A War for Quality Talent

A War for Quality Talent Requires Modern Tactics

The goal of most corporate strategists is to build an enduring and implicitly static competitive advantage. At the best of times, market-beating leadership can be a precarious endeavour, especially when external markets and capital sources are uncertain in a post-pandemic world.

Our Candidates are 44% More Productive & 25% More Profitable

Forbes Rutherford, Understanding Behaviour Performance, 2020

Our 2022/23 P.E.S.T Survey respondents would characterize their attitude toward 2022 as Somewhat Positive (36%) and Positive/Very Positive (49%). As for their attitude toward 2023, (24%) of respondents expect to be Somewhat Positive, with (64%) Positive/Very Positive. Regardless of this characterization, based on respondents resourcing plans for 2023, respondents plan to hedge financial and asset risks. This risk hedging explains the increasing demand for real estate and financial portfolio professionals capable of securing underlying asset values.

Talent acquired through Rutherford International and its NEXTalent platform is 44% more productive than the average employee in a similar role and 25% more profitable. We’re so confident of this quality standard that, dependent upon the nature and complexity of the assignment, we will defer up to fifty per cent of our advisory fee for twelve months.

Quality talent is not easy to find or entice, and may not be browsing on LinkedIn or Indeed. We’re in a war for talent, and there are minefields in any war. When searching for top-tier talent, one must be strategic and tactical in approach while abiding by basic rules of engagement.

Basic Rules of Engagement – Finding Quality

  1. Candidates are always available but the above-average talent is rare and in demand. Understand that 50% of a company’s roster is below average in performance and 25% are average. Regardless of industry, a company’s competitive future depends on acquiring and retaining the top 25% of an industry’s executives and professionals. Most quality candidates are found through referrals and not by trolling job boards.
  2. A person’s income generally approximates the average income of their five closest associates. Like attracts like, quality attracts quality. Referral recruiting uncovers these performance networks, not job boards or social networks.
  3. Furthermore, 74% of employees either don’t like their current job or are questioning their career choice. Careers are rarely planned. Many choose their career by happenstance. For example, a person may default to accounting because they were good in math at school but never thought about engineering, computer science or biotech. Most often they succumb to external influence, perhaps a parent’s dream or insistence. The fact is, they’ve chosen a career where they’ll likely be average rather than pursue one where they have the potential to be above average. This may explain why one-third of WFH employees have side gigs.
  4. Companies are not letting staff go, and they’re doing their level best to hold onto their employees with increased perquisites, flattery and money. Sixty-six per cent of respondents expect wages to increase through 2023. If a company plans to raise wages as a retention measure, it would be advisable to assess the employee’s potential to be above average relative to their peer group.
  5. All hiring decisions should include analytical tools that correlate traits and competencies with on-the-job performance specific to the role in question.
  6. When considering unemployed talent sourced from job boards in this market, understand the reason 80% of employees involuntarily leave their employer has more to do with behaviour than competence or performance.*
    • *Notwithstanding this statistic, any real estate professional on commission or a lucrative STIP and actively seeking new employment in Q1 or Q4 of the fiscal year are immediately suspect and should be subjected to thorough analysis. The one caveat is if their employer has changed the STIP or offered an unfair discretionary bonus.

Predicting Human Potential – Case Studies

Accurately predicting human potential using data analytics is a modern management fulcrum that allows individuals and corporations to achieve a competitive advantage consistently. However, these tools can be as mystifying as the science underpinning the analytics. Many hiring managers believe their instincts can intuit candidate performance. This might be true in assessing education, skills and relevant experience; however, 80% of involuntary terminations are due to determining poor behavioural fit and not competence. Cognitive bias is an instrumental factor for errors related to determining personality fit. Only two globally respected assessment tests provide the predictive granularity to correlate personality traits and competencies to performance in specific career classifications and functional roles. We can provide you with an overview of the actuarial science we use, but perhaps some samples would suffice.

Eighty per cent of Involuntary Terminations are Due to Poor Behavioural Fit and not Competence

Dr Larry Cash, Behavioural Scientist – Personality DNA

Identifying Potential – Pres./CEO Real Estate Development

Rutherford International’s Developer Alliance program, which I referenced in the CRE 2022/23 P.E.S.T. Survey questionnaire, incubates high potentials. It is designed around a performance benchmark which identifies high performing and high potential real estate development CEOs. Our behavioural scientist established this benchmark by expanding his research into high-performing Presidents/CEOs, a data set of thousands, and layered in the traits and competencies of seventy-five highly successful real estate development Presidents/CEOs from across North America. With this modified benchmark, Rutherford International can identify high-potential real estate development CEOs before they begin post-secondary studies. Furthermore, before starting graduate studies, we can customize a career development plan to move the mentee’s average strengths to above average. The accuracy of our analysis is 85%, a score that exceeds 99% of known psychometric tools. The Developer Alliance incubates targeted talent by supporting the mentee with an advisory team experienced in full-cycle development.

Predicting Performance – Integrated Property Services

Rutherford International received a mandate to find a VP of Property Management for a third party integrated property services company. We shortlisted three prospects. Two of the candidates benchmarked high potential for VP Operations, and the third benchmarked high for Director but average for Vice President. Our second choice scored below the first for VP Operations but assessed significantly higher for VP Business Development. We recommended to the client, that they hire the high-scoring Operations candidate for the role in question and, if possible, bring the second candidate into the company as Director of Business Development. The candidate was open to accepting this alternative with a low base and high incentive compensation package.

The client hired the top candidate as VP of Property Operations but could not pursue the second option. The leading candidate was hired as the VP and was promoted to Senior VP a year later. Today, this incumbent leads a competing national property services company. The second candidate also leads an integrated property services company as Senior VP and is responsible for operations and business development. Both candidates benchmarked at the high end of our performance range—the selection ratio for talent in this range is approximately 13:1000.

Matching Partners – Investment Fund Start-Up

A third example spotlighting the potential of executive performance analytics was the matching of a client with a partner. A client was launching a core plus institutional fund. He required an acquisition partner capable of institutional deal sizes, who was at the top of investment brokers’ lists, known to pension fund managers and could complement the client’s efforts to raise capital. Compounding the search challenge was the client’s personality. He was a Results-Driven/Creative Type who required a partner of equal intellect but more Process-Driven for applying back of the office analytics and day-to-day management. The search was extensive, but we found his partner. According to my behavioural scientist, the fit between these two men was 1:2,500.

The Fit Between These Two Matched Partners was 1:2,500

Rutherford International’s Behavioural Scientist

Talent acquired through my services is 44% more productive and 25% more profitable than a client’s average employee in a similar role. We’re so confident of this quality standard that, dependent upon the nature and complexity of the assignment, we will defer up to fifty per cent of our advisory fee for twelve months.

As a Specialist in Understanding Human Potential, my Role is to help Clients Achieve their Personal and Corporate Tomorrow.

Forbes Rutherford, 2000

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