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I have a magic toaster. My magic toaster is a metaphor for investing in top talent.

Stick with me here.

Last fall when we were packing our house to move, I looked at the crappy Amazon Basics toaster I’d bought two years earlier for $25. My thinking at the time was “a toaster is a toaster.”

It WAS a toaster. An incredibly frustrating one. Whatever we were toasting never came outright.

I didn’t even toast that much. But every time I did, I was irritated with the result.

The toaster did not make the move.

So we needed a new toaster. The reviews for every low- to mid-range toaster had mixed reviews–inconsistency was the theme.

Meanwhile, the high-end toaster I was considering got consistent rave reviews. Was it worth investing in? Do we spend more on a better toaster that we won’t have to replace in 2 years?

With a wee bit of trepidation to spend that much on a little appliance, I bought it (yes, I recognize my privilege at being able to buy a not-cheap toaster).

I have a magic toaster | Cynthia Farrell | 110 West Group

It is a magic toaster. Everything we use it for turns out PERFECTLY. It brings me joy.

I don’t anticipate investing in another toaster for many years. I spent a bit more, got what I paid for, and we’re in it together for the long-haul.

Yesterday I was yet again marveling at the toasting perfection, right after reading an article on the importance of employers rewarding top talent. The metaphor was obvious:

Investing in this toaster is like investing in top talent. You pay a bit more, but you get what you pay for.

And the results are magical.

Whether you’re looking to hire from outside or focused on keeping your top talent, YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR.

Keep this in mind the next time you have an incredible candidate who you KNOW will knock it out of the park and make your job easier, but their compensation requirements are a bit out of your range.

Keep it in mind when you have a top performer who does excellent work with no drama, who you can always count on, who is at the middle of the salary range and you KNOW they’re a hot commodity on the talent market.

If you want top talent, raise your price point. Pay what they’re worth.

The results, like perfect toast, will be magic.

What’s something you’ve invested a little extra in for better quality, and it’s been totally worth it?

(Note: I do not get a kickback from Breville | Sage for this. I don’t shill for household appliances. But it IS a magic toaster.)


If you’re a mid-size or high-growth company that wants to attract and retain top talent, let’s chat about how I can help. Contact me.

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