Recruiting Premier Talent: Is It Worth It?

Early this week I presented a webinar titled “Is Your Company a Candidate for Phantom Stock.” If you’re interested, the link can be found here.

In preparation, I pondered the importance to a company of hiring premier talent. Ask yourself about the level of talent in your organization relative to the bell curve of all the talent available in the marketplace. Do your senior leaders fall into the median? Considering the shape of a normal bell curve, they probably do—unless, you’ve applied yourself to attracting the talent on the far right slope of the curve.

But recruiting and keeping “far right talent” (not politically, but qualitatively), takes serious effort and a big commitment. But it’s worth it.

In the webinar, I used an example from the men’s PGA tour. Here’s the analogy.

There were 365 money winners on the tour in 2012. The top 4 (the top 1%) had average earnings of $6 million. The median winners (numbers 180 through 185) averaged $214,809. This means the top 1% produced 28 times more results than the median producers.

Then consider the marginal productivity improvement it took to produce the 28X results. The top 4 produced an average score per round of 69.9. The median group averaged 71.6 shots per round. This means that the improvement by the top 1% was 2.5% over the median group.

A 2.5% improvement in productivity resulted in a 28X improvement in results!

Obviously, the golfing analogy may not relate precisely to your business. But I think the principle holds: Relatively small improvements in productivity can lead to dramatic improvements in results. Premier talent can make that difference.

Next time I’ll describe the type of value proposition that appeals to premier talent—no matter what industry you’re in.

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