Top sales and marketing professionals are priceless, and every company knows it. That’s why the more successful these professionals become, the more likely it is that they’ll start receiving phone calls from recruiters and competing companies.  

In a tight job market, the war for talent is at full pitch. Here’s what sales and marketing leaders can do to keep their top talent on the team or minimize the effects of a loss. 

Stay alert for changes in behavior.  

Most employees will signal in some way that they’re ready to move on before they do so. For instance, your top sales or marketing person may start talking about their desire for a new job or a different set of responsibilities. They may begin requesting more time off for conferences to boost their visibility. Or an annual performance review may trigger the kind of self-reflection that leads to a change. 

If you notice a change, take the time to talk to the employee. Find out what they still love about their job and what they’d like to change. Then, see if you can make those changes, so they get the growth they want without leaving your company. 

Focus on the issue. 

It can be tempting to take an employee’s desire to leave personally, but the chances are that it’s not about your leadership – and even if it is, you can fix the problem. 

Instead, tell your employee and yourself that feeling angry or hurt are counterproductive: Your goal is to find and fix the problem. Then, listen to your employees to discuss the issue and focus on ways to fix it. For instance, if your staff member wants new challenges, consider appointing them to a strategic task force, offering them a new territory or project, or helping them connect to external options like volunteer opportunities or professional organizations. 

Focus on satisfaction, not payment. 

“We’ll pay you more!” can feel like an easy fix, but it often makes everyone on the team more miserable. Your top talent is likely trying to leave because they’re unhappy. Offer them a raise, and you’re simply paying more for a worker who is increasingly disengaging from work.  

Instead, ask, “How can we make you happier here?” If you can address the person’s needs, do so. If not, contact your recruiter, using the employee’s feedback as the start of a conversation about how to find the new talent you need.  

SMR’s recruiters will connect you with a job you’re looking for

At SMR Group, our recruiters connect with our clients in the pharmaceutical, biotech, and medical device industries to provide support and recommendations. We can help you retain the top talent you already have and find new sales and marketing candidates who will make an excellent addition to your team. Contact us today to learn more.  

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