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Posted on May 19, 2017

How To Attract Better Talent Than You Deserve

How To Attract Better Talent Than You Deserve

Are you attracting the kind of talent that is propelling your business forward? Are people with great skills and experience knocking on your door because they want to work for you?

Let me share with you a powerful insight I recently discovered. This involves two different organizations, one for-profit and one not-for-profit.

Bob Barker Company is America’s leading detention supplier. With roughly 300 people, headquartered in Fuquay-Varina, NC, Bob Barker has been serving the criminal justice system since the early 1980s.

Anyone who knows about Bob Barker is aware this a Christian company. The vision statement is: Transforming criminal justice while honoring God in all we do. The values are also clearly listed: Integrity, Service, Excellence, Innovation, and Unity.

Bob Barker is a company with a clear purpose, and everyone who works there or is associated with it understands this purpose.

An Insightful Interview

I recently had the privilege of interviewing Robert Barker, the president of the Bob Barker Company. This was part of a new video interview series called Values in Leadership – something I look forward to sharing with you here in the near future.

During my interview with Robert, I had a striking revelation that I am excited to share with you. It’s about a key benefit of having a clearly defined purpose and values in your business.

You will attract talent you don’t deserve.

It struck me that through all of my research and consulting, I generally focus on the impact values have on everyone in an organization, including the lowest paid, most junior staff member who may do the most mundane or menial task. Of course this is important. Values apply to everyone.

But major business growth and significant advancements often occurs when hiring new talent that bring something extra to the table. For example, they might be someone with:

  • Years of experience in your industry, or in a new business sector you plan to enter.
  • Specialized knowledge in a critical area for your business that is considered priceless.
  • Key connections to prospective customers, suppliers, or investors that has the potential to change your entire business.
  • Experience in a company 10 times your size and can clearly map out a plan for growth.
  • Leadership skills and experience to replace or assume senior positions in your company (including CEO).

When your business purpose and values are clearly defined – and has the potential to make a significant difference in the world – it will resonate not only with current employees; it will also resonate with people outside your company who could become your next great hire.

This will attract better talent than you can afford right now.

Your purpose and values permit you to hire great people you shouldn’t be able to.

Permit me to share an example based on a separate experience.

Attracting Skilled Leaders

In 2015, I met Doug Mazza, the president and COO of Joni and Friends, and heard his story of how he landed there. I was awestruck.

Joni and Friends International Disability Center is a Christian organization that serves thousands of families affected by disability around the globe. Through one of its ministries, Wheels for the World, this amazing organization has collected, restored, and distributed tens of thousands of wheelchairs to those with limited mobility.

The vision statement of Joni and Friends is to accelerate Christian ministry in the disability community. Their core values are Life, Dignity, Justice, Equality, and Evangelism.

This is a wonderful organization that has benefited greatly from the expertise of Doug Mazza. But what’s so special about Doug?

Doug used to be the top American executive at Hyundai Motor America, serving five years as Chief Operating Officer. Before that he was an executive at American Suzuki Motor Corporation where he wrote the marketing plan that successfully launched Suzuki automobiles in the United States.

Doug was the kind of person who possessed both skills and experience that any not-for-profit would love to have work for them, but could never afford. Yet Doug made the switch.

How on earth did Joni and Friends attract such top talent?

It was the clear vision of Joni Eareckson Tada, the founder of Joni and Friends, and her values. Joni’s sense of purpose was so compelling, that it caused Doug to leave the corporate world and answer the call to full-time Christian ministry. At Joni and Friends, Doug could clearly see the difference he could make – and has made since 1999!

Bottom line: a clear purpose (vision) and values will attract better talent than you deserve. For both for-profit and not-for-profit, this can be real game-changer!


Is your business purpose and values powerful enough to attract better talent than you deserve?