By @SimonCocking. Review, available to buy here.

Attracting, hiring, developing and retaining the right people is crucial to an organisation’s success. The stakes have never been higher: a 2015 study by CAP suggests that the average cost of employee attrition is 20% of a mid-level employee’s annual salary and up to 213% of a high-level executive’s salary. In a business environment changing so rapidly that jobs which will be essential in 2020 don’t even exist yet, Exceptional Talent examines how changes in technology, communication, and employee preferences are impacting the talent journey. It gives practical advice for how to build an effective recruitment and talent management strategy to meet the needs of the business today and prepare for the challenges of the future.

It is impressive sometimes how much effort a company puts into hiring and training new employees and then so utterly mismanaging them that they quickly leave and the whole process has to be repeated again. Some companies even seemingly build it into their strategy that they pay people low salaries, get a few ‘good years’ out of them, and then simply replace them with more of the same. One program we know of is already down to less than 25% of it’s original intake still with them only three years after initially hiring 50 new software developers.

A more cost effective approach, surely, is to get good people, and retain them. While not everyone may be convinced by this strategy, many of the recent books we have reviewed testify to the value of happy, motivated staff with a sense of purpose, who are more productive, stay longer, and deliver more value to your company. This book walks you through a series of important steps to consider, from talent acquisition, to relationship building, to the brand awareness of seeing what people are actually saying about your company on Glassdoor. On page 168 they also highlight the importance of “aligning external brand with internal reality”. There’s no point in having the free beer and pool tables at work if everyone is too fearful to be seen using them, or if they deliver no real value to the company.

You may or may not agree with all the suggestions in the book, but their comment that the talent journey “has fundamentally changed” (p175) is accurate. For those companies able, and willing to take on board the insights offered there is a clear market advantage. At Irish Tech News we have recently embarked on an intern program. Naturally we have our goals in doing this, but we also want to make sure that everyone who engages with us also has a positive experience, both while they are with us, and subsequently as brand ambassadors subsequently. Far better this way than just ignoring emails or requests for information and help that come in. It can take a little more time, but a smart, holistic approach generally brings benefits for everyone involved.

If you would like to have your company featured in the Irish Tech News Business Showcase, get in contact with us at [email protected] or on Twitter: @SimonCocking

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