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Rick White 180Biz AAPEX

Business Operations

Virtual AAPEX Session: How to Attract Top Talent

Waiting for someone to leave to recruit for their replacement gets you “Mr. Right Now” in a move of desperation instead of finding “Mr. Right.” During the Virtual AAPEX Experience session “How to Attract Top Talent” on Thursday, Nov. 5, Rick White, president, 180BIZ, told attendees how to become their own “Talent Magnet” and bring the cream of the crop right to your front door.


White shared insights into how to identify the mistakes you’re making in your hiring process, and what top talent needs and wants from a company to come on board and stay.

“They’re actually out there, and I’m going to show you what to do to find them,” said White, noting that the old ways of attracting top-performing talent won’t work; “you have to stop chasing top talent and start attracting them.”

The main mistake shop owners make is not “hiring the wrong person,” it’s keeping the wrong ones too long, advised White. “What’s holding you back?” he asked. Most owners have a fear factor, in that they don’t let under-performers go (those he calls “toxic talent” who are extremely disengaged at work) because they don’t want to rock the boat and, unfortunately, feel it’s better to have someone than no one, he explained. But this strategy negatively impacts the culture of your business.


Top talent, on the other hand, produces better results, to the tune of company sales being 20% higher, said White. These so-called “super-star, high-achieving” employees better represent your company and are willing to go the extra mile for customers.

Employees who fall into the top-talent category feed “off of” each other (rather than “on” each other like toxic talent), build momentum and magnify the energy of your overall team.

So, how does one create an environment that will attract top talent? Most owners think it’s all about the money, but that’s not true, said White. Start looking at your overall offering and company culture.


White explained that top talent seeks:

  • Compensation/benefits package: “If you pay peanuts, you’re going to get monkeys,” he said with a laugh.
  • Culture of continuous improvement: They want to work at a place that appreciates them, and that has a fun, engaging atmosphere.
  • The reputation of the shop: Top talent wants to work with the best. They value a company that defines its values and lives up to them.

Being a Better Boss

Employees who are considered top talent also have high expectations from the management of a company, who have a direct impact on its culture.

They seek bosses who are caring and engaged, said White, who offered these key attributes that exemplary bosses should possess:

  1. Focus: Slow down and pay attention to employees, actively listening to them when they come to your office to ask you something. Look up from your work and give them your undivided attention.
  2. Engagement: Connect with employees on a level beyond work-related things. Get to know things about their family (for example, the birthdays of their children), help identify their goals and guide them to be the best version of themselves.
  3. Communicate: Clarifying company goals and objectives results in unity among your team to work toward the same goals and objectives.
  4. Appreciation: Show employees you appreciate all they do every day, through your words and actions, which must be immediate and specific when you notice them accomplishing something or doing something positive. And, regularly encourage them to keep up the good work. 
  5. Show your heart: Let employees know you admire them and realize that “when you hire Harry, you hire his wife and kids, too.”

“If you want a relationship to never end, treat it like it’s the beginning all the time,” advised White. “Don’t take the people around you for granted. Make sure your team knows they matter.”


Team Engagement

White also shared these ideas to engage staff and create an ideal company culture:

  1. Shadow employees and help them grow in their role in your company.
  2. Provide staff reviews, and also ask them to review you. And, when they do, stay open to their feedback.
  3. Do regular team “huddles” to game-plan the day and create a strategy to divide and conquer the day’s workload.
  4. Do a temperature check among employees to measure engagement – how is their day going and do they need help with anything?
  5. Set aside “office hours” each day for employees to come in and discuss anything – whether it be work-related or personal.
  6. Stay grounded and stay humble (think of yourself less and others more).
  7. Be a servant leader—be real, authentic and present (fully engaged and listening).
  8. See the future: Help develop the skills and expertise of others within the company, embrace technology and reinvent continuously.
  9. Deputize everyone on your team to tell your story and empower them to recruit for your business.

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