rethinking their “top talent” and key people management strategies in order to attract and retain the very best talent as we move into unchartered waters. CEO’s of leading organizations understand that talent and knowledge is the universal currency and when interconnected and working together without physical proximity enables sourcing of talent globally. By bringing in a diverse group of talent from outside the standard discipline, allows for breadth and depth of experiences providing robust perspectives to solving complex business issues.

The days of trying to retain your key people from leaving and going to your local competitor have changed, dramatically. Global competitors with well integrated talent acquisition strategies are already on the prowl in identifying and wooing top talent for key strategic advantage. For these leading organizations, talent spotting is considered an investment in opportunistic talent acquisition. Leveraging social media channels and high-quality networks, they enable capabilities to engage prospective talent through relationship management practices and compelling value propositions that can tempt even the most loyal among your team.

Additionally, the value proposition may be difficult to resist if the competitor excels at unique offerings around culture, growth and development, rewards, flexible work options, and abilities to expand one’s network.

How can savvy leaders help guard their best talent from seeking greener pastures when temptation strikes?

1. Don’t wait for the “letter” or the exit interview. Initiate pro-active
conversation with your best talent, creating safety and identifying the key experiences and rewards that would help them reach new heights.

2. Clarify strategic priorities. Understand both your leadership role and how your
functional area is most critical to success. How do mission critical roles align with the business?

3. Inventory current talent capabilities and focal jobs based on strategy. Is your
best talent in the roles that are most critical for the organization’s future success? What roles might be of key interest to your best talent?

4. Objectively evaluate your best talent for career growth opportunities and
associated risks including suitable or stretch progression within the organization. Identify a growth plan and next steps involved to help your key employee move forward.

5. Invest differently in top talent. Obtain insights about your organization’s mission critical roles and how your top talent creates value. What are the reward preferences most desired by your top talent and how is current and future talent investments being aligned? As professional experiences change over time, so do the preferences for new opportunities, rewards and recognition for top talent.

What steps might you infuse to create a compelling, thriving work experience and culture that temps your top talent to stay?

Author's Bio: 

©2010 All rights reserved. Judy White, SPHR, GPHR, HCS is the President of Raleigh/Durham, North Carolina based The Infusion Group ™ LLC a next generation people management consulting and coaching firm. Visit and discover the latest resources to help your 21st Century Workplace thrive!