As local government hiring managers begin to attract and retain new talent in the new year, it's imperative that we recognize the right kind of talent and treat it, reward it, and develop it. The organizations that deploy it correctly perform better than those that simply fill jobs with people. 

Patrick Ibarra, cofounder of the Mejorando Group, believes that talent drives success, but the talent practices many governments use are vestiges of another era. They were designed for predictable environments, traditional ways of getting work done, and organizations where lines and boxes defined how people were managed. To be successful in 2020, local government leaders need to recognize that talent selection decisions are an increasingly important determinant of organizational performance and success. 

If you're looking for your next rock star, someone who is motivated, engaged, knowledgeable, and full of potential, consider the following tips from Ibarra:

1. Upgrade your hiring and promotional processes. 

Explore the intangibles that influence performance. Refresh your job announcements so you emphasize possessing a healthy attitude as a difference maker. Revise your interview questions with a stronger focus on candidates’ and employees’ desire to learn. Ask, “What did you learn last year?” Rock stars are curious, always dreaming up new ways of doing things, and see themselves possessing a mind like wet clay instead of clay pots.

2. Consider the eight factors that influence employee performance.

Far and away the most influential is an employee’s attitude. Every employee owns his or her own attitude and own morale.

3. Ask your high performers one simple question. 

What can we do to help you achieve your potential? High performers want and expect more than to simply complete the tasks that make up their job descriptions.


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