Posts Tagged ‘Good to Great’

The Challenge of Attracting Talent

September 28, 2014

Attracting Talent - Superman

Attracting top performers to your organisation is the key factor for future success according to many of the top CEO’s and one of the biggest challenges they are facing today.

Understanding how top performers think is critical and to get this right organisations must figure out what motivates and inspires them and then how to create an environment where these things exist.

Some of the common attributes that top performers look for in an employer are:

Real value alignment

Top performers want to believe that the organisation they are working for are strongly aligned to their own personal values. These ‘key’ corporate values must be clearly communicated and could include things like customer ethos, creativity and innovation, involvement in the community,  teamwork, opportunity and personality.

Quite simply “If you want me to work for you I must believe in you

Positive reputation

In the eyes of the top performer, the organisations they consider working for must have a strong, attractive brand and a great reputation in the marketplace. This by default will enhance their own personal reputation and help them to progress with their career. When the question is asked “where do you work?” you want to be able to answer proudly and even create a little job envy ..”Oh, you are lucky to work there“.

Special personal opportunities

Top performers want to know what sets the organisation apart and what does that mean for them: Special experiences, unique opportunities, enjoyment, satisfaction, achievement and rewards, career progression and a great work life balance are things that important for these individuals.

Development opportunities

The opportunity to develop both personally and professionally is crucial for the job satisfaction of high achievers. They want to invest their talent and precious career time in an organisation that can help develop them and progress their career positively.


If these attributes genuinely exist in the organisation (easier said than done!) then the challenge is to communicate these to Top Performers in a way that attracts their attention.

Some of these attributes are easy to convey such as organisation success, great products and services but other ‘softer‘ attributes are difficult to convey in a believable way to prospective talent but it can be done.


The organisation website will be the first port of call for anyone considering working with the organisation. Organisation websites are normally built with customers in mind but you will find that the more progressive ones will go to great efforts to demonstrate the opportunities that exist for staff and will try to provide evidence that their place is a genuinely great place to work.

While describing employee programmes and opportunities is a must on the website, the ‘evidence’ will come from the staff themselves and with clever corporate videos, team blogs, demonstrations of team activities and team testimonials the opportunities can be communicated in a believable way.

For an ‘active‘ job seeker the website will be useful, but to attract someone more ‘passive‘ who may not be considering a career change you must work much harder to get their attention.

Social Media 

Social media in particular, free from the formality of the organisation’s normal communications is a powerful platform for communicating the softer aspects of the organisation. These channels are the perfect way to demonstrate the personality of the organisation, the positive work life balance activities, the team spirit and publicising some of the community work and other things that showcase the ethos and values that exist.

For example happy pictures of team activities can speak volumes for any organisation.

For deeper messages well written blog posts, which allow more informal and softer communications can be distributed cleverly on the social media platforms to really demonstrate the special personality of the organisation.


If the right attributes exist for the organisation then it is vital that these are communicated to the widest possible audience through the media using PR.

Your brand is ‘what other people say about you‘ so it is really important that you carefully plan and shape how your organisation is perceived. Not only should the organisation’s progress and success be communicated but every opportunity should be taken to publicise community work and other non-commercial activities that really show how special the place is.

One of the clever ways to do this for our clients is through profile pieces in the media with individuals who work there. These are a powerful way to capture stories and communicate the real personality of the organisation.


Awards are another clever way for an organisation to showcase other aspects of their personality and ethos. For example many organisations in Ireland are competing for the Chambers Ireland CSR  and ‘Great Place to Work‘ awards. Companies as diverse as Diageo, Microsoft, EMC and McDonalds are all participating in these awards, which demonstrates in a tangible way that it is not all about profit within their businesses.

In 2013 Fuzion proudly won a Chambers Ireland CSR award for our international Safebook anti-cyberbullying campaign, which we hope speaks volumes about the type of business that we operate. We care!

The top performer is not a work horse and they care deeply about their careers and about things that really matter to them.

Jim Collins in his iconic book ‘Good to Great‘ says one of the key factors of successful organisations is great people.

