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Recruiting and Retaining Top Talent

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Digital Marketing - Study Notes:

To be successful, leaders need to surround themselves with good people. How can you do that? By recruiting the right people to your team. And once you have recruited them, you need to keep top talent on board. Leaders can do this by exhibiting trust in team members, and by developing their talents and inspiring them to achieve great things.

Recruit the right people

Attracting top talent is an increasingly important issue. Leaders have to recruit the best possible team in order to drive their vision forward and bring it to life. So it's advisable that they involve themselves personally and completely in the entire recruitment process.

As a leader, you should insist that new recruits fit with the corporate culture. Having the necessary background and talent to do the job is just one piece of the puzzle. For a candidate to really flourish, a culture fit is every bit as important as experience, talent, and education.

You also will need recruits who are prepared to take on any task. The natural pressure of limited resources means that teams need to learn to do more with less, wear multiple hats, and be prepared to take on any task. Some people prefer to work in a structured environment, yet an early stage in pursuing a vision may require people to be outside of their comfort zone. This can be a challenge, and it points back to having a culture fit.

Also, aim to recruit people who display passion – for anything. Skills can be learned either through education or experience. Finding employees who have a passion is rare. It doesn't necessarily have to be about the job. It can be anything, from playing golf to running to singing with perfect pitch!

Trust your team

When you have your ideal team in place, you need to trust them. As Steve Jobs of Apple once said, "It doesn't make sense to hire smart people and then tell them what to do; we hire smart people so they can tell us what to do."

One of the benefits of employing talented people is gaining their expertise and passion in developing and communicating your vision. If you trust in your own ability to select the best people, then it makes sense to trust your team! So give them the space to build and improve on your ideas. As a leader, your focus is best applied to sharing your vision with your employees. Focus on engaging them in co-creating it with you, gaining their buy-in, and encouraging and challenging them to become the greatest people they can be.

Inspire your team

As a leader, one of your goals is to develop and inspire your team. Leaders should work to develop their team, to help them reach their full potential, and to inspire them to become the leaders of tomorrow. The best leaders inspire greatness in others. They create an environment for people to expand and evolve, and provide them with the support and encouragement to become successful in whatever they pursue.

As a leader, how can you do this?

Show how when things go wrong, there is always something to learn

Great leaders teach that successful people aren’t born but made, through all kinds of experiences. Remind your team that paying attention when things fail and learning from the experience is a key feature of being successful.

Encourage imperfection

Don’t let perfect be the enemy of excellent. Remember, you don’t have to be perfect to inspire others. Instead, seek to inspire your people with the way you deal with your own imperfections. How do you accommodate and work around these shortcomings, and still focus on what you can accomplish?

Provide a safety net

Encourage your people to try new ideas without fear of repercussions or criticism if they don’t work out. Show them that the more they try, the more they will succeed. After all, calculated risks can pay off in the long run. The very best leaders encourage their people to take risks and drop fear. Remember, only those who are willing to risk going too far can find out how far they can go.

Stick to your commitments

There is great strength in being responsible and keeping your word. If you tell someone you’ll do something, then do it. Be honest about your limits. Understand that when people fail, it’s most often not because of a lack of desire but a lack of commitment.

Set high standards

Although you should be tolerant of mistakes and imperfections, you should also insist on high standards. Set high standards for yourself and lead by example, knowing that demonstrating character is the best way to lead your people to develop their own high standards and work ethic.

Effective recruitment in action

A marketing manager had a desk that was always clear. He was questioned about it one day and he explained that he had highly skilled and experienced team members to carry out the multiple marketing tasks from day to day. So everything that arrived at his office had someone’s name on it, and was delegated or distributed as soon as possible. He kept for himself his activities as a department ambassador and driver of the overall vision. He also considered that by far the most essential part of his role was to be available as a coach and mentor for his team colleagues.

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Bill Phillips

International Facilitator, Trainer, and Team Coach

  • Has successfully coached CEOs, board members, directors, executive teams, and team leaders in public and private companies, NGOs, and UN organizations in 15 countries across four continents
  • Is the creator of Future-basing®, a highly potent process for building strategy, vision, and cooperation
  • Inspires people to build excellent interpersonal relationships and achieve their goals

The following pieces of content from the Digital Marketing Institute's Membership Library have been chosen to offer additional material that you might find interesting or insightful.

You can find more information and content like this on the Digital Marketing Institute's Membership Library

You will not be assessed on this content.


    Thinking Strategically
    Bill Phillips
    Skills Expert

    Being able to think strategically, and to see the bigger picture, are attributes that every great leader should possess. With strategic thinking, you can create the future for yourself and your employees. It helps you to identify opportunities for change, and take advantage of them. This, in turn, increases market share and profitability, and makes your business more durable.

    In this module, you will learn how to become a strategic thinker. You will discover the characteristics of strategic thinking, and its many benefits. You will also be introduced to a method called Future-basing® that you can use to build a vision for the future in your own organization.

    You will also learn how to develop a leadership mindset, which entails being able to visualize how things should be, communicating that vision, and taking a wider, more panoramic view. This should help you transition from acting like a manager to thinking like a leader – which is another key take-away from this module.