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Winning The War for Talent: How to Attract and Keep the People to Make the Biggest Difference to Your Bottom Line

ISBN: 978-0-7303-1155-3
224 pages
August 2014, Wrightbooks
Winning The War for Talent: How to Attract and Keep the People to Make the Biggest Difference to Your Bottom Line (0730311554) cover image


A new system of people practices that produce extraordinary business results

Hiring and retaining great people is the key to profitable growth, but it is the number one issue keeping leaders and managers awake at night. Winning the War for Talent addresses this issue with an unconventional ‘how to’ guide of innovative techniques to source and retain skilled staff.  This book shows you how to do away with old-fashioned, destructive and subjective practices that have spread like a pandemic through the HR industry. It also outlines why effective sourcing of talent is now vital to business success. You will be shown proven, scientific solutions that are rarely used and never mentioned in existing business books and seminars and much, much more.

  • Includes a complete step-by-step system with checklists, KPIs and templates that organisations of any size or type, can easily follow and implement
  • Features proven strategies and secret weapons that won't cost you a cent, highlighted in case studies from a diverse range of businesses
  • Written by bestselling author Mandy Johnson, the youngest ever director of Flight Centre, Australia’s leading travel agent

For business owners and organisational leaders Winning the War for Talent is your must-have companion to effective recruitment, staff retention and increasing business success.

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Table of Contents

About the author xi

Acknowledgements xiii

Introduction: Why change? 1

1 The drivers: the three secret weapons for hiring great people 13

2 The infrastructure: the six bones of great recruitment 33

3 Attracting: what great people want and how to sell it to them 49

4 Screening: using objective tools to measure attitude, skills and practical fit 77

5 Interviewing: inspiring and assessing 105

6 Engaging: employing the best people for the business 133

7 Retaining: keeping your highfliers 153

Conclusion: The knowing/doing challenge 187

Appendix: The Highfliers 7-step System checklist 191

Endnotes 195

Reference list 199

Index 201

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Author Information

Mandy Johnson is a best-selling business author, an HR consultant and a passionate campaigner for hiring innovations. As a former UK Director and Australian HR Leader of global travel retailer, Flight Centre, she has interviewed over a thousand people and the awful gut-wrenching mistakes she made, and a few good calls too, gave her vital information on successful HR techniques.
Mandy has been interviewed on her effective strategies in The Australian Financial Review, HR Magazine, the German Eins Magazine and on 2UE, 5AA, 4BC and ABC Radio's  Conversation Hour and  Jon Faine Morning Programme, and her Winning The War For Talent seminar was Bond University’s most popular Executive Education program of its year. Mandy now juggles writing and consulting, and in her spare time speaks at conferences and runs recruitment master classes to debunk hiring myths and teach people successful strategies to achieve their business goals.
You can also find Mandy online at:
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Press Release

March 21, 2014
Winning The War For Talent: How to Attract & Keep the People Who Make Your Business Profitable

Winning The War for Talent begins with the question: what really drives business profits? According to a recent CEO Institute survey, the number one issue keeping chief executives awake at night is ‘sourcing and retaining skilled staff'. When PricewaterhouseCoopers asked 1300 global CEOs about their operational priorities however, talent strategies didn't make the top five. So while CEOs might claim to be suffering from insomnia, it seems they're doing very little to alleviate the problem. Yet all scientific evidence points to the fact that workplaces that attract and retain the best people have the most outstanding results.

Mandy Johnson, a former UK Director and HR Leader of Flight Centre was intrigued by this gap between CEO thinking and actions, especially because her own career had been a case in point. When she co-founded Flight Centre’s UK operation she faced recruitment and retention challenges that almost destroyed her career. The unconventional people system she was forced to develop produced astonishing profit results and when she took it to other organisations they experienced the same effect – one large public company even halved its staff turnover in just 12 months.

Winning The War for Talent became Bond University’s most popular executive education seminar of its year and in this book, Mandy outlines her innovative 7 step system; explains why most companies are still not aware of or using these kind of techniques; and why HR Nazis are proliferating and workplace practices are getting worse, despite clear evidence that people are the heart soul and balance sheet of every organisation.

Johnson is now an active HR revolutionary and set the record for Flight Centre’s youngest-ever director, yet her own career got off to an inauspicious start. Inebriated at a conference she told Flight Centre’s CEO that the way the company hired and developed people was crap. Two weeks later he gave her the keys to a store and told her that since she knew so much about the subject she could start up the organisation’s first training and recruitment centre. Winning the War for Talent is full of these kind of hilarious real-life business examples and learnings, as well as free tools, templates, and topics such as:

  1. The three secret weapons to attract and retain great people that don’t cost anything, are easily implemented and are so rarely used by organisations that they stand out like beacons in the marketplace and achieve outstanding recruitment success
  2. How to objectively screen out corporates with bad attitudes
  3. Why Richard Branson and Bill Gates wouldn’t make it to most organisation’s interview stage.
  4. The 6 specific steps to build a remarkable workplace, including the one technique that reduces new staff turnover by 40%.
  5. Why the war for talent is about to get worse, despite high unemployment figures.

For those who can’t fill vacancies, are experiencing skyrocketing staff turnover, plunging profits, or are just  on a quest to make a good company great, Winning The War for Talent will revolutionise the business, increase profitability, and turn an organisation into a place people want to come to work! 

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