A Girl’s Guide to Hunting and Farming
Posted by Amy Wilson on June 4, 2008
As a manager, I much prefer to farm people than to hunt them. Let’s face it, hunting (or recruiting) is a pain and farming (or developing) is satisfying and often leads to lasting relationships. Producing and selling a crop can also be rewarding. Other people benefit and the product of your labors moves onto a new experience (i.e. made into a tasty pie). There is an important aspect of letting go, though, that I failed to mention in my prior post and that is you now have nothing. You just sold your prized possession … How are you going to feed your family?
I was reminded of this cruel reality by a friend of mine from my development manager days. He read my job hopping post and related it to his own experiences …
I’m intrigued at the idea of supporting the transfer of good talent every 2-3 years. I think my fear in letting go of good talent is that if not everyone else supports this at the same time, then I may not get top talent coming in, and w/o top talent I’m seriously hampered in my abilities to accomplish goals as a team. And, life is hell w/o top talent, it makes all the difference in the world. It does seem obvious that these transfers are good for the individual and for the company, but not necessarily for the manager who’s got to meet demands and timeliness. I’m not sure senior management fosters an environment of growing resources and talent versus a focus on getting the work done quickly but with great quality. Managers aren’t rewarded for how much coaching they provided, or how much their team or specific individuals improved.
Great insight from a manager who spends a lot of time building up his people and has a loyal following.
Managers are the key to talent development, but supporting them and incenting them as talent developers and producers is critical. Managers need to feel assured that the organization “has their back” when giving up a talented resource and that includes a recognition that a replacement headcount is not enough. (Though at least it’s a start)