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The Center for Sales Strategy Blog

Help! My Top Performer Just Quit!

Help! My Top Performer Just Quit!

Have you ever felt like being a manager is a lot like juggling? And right when you think you’ve got all the balls in the air… whoops!

When it’s the sudden departure of a top performer, it can make you literally drop everything!  

So, what can you do?

How Can You Build a Talent Bank?

They say the best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago, but the second-best time is right now. Recruitment works the same way. That’s why you need to take action now and start building your Talent Bank. It can save you time, money, and stress in the long run.

How can you build a Talent Bank? Follow these simple steps to attract top talent and build a strong bank of job candidates you can turn to in the future.

6 Creative Recruiting Ideas to Help Keep Your Talent Bank Full

1. Identify Your “Must-haves”

Before thinking about who you should hire, consider what you need in the role. Consider the responsibilities you will assign, your expectations, and the behaviors that always lead to success in the role. Then, list what you need and identify the ones you would consider non-negotiable.

2. Get the Word Out

Armed with your short list of “must-haves,” begin reaching out to all your contacts and describe exactly what you need. Be as specific as possible to paint a clear picture of what a great referral would look like.

For example:

  • Don’t say, “I need to hire an Account Manager. Who should I talk to?” That’s just too broad.

  • Instead, say something like, “I am hiring an experienced Account Manager. Who do you know who is great at building rapport with new people and earning their trust and is also extremely organized and able to handle highly complex accounts without making mistakes?” This tactic makes it much easier for your contact to bring the right people to mind!

Once you are comfortable with the language you will use in your one-on-one outreach, consider how to use it in job posting and social media to reach an even broader audience.

3. Connect with Potential Candidates

The very best job candidates are most likely currently employed, so you’ll need to have a good plan for reaching out. Remember, this work should be done before you have an open position – so you are not working to fill a job. You are working to fill a Talent Bank.

A great way to do this is to explain that you are always on the lookout for top talent and that their name came up in a conversation. Be as transparent as possible, sharing the name of the person who recommended them and the specific qualities you especially need in this role. Express interest in getting to know them better and talk about your commitment to aligning people with job roles so they can use their strengths every day and feel good about the work they do.

4. Go in With Your Eyes Wide Open

When the time is right, ask them to complete a validated talent assessment so you are clear on their innate strengths and weaknesses. This will help you bring the right people on board, put them in the right seats, and develop them to grow over time.

Schedule time with a certified Talent Analyst to learn more about how their talents may align with your “must haves” and the behaviors you should expect to manage in the role. Ask questions about any red flags you may have seen and discuss the interview questions you should use in a one-on-one interview to better understand whether they are the right fit for your role.

5. Plan a Great Interview

With a clear understanding of their strengths and weaknesses – and how they align with what you need – it’s time to meet. Schedule time to get to know them and learn even more.

You won’t need to spend your time trying to decide if they have the right stuff to do the job because you received that insight from your talent assessment. This interview is about getting to know them as a person, learning more about the skills they’ve developed and the experience they bring, and deciding whether they would make a good addition to your team.

It is also your opportunity to win them over. Whether you hire them in the future or not, you want them to leave this conversation feeling good about your company, your products and services, and you!

Make sure you highlight your employer brand and provide great examples of why your company is a great place to work. We recommend that you leave them with their Top Talent Report, which they will find highly valuable.

6. Determine your Next Step

At this point, you have a few different options. You can:

  • Add your candidate to your growing Talent Bank for the future and make a note to reach out periodically to nurture that relationship.

  • Extend a job offer now because you have an open position, and they’re a good match.

  • Decide to pass.

Either way, make sure you leave them with their Top Talent Report so they can focus on their strengths and grow in whatever role they end up in.


The truth is you will always have the challenge of keeping lots of those juggling balls in the air. But you can take some simple steps now to make it easier to fill your vacancies with the best candidates. By building a talent bank, you can reduce hiring time, cost, and risk while improving employee retention and performance.

So, don’t wait for another crisis to strike. Start planting your recruitment trees today and reap the benefits tomorrow!

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Topics: recruitment talent bank