At 10am I leaned over to Taryn, my search assistant, and said, “I need a good lender for this bank and I need them now. We are running behind, but I know we can fill this search. If you don’t have time to do it, tell me, because I will do it.” We are very direct in our office. If I ask Taryn if she has time for something, she buckles down, and she buckles down hard. She is admittedly territorial. Her eyes narrowed and a look of determination came across her face before she picked up the phone. She started dialing and didn’t stop dialing until she had results she wanted. By 3pm I had two more candidates on my desk that I could share with my client. I looked at her and felt the warmth of pride toward my go-to side kick. At that moment I felt immense appreciation for the competent person working by my side. And then, almost immediately thought “what am I going to do when she outgrows this position? How will I replace her? No one will ever be THIS good!” Panic struck my heart as fast as the warmth did, much like many moments in parenting. I quickly realized what a selfish thought that was and reflected back to the many candidates who have told me that they are so good in their current roles that they were told by their employers that they couldn’t afford to promote the candidates and lose their skill sets in their current roles. Promoting someone who is competent in their support job makes an opening in the role left vacant, and it is usually requires a lot of grooming to get them up to speed in the new position. Instead of one competent support person, a manager has a fresh person that needs training and a vacant role for which they must train. Oh, and they have no support!Some leaders don’t hire rock star candidates because they worry they’ll be passed up by talent that grows to be better than them or that they’ll be shown up, though they probably wouldn’t admit it. I have always subscribed to the theory that a wise person surrounds one’s self with greatness, regardless of the possibility of being passed up or out shined. In fact, I wouldn’t hire someone that I didn’t think could eventually be better than me at my job. The better my company does, the easier my life becomes. Being surrounding by greatness raises the bar, inspires, and can ultimately result in the formation of a high performing team. I would rather aid in making someone else’s career than be someone who is remembered as an inhibitor of growth, because I believe in giving more than I take.So, now that I have hired an amazing team member with whom I love working, what do I do?1. I am going to do everything I can to mentor her. I won’t just exist as her boss. I am going to actively help her grow by sharing my time and resouces. I want to continue to attract great talent by having the reputation of being a great coworker and boss.2. I will give her searches of all kinds, but I will mix up the easier and the more difficult searches so she doesn’t get frustrated and does see results. Giving her tastes of success and money will keep her going during tougher times. Since I rely on her findings, her success means more success for me. The more success she has, the more likely she is to stay in this incredibly hard to fill role.3. I know I will not keep her in this role forever, so I am going to be conscientious of where she is in terms of job satisfaction. I want to know when she is ready for the next step. She knows the next step for her is already lined up, and when she is ready, we’ll look at it together. She’ll also have to help back fill her role to move up to the next role.4. I want to speak her language of appreciation: words. She is an extrovert, so I give her lots of verbal praise, and even write a blog that focuses on her accomplishments. I will also be aware of her generational values.Everyone wants to feel valued. What message does a boss send if he or she never shows appreciation or interest in an employee’s job satisfaction? There are some people who might say that having a job and being paid is all the thanks required for a job well done. Well, generational differences certainly come into play. Each generation is motivated by a different set of priorities and looks for unique factors in employment opportunities. Loyalties are vastly different in each as well; Traditionalists are far more loyal than Millennials for instance. Managers can motivate specifically and uniquely to get better production out of people by knowing the differences between the Traditionalists, the Baby Boomers, the Gen X, the Gen Y, and Millennials.The people I pull out their roles most easily are the ones who have no next step lined up for them in their company. The lenders or analysts that say “there is no room for advancement. I have no idea what is next for me. I keep asking fore more responsibility, but I don’t think there is anything,” are the ones that I can entice to move.As a recruiter, I occasionally get the employees of my clients calling me telling me how unhappy they are in their job. I have to keep every conversation confidential though. I can only offer advice and ask what they have done to try to improve their situation. What I say to all of my clients is: make sure the people you value most are happy. Ask them what they need. Offer new challenge. Give raises before some other company gives them one.Recruiting is hard work. It has abnormally high turnover compared to other industries. That doesn’t work very well considering it takes most people a year before they find success and pull their weight. I will have to search continuously for more people to train until the day I retire. An improved economy combined with the growth in my own reputation and relationships makes it only slightly easier to convince people to invest in this crazy job. Once we find the needles in the haystack that are both naturally inclined to succeed in this industry and open to trying something usually completely new, we train like the dickens, mother hen new hires to placements, and hope for some natural talent to make the first two years somewhat less painful. Attrition is natural and happens for many reasons. Not everyone hired for this role will be good. Not everyone stays put for a long period of time. Ultimately, your best chance of retaining good talent is to give them enough opportunity that they’ll stay with your company. That sort of loyalty is becoming more and more rare, but I hired Taryn knowing she had only had two jobs in her life. I hedged my bets. I always say past behavior is the best indicator of future performance.