It’s up to you to attract them!

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion

Greg Canty is a Partner of Fuzion who offer Marketing, PR and Graphic Design services from our offices in Dublin and Cork


Factor 15, the Flywheel and that crew in Killarney

September 6, 2011
Irish Summer

See you in 2012?

I’m getting ready for another day, up early and wondering what to wear ..

The rain pounding against the bedroom window and a night of strong winds rattling fence doors and outdoor tables and chairs guides me towards something sensible and yes we will be wearing a coat today. This was after a cold September night (I find that hard to say as don’t really want to admit that August, the summer of 2011 is done and dusted) when we had to fire up the heating for a while. Strangely enough that wasn’t the first time – in August we turned it on twice!

Grabbing a towel from the cupboard in the dark and something drops onto the floor – Light on..My God, I haven’t seen that in a while and I won’t be needing it again for a really long time unless we escape to somewhere sunny for a week (now there’s an idea!). It was a bottle of Factor 15 sun protection – I didn’t get to use much of this in 2011 – whichever way you cut it the summer was shocking and it has left a lot of us really disappointed. We could definitely have done with some (any ..) sunshine.

I illogically held onto the strange idea that we would have a great summer because we had a lousy winter and even more illogically that we would have a great summer because the usual “leaving cert” summer heat wave never happened. Indian summer – nah, doubt it..

What can we do?

At least we don’t depend on the weather too much for our business but it does to some extent as it would affect some of our clients working in the tourism sector and we do a lot of work in this area.

Tidy Town success for Killarney

Tidy Town success for Killarney

Yesterday was a huge day for one of our clients, The Killarney Chamber of Tourism & Commerce. They have just won the Tidy Towns competition for 2011 and unfortunately had to celebrate in terrible weather yesterday (5th Sept, 2011). In Killarney they are hugely dependant on the Tourism sector and as you imagine the lousy weather can’t have helped them a whole pile.

Ironically they had a great year despite the elements – you could put this down to many factors but as a close observer I put it down to simply doing the right thing consistently.

In my last blog I spoke about the fabulous book by Jim Collins, called Good to Great where he scientifically unearthed the factors that led to the sustained success of what he called “Great” companies.

The reasons for Killarney’s terrific Tidy Towns win and the terrific season is rooted in one of the success factors that Jim Collins talks about. He speaks about the Flywheel..

Initially it takes a lot of effort, toil and sweat to achieve a small movement to the flywheel – it takes a lot of people pushing and pushing in the same direction before you achieve any movement – eventually some momentum is achieved and with more and more pushing even more momentum is achieved. Before you know it the flywheel is moving quickly and just needs another nudge now and then in the right direction to maintain the momentum.

To the outside world it looks like it is easy, that success just came knocking on the door and it just had to be opened. To the people involved they are shocked at anyone that thinks it was easy – they remember the times when huge effort was required to achieve even the tiniest momentum.

Killarney – we have been working with them for about 6 years. Yes, they are blessed with the most incredible natural attributes but they have this team spirit, this rising tide mentality, this can do attitude, this belief that nothing happens by itself and that they need to be proactive at all times to achieve success.

Jaunting Cars - Killarney

Winning is Easy?

The town is beautiful, it is spotless, the tourist product is superb, the hotels, guesthouses and B&B’s know their business and are experts at delivering a genuine welcome. They have Summerfest, they have the Rally, they have Christmas in Killarney, they have the Irish Open, they have the right attitude. You may have noticed the teams of volunteers in Killarney, adults and children early in the mornings and late in the evenings painting, tidying, gardening and picking up rubbish all around the town – at one point this year there was a row because some of these guys refused to be featured in some PR shots for a TV programme.

That’s not why they are doing it” we were told. That goes against the grain with our Never Waste a Good Story mentality – very frustrating. It does tell you a big story about them – this is about collective pride in their town. Well done Killarney!

They can’t do anything about the rain but they can can decide how they go about their business – control what you can, go about your business in the best possible way and if the sun shines it’s a bonus!


Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion