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  • Writer's pictureJSMAssociates

Talent Acquisition: How to Get the Right People on the Right Bus, in the Right Seats

Updated: Sep 27, 2023

If there's one phrase I often use to describe what I do, it's this: "Getting the right people on the right bus, in the right seat." With over 20 years as a cornerstone in Nashville's business community, I've had the privilege of seeing various buses—some cruising smoothly, others going in circles, and some crashing and burning.

A Little History

After years in corporate America, I found myself at a crossroads in 2018. I was fed up with clients being treated like numbers. The firms I worked for were using what I call "the spaghetti theory": throw something at the wall and see what sticks. This method doesn't work. I thought, “There must be a better way.” That's why I founded JSMAssociates. We approach recruitment through our client's eyes, finding the right hire in terms of skills, culture, and ambition while ensuring their long-term engagement and retention.

Struggling to Attract, Retain, and Engage Talent?

If you're struggling to attract, retain, and engage talent, here are three areas you need to look at:

1. Talent Acquisition and Employer Brand

There are nearly two jobs for every available job seeker in the U.S. right now. How is your company standing out from the competition? People often think landing a role in a mammoth corporation is the dream. But sometimes, those big-boy companies can be talent silos, freezing their career progress. So, if you can't offer a massive salary, are you providing growth and promotion opportunities? What about pay-for-performance or great health and vacation benefits? How's your culture? These things matter if you want to compete and win top talent.

2. Accurate Job Descriptions

The easiest part of attracting and retaining the right people are accurate job descriptions. Yet, more than 90% of my clients get this wrong. If you don't get this right initially, you will pay for it later. For example, if you hire an executive assistant, and they end up doing customer service or fixing IT issues, there’s a mismatch, which leads to resentment and turnover. Remember, a bad hire can cost you up to 30% of the employee's first-year earnings, as well as missed opportunities for growth and even tarnish your brand.

3. Talent Maintenance

Just like you wouldn’t neglect to change your tires or oil, you’ve got to do the same with your team. It requires one thing: constant communication. Know your company’s goals and where you're headed? Fantastic. But does your team? They can't follow the roadmap if leadership doesn't provide it. When was the last time you did a stay interview? They do exactly as the name implies, help you keep your team from walking out the door.

Client Success Story: The Power of the Right Talent

Having the right talent is essential for your company’s growth and reaching its untapped potential. For example, I had a client that needed direction. Their business had a lot of potential, but they weren't quite sure how to harness it. That's when they brought me on board. Working together we identified the right candidate with the right skillsets and vision and through their efforts they opened new doors and new opportunities. Those new doors helped re-position this company and allowed them to expand into new markets and industries which propelled the company’s growth. I say this all the time: human capital is just as important, if not more important than financial capital.


Let me leave you with this: Is your bus the one people rush to get off, or the one they never want to leave? Your answer reveals opportunities for change and growth.

In running a business, you’ve got a lot to do. Talent Acquisition is all we do. Need help? Contact us today.



Solutions for Success

JSM Associates offers the comprehensive capabilities and deep industry knowledge necessary to help you solve the most complex issues of your organization. Since opening our doors in 1999, we’re proud to say that each year we have a bigger list of returning and new clients.

Want to experience the expertise of JSM Associates for yourself? Give us a call today and let’s discuss what we can do for you.

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