Talent Development – Are You A Hunter or Farmer?
In the sales profession they say there are two types of personas – the Hunter and the Farmer.
These terms are used to describe the contrasts between salespeople and how they approach their careers:
- Independent and solution driven
- Focus on quick acquisitions and big deals
- Use their network to build their business
Farmers on the other hand:
- Nurture client relationships
- Cultivate strong customer loyalty
- Foster collaboration with business partners
While the debate goes on about which is the best persona, the fact of the discussion is having a balance between the two to actively grow sales and keep clients.
Now with that in mind, think about the implications of the hunter vs. farmer analogy in your talent development. How can these personas help you make your team better?
If you adopt a hunter persona, you actively seek out the best people for your organization. You use your network to gain inside information on who, and where, they are, and track them down.
Your ammo consists of the proper work environment, culture, training, and compensation, but mostly on the vision and trust you can set before them. By making yourself and the organization as desirable as possible, you get these folks to come to you willingly, and not by any decoy or trickery.
As a farmer, you grow your people. By giving them adequate food and water, otherwise known as training and support, you allow them to get stronger and showcase their growth and talents. You also cultivate the culture by pulling out the weeds that will choke out culture and keep growth uninhibited.
You can even make a case that by being organic, you stay pure to your company identity and goals, don’t allow toxins such as suspect character to enter the field, and never mix proven development and leadership methods for synthetic or trendy fads.
As in the sales comparison, the real success comes in not having one or the other, but in having the proper blend of hunting for the right talent and farming your current talent the right way. In blending your approaches to talent development, you’ll create a balance for developing internal and external human resources.
Be aware whether you need to farm or hunt. Both bring rewards, and each has it’s season. Find the balance and create a sustainable, winning team.