Loyal staff. There is no loyalty anymore, is there?
I hear this comment from clients about staff on a regular basis. However, I beg to disagree. Staff are not loyal to companies, they are loyal to people.
Horizontal moves make up 85% of all hires according to Lou Adler. This means people move to a similar position, often within the same industry. A plumbing sales rep moves to another sales rep position with another plumbing company. It is a new position; the person is excited with new opportunities, new company, new colleagues, but after three months, their excitement begins to wane.
I often see someone who has had a very stable work history of five to 10 years with one company change jobs only for the next few positions to last between one to two years.
On the other hand, vertical hires stretch the applicant. This is exciting too, but it is much harder work to take on someone with unchallenged talent and no prior experience, and offer them a career.
Taking an employee under our wing, training them, nurturing them, growing them is how loyalty is created. This is personal loyalty, in that you have done something for that person that no one else has. Together, you have created their career.
Think back to a position where you were stretched. What was your loyalty to that manager who mentored you? You may still be willing to walk extra miles to help them.
85% of new hires are horizontal because it is a safer and easier recruit; simply look for experience, similar position, similar industry. Less training is required with less initial supervision necessary. However, you have not done anything special for the horizontal mover. Therefore, when times get tough, horizontal movers find it easier to jump ship.
The trick is to identify what talent looks like in the first place. A talent that can be fostered, grown, and nurtured. A talent that can be moved vertically.