Talent Attraction Safari Series 5

Impalas from African safari trip paying attention

Which Leadership Style Attracts Better Candidates?

Leadership styles differ in their delivery based on the practices of the Leadership team when the organization was created. Once the Founder and their Leadership Team create a culture, it is difficult to change the culture.

Is the Top Down Leadership decision making culture better than the Consensus Building culture for the Attraction of top talent?

My sense is that it depends on the industry and the specific skills required for the company. For instance, in South Africa, I took the picture of a herd of Impalas. They practice the Consensus leadership style. They spot a danger, generally a predator, and take off running! It works for them.

Everyone knows people on both sides of this issue.

Some people’s attitude is, “Just tell me what to do!” For them, the Top Down approach works best. There is clarity in the Leadership direction and desires. The advantages are clarity and decision making speed. The disadvantages may include a loss of creativity, especially if the leaders are adamant their way is best.

Other employees feel they are out of the decision making loop and therefore tend to simply “do their job.” There may be a loss of employee engagement with the Top Down approach.

The Consensus Building approach has advantages. Taiichi Ohno was credited for being the creator of the Toyota Production System. He proved the consensus building approach works well in manufacturing automobiles because the people working on the line recognize where there is waste.

His discovery was that the employees recognize waste in their process. However, the top down approach prevented them from making suggestions to improve their process, unless they were asked directly.

He created the week long Kaizen Events where the employees of a specific line would discuss where there was waste in their line. They discussed potential improvements and implemented the improvements by the end of the week. Then the leadership visited the line and celebrated the improvements with their employees. The employee result was an engaged employee who now knew how to recognize waste in the process and make suggestions to improve the process.

In the United States, this became known as the Lean Manufacturing Process. Later Lean was adopted by software engineers who renamed the process Agile Software Development.

How Does The Leadership Style Impact Talent Attraction AND Retention?

Please keep in mind that the Talent Attraction Process mirrors the Sales Process perfectly step by step. The final step in the SALES Process is retaining your clients. The final step in the Talent Attraction Process is retaining your employees.

As a company grows within its industry, its culture becomes known by employees in other companies, i.e., their competition. Some of those employees may be great additions to your company because they have industry knowledge and skills. When interviewing those candidates, it is helpful to know their current company’s culture.

Structure interview questions to determine what they like about their current job and current company (ask these questions first). Then ask questions about what they would like to see done differently in their current company. These questions provide your Manager with intelligence about the candidate’s company and the candidate’s cultural preferences.

If your company practices a Top Down approach, a candidate who wants to participate in decision making is a poor fit. Over the long term, you will not retain that person – and employee engagement may be a problem with them.

However, a candidate who simply wants to know what they need to do, and has the right skills, may be a great fit.

Conversely, if your culture is a Consensus Building culture, your employee engagement may improve. The caution is to remember the need to come to an agreement quickly so your business may move in the right direction nimbly.

Know your company culture and attract talented people who want to work in that culture. Your organization will be more attractive to candidates who want to work in your company.

Talent Attraction is Better than Talent Acquisition!

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With 40+ years of Expert Professional Talent Attraction Consultant experience mingled with 26+ years of Expert Career Coaching Experience, Bill is uniquely qualified to Speak, Author, and Consult on Talent Attraction, Career Search, and Proper Goal Setting.

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“Talent Attraction Safari Series” and “Career Search South Africa Series” photos were taken by me during a business trip to South Africa in July 2023.

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