Fun Friday: A likable boss is a magnet for talent

They're popular among recruits – here's why

Fun Friday: A likable boss is a magnet for talent

Employees don’t quit their jobs – they quit their managers, as the modern workplace adage goes. In contrast, the most likable boss in a company would have the power to attract talent, even those from other departments. The reason?

Some managers know how to listen, a new study from Cornell University revealed. Researchers found that employees’ work preferences and behaviours were greatly influenced by how willing their managers were at listening to their direct reports. Often, those who welcome ideas from their staff are also popular among internal hires. Because of this, “managers who encourage employee input may gain an internal recruiting advantage over those who do not,” Cornell Chronicle reported.

Read more: Virtually possible: The benefits of recruiting online

The benefits go beyond recruitment. “One implication of this study is that it provides managers yet another reason to listen to their direct reports’ suggestions as organisations figure out what the ‘new normal’ is going to look like in a post-COVID world,” said JR Keller, an assistant professor at Cornell and one of the study authors. “Not only will their current employees appreciate having a say, but they will be in position to attract other employees looking for new opportunities.”

Read more: Despite bleak job market, these workers remain hopeful

The study focuses on “managerial openness to voice” which is based on employees’ perception of how much their managers crowdsource feedback and consider staff suggestions for improvement. The data was tested alongside the purported interest of employees in job openings. The results showed the coincidence between soliciting feedback from staff and attracting internal talent.

“Indeed, we find, across two studies using two different measures of internal attraction, that employee outsiders are more attracted to units whose managers are perceived to be open to voice, but they also avoid units whose managers are perceived to be averse to voice,” the researchers said.

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