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Why can’t we attract top performers?

From the HGO Merchandiser

 23 January 2023     Donald Cooper 

Attracting top performers is the number one challenge facing every business in the world today. I doubt this is a temporary problem. There seems to be a fundamental shift in the attitude towards ‘work’ on the part of a large segment of the population in the western world.

One of my big fears is employers are now hiring people who have no possibility of performing as required or honouring the business culture. It is going to cost a fortune and create great disruption to get rid of them, including wrongful dismissal lawsuits, when these folks become intolerable.

In spite of how challenging it is to attract, engage and retain top performers, we must keep trying. It’s still true the best people have to work for someone, it’s just that we have to deserve them. The reality is what we must do to deserve them has changed drastically in the last few years. What they want, demand from an employment experience has changed – and so must you.

To help you, I have created a check list of 20 key areas you can work on to make your business the preferred supplier of meaningful employment.

Note: Some of the key points below raise tough questions and require real soul-searching, self-awareness and guts to answer honestly. Denying reality doesn’t change reality, so give it your best shot.

In which of the following key areas must we improve to attract, engage and retain top performers?

  1. We’ve not clearly defined who we’re looking for. How do we improve our clarity? Do we have updated ‘outcomes-based’ job descriptions?
  2. We’re not looking in the right places. Where should we be looking? Where are the people we need working, living or being educated right now? Are we using online employment sites like Indeed, Monster and Zip Recruiter?
  3. Our industry is perceived negatively by our target employees. What can we do to honestly change that perception?
  4. The word is out that we’re a toxic or dead-end employer. What makes us toxic and what will we do to change that negative perception?
  5. Our employment interview process makes us look unprofessional, or poor screening or our desperation to ‘find bodies’ during the interview stage lets the wrong people in. What are the ‘interview process’ best practices of world-class companies from which we can learn?

Click here to read the rest of Donald Cooper’s insights in this edition of the HGO Merchandiser.


Stearns & Foster
Phoenix AMD
This HGO article was written by:
Donald Cooper
Donald Cooper

Donald Cooper has been both a world-class manufacturer and an award-winning retailer. Now, as a business speaker and coach he helps business owners and managers throughout the world to rethink, refocus and re-energize their business to create compelling customer value, clarity of purpose and long-term profitability.


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