Robert Teal, CCP, CBP

Robert Teal

Where Has All the Talent Gone?

By Robert Teal, CCP, CBP

Or is the question, “Where has all of my talent gone?”


Matt Lynley, writing for the Business Insider on April 7th, reported that employees are jumping ship at Apple. Running a search on LinkedIn, a professional social media site, Lynley looked for individuals whose past employer was Apple. Lynley found 17 of those former Apple employees at Zynga, a social gaming leader.
Where did other Apple employees go? According to Lynley here is where a sizable group of former Apple employees landed.

Facebook, 73 VMWare, 118 IBM, 130
Adobe, 154 Dell, 157 Oracle, 163
Hewlett-Packard, 216 Microsoft, 300 Google, 315
Cisco Systems, 329

Apple has over 62,000 employees, so what if 1,900 of their employees jump ship? Even if Apple has the most ironclad non-compete clause ever written, it’s their knowledge, skill, and talent that is being bought.

So I will rephrase the question, “Where has all of your talent gone?” So maybe you are a small business, that makes it even more imperative that you manage the talent you have to ensure it does not walk out the door to you competitor. It also becomes essential that when you do hire, you hire the top talent available. They will not be cheap and they will be hard to find.

If you are a small business, maybe you are the talent, maybe the only talent in your organization. If your goal is to grow, you are going to have to acquire additional talent either because your own knowledge, skill, and talent, while great, does not extend into all areas. Organizations like Apple were once small, as they grew; they allowed employees to share in that growth either through phantom stock if privately held or shares of actual publicly traded stock. One attraction, for the likes of talent at high tech firms that may go public in the future, is the possibility that employees will be able to cash in on that success. And there are many examples of talent who do just that, not only at Apple, but others as well.

Kate Lister, a writer and small business owner provides a number of suggestions on how small businesses can succeed in the competition for talent. Writing for American Express’ Open Forum on August 4, 2011, Lister points out 7 ways that small businesses can find and retain talent. One way is to become an “an employer of choice”. To be an employer of choice is more than paying the highest wages. It means that the entire culture of the organization creates an environment where employees want to work and want to come to work every day. In such organizations, there is no “checking your brain at the door” frame of mind.

Employer of Choice, Inc. certifies organizations that meet and/or exceed 10 criteria designed to separate out employer of choice from others:

● The Company
● The Culture
● Enlightened Leadership
● Care of People
● Growth and Opportunity
● Meaningful Work
● Compensation & Benefits
● Making a Difference
● Employee Loyalty
● Performance Results

Maybe you are not the next Apple, Google or Facebook; but at some point they did not think there were either.


About the Author:

Robert Teal, CCP, CBP is a Senior Human Resource leader with demonstrated ability to deliver cost effective solutions in the areas of research, design, implementation, communication, & administration of employee compensation and benefit plans and HR/Payroll systems. A results-oriented professional who skillfully manages interpersonal relationships and partners with a diversity of staff from the Board of Directors to line managers in the insurance, consulting, and healthcare industries.

Read Robert Teal’s blog: Trends in Total Employee Rewards.

Read Bob’s articles on Redfish Technology’s Hook, Line & Sinker.