2017 is shaping up to be one of the fiercest years yet in the war for talent. Companies and organizations are doing all they can to attract and retain talent, but not all talent qualifies. The war for talent is being waged on two fronts; the very top and the very bottom. If we’re not an MBA from and Ivy League School, how can we still position ourselves to win in this war? Here are great places to start:

Have A Plan

No one ever climbed to the top by accident. If we’re going to win in the war for talent, we have to plan our journey there. Eisenhower once said that in battle, plans were useless, but the act of planning was indispensable. It’s true in this war too. Planning will get us clear on what we want and how we can get it. Winning in this war will require a plan, go make one.

Sharpen Communication Skills

This is may be the biggest improvement that any of us can make to win in the war for talent. Employers know that they can teach hard skills but communication skills come at a premium.  We must learn to clearly present our ideas, to build rapport with vast groups of people and learn to disagree agreeably. These are the communication skills required to win in the war for talent.

Develop Discipline

It isn’t sexy or glamorous but becoming more disciplined is a sure fire way to set ourselves apart in this war. Developing discipline with our schedules to get more done, developing the discipline to read the books, to show up on time and to work the entire time we’re there will put us in the top, where the war is being waged. In a world where people go for easy, developing the discipline to do what is required will put us in a position to win in the war for talent.

Wear A Uniform

I wear a suit and tie every day because it’s my uniform. Yours might not be so formal, but find what it is and stick to it. Wearing a uniform is a great way to psychologically prepare yourself for battle. When I put my jacket on for the day, I feel bulletproof and that’s an important feeling to maintain. Don’t do it for anyone else, do it for yourself to win in the war for talent.

Build A Brand

There is a lot of static about branding on the internet right now. Everyone with a Facebook account claims to be a branding expert. There’s a reason everyone is talking about it, however, and that’s because it is a crucial tool in winning in the war for talent. Building a great brand requires an online presence, establishing yourself as a thought leader and publishing content. But is also requires that do all of the important things in person too. Showing up on time, doing what we say we will do, and looking like we belong are also keys to building a brand. Figure out who you are and build a brand around that, it’s a required skill for winning in the war for talent. The war is being waged right now over low skill entry level and highly educated and highly skilled top talent. That doesn’t mean that those of us in the middle can’t win in this war, it just takes a plan, sharp communication skills, discipline, a uniform and a brand. When we build our war chest with these weapons, we will win in the war for talent.  ]]>

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