This Week's Herman Trend Alert

HR in Normal 2.0

  The Herman Trend Alert

November 20, 2002

Employment Selectivity

Management literature is filled with references to attracting top talent and working with "A" players. Some people are top performers in some kinds of work, but not others. If the high performance occupation is not one desired by the worker, then remedial education and/or retraining are possible solutions. Employers are becoming more selective, focusing efforts on hiring (and keeping) the best talent they can find . . . and the standards are set high. Likewise, workers are looking for the best jobs . . . with decisions based more on values than on monetary reward.

Employers looking for super-intelligent applicants or ultra-high achieving candidates will engage specialized employment services that specialize in high-quality workers. An example is a staffing firm known as Human Intelligence ( specializing in members of Mensa (top two percent of intelligence), graduates of top universities (Harvard, Yale, CalTech, MIT, Sorbonne), cum laude and summa cum laude graduates and superstars in mathematics, physics, engineering, information technology, biology, astronomy, finance and linguistics.

Workers may also engage the services of a sort of a reverse staffing firm that will help them find employers that meet their qualifications as "A" player employers. As the economy picks up and the employment market shifts to a sellers' market, high caliber workers will need help screening known- and unknown-opportunities to further their careers. Applicants are asking tough questions (see our book, "How to Choose Your Next Employer" for criteria we discovered in our research), and many employers have difficulty coming up with answers.

Darwin's theory will be at play on both sides of this dance, as both parties seek the best match. Survival of the fittest takes on new implications when competition is intense. Below the highest levels, second rate (but also very good) employers and employees will enter the race. They'll seek to steal resources or opportunities from the highest level organizations, enticing them with invitations to take something not quite so good, just to make it better. The movements will soon look like folk dances where participants follow the same steps, but with different partners.

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