Do they tell you when they’re hit up by recruiters on LinkedIn?
When your employees are happy and feel they’re doing the best work of their career, they of course stick around. In the best cases, they can be offered a better salary, more stock and a more senior job title and they’ll still stick around because they believe in you and your vision.
One of the surest ways I’ve found to get a good feel for whether your best employees (A-players) are not just content but really happy is whether or not they’ll tell you when a recruiter is trying to poach them via LinkedIn, phone calls, etc.
“Mitch, come check this out. [name] from [company] is trying to get me to move over there into a [position] role. No thanks!”
I’ve been a part of this exact conversation dozens of times. And it’s a great feeling when it happens.
It builds a great bond between you and your team when they love their job so much they’ll show YOU, their boss, the poaching attempts from other companies and recruiters. You both have a good laugh and that’s that.
When your best people feel confident enough to show you the offers they’re getting, you can actually use those offers to help with a few things:
To further your bond with them — “Hey, we really are building something amazing. I appreciate you sharing this with me and want you to know I’ll look after you.”
To make sure you stay competitive, offer wise, so they never, ever have to worry that they’re not being compensated fairly
#2 is probably the most important.
If someone’s on $100K and they are indeed an A-player and keep getting hit up with offers for $150K on LinkedIn, it’s probably time to reassess their remuneration package, whether they’ll leave or not.
The poaching attempts are free market intelligence. They help you build a great bond with your team and of course make sure you’re always compensating your best people correctly — which in most cases is “market” salary plus a premium, because you’ve got to factor in the opportunity cost of losing them, replacing them, etc.
And the best way to keep your A-players happy is to have their back. All the time, no matter what.
To make sure they know, without a doubt, that you’re looking after them and will take care of them. That means increasing their salary, stock, title, etc not when they ask.
That’s too late.
But instead when they deserve it and when it’s in both yours and their best interest to do so. Don’t wait for them to get serious about a job offer before looking at their remuneration. If you can afford it and you know they’re dedicated to your mission, always do it sooner rather than later.
Then, they’ll continue to tell you about poaching attempts and you can keep working together to build something great, laughing off the recruiters on LinkedIn time and time again.
At least that’s what’s worked for me. I hope it works for you too.