Canadian Consulting Engineer

Top talent can call the shots

The "war for talent" apparently is not confined to engineering companies. A top employment lawyer, Brian Grosman, s...

November 6, 2006   Canadian Consulting Engineer

The “war for talent” apparently is not confined to engineering companies. A top employment lawyer, Brian Grosman, spoke on “Corporate Loyalty: a Trust Betrayed,” at an EthicsCentre luncheon on October 24 in downtown Toronto. He described the bitter battles going on in the financial, legal and high tech sectors to keep top executives. He said it’s been projected that with the retirement of the baby boomers, America’s top 500 companies will lose half their senior managers in the next five years.
With anecdotes from his own practice he said some of the most bitterly contested law cases come about when a CEO’s favourite executive “bolts” to the competition. The “killer instinct comes out hwen one of your key, beloved talented employees just takes off,” he said. In one case, he said a CEO was intent on sueing not just the employee who had deserted, but also the company that had lured him away.
Grosman said that in a knowledge business, the paradigm for employment relations has shifted in favour of the employee. He advised those companies looking for talent to reevaluate the pay and benefits packages they offer. But money is not the whole story. “Firms must develop a culture of care, challenge and reward,” he said.

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