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THE
ALLIANCE
HOW TO
R E C R U I T, M A N A G E
& R E TA I N TA L E N T
IN THE MODER N AG E
Imagine it’s your
first day of work
at a new company.
Your manager greets you
with warm enthusiasm…
…welcomes you
to “the family”...
…and expresses his hope that
you’ll be with the company
for many years to come.
You, meanwhile,
express diehard
loyalty to your
new employer.
But then the manager hands you off
to the HR department…
…where you learn that you are
on a 90-day probation period.
And after 90 days,
you will be an “at will” employee
who can be fired at any time.
For any reason.
Or for no reason at all.
You just experienced
the fundamental
!
of modern employment.
D I S C O N N E C T
Companies expect employee loyalty
WITHOUT committing job security
or professional development.
Employees say they’re loyal,
but LEAVE the moment
a better opportunity comes.
The employer-employee
relationship is based on a
!
conversation.
D I S H O N E S T
As a result of this dishonesty,
employers continually
LOSE VALUABLE PEOPLE.
Employees fail to fully invest
in their current job because
they’re scanning the marketplace
for NEW OPPORTUNITIES.
Managers, meanwhile, are
CAUGHT IN THE MIDDLE.
NO ONE invests in the
long-term relationship.
This is why trust in the business world is
NEAR AN ALL-TIME LOW.
This is why, according to Gallup,
70% OF WORKERS IN AMERICA
are not engaged in their work.
A business without trust and loyalty is
a business without long-term thinking.
And a business that isn’t investing
in tomorrow is a company
already in the process of
DYING.
It’s time to REBUILD the
employer-employee relationship.
Employers, managers, and
employees need a new
!
!
where they make promises
to each other they can keep.
RELATIONSHIP
F R A...
Which is why I coauthored this book.
My name is
Reid Hoffman,
and I cofounded
I’m going to show you what it takes to
RECRUIT, MANAGE, AND RETAIN
amazing people at your company.
The rules for doing so have changed.
Because the WORLD has changed.
Today, companies can’t afford to offer
LIFETIME EMPLOYMENT.
Your company is not a family.
Yet, at the same time, companies can’t
innovate if everyone acts like a free agent.
Stop thinking of employees
as family or free agents…
THE SOLUTION?
Start thinking of employees as
ALLIES on a TOUR OF DUTY.
Start thinking of employees as
ALLIES on a TOUR OF DUTY.
Employment should be an ALLIANCE:
• a mutually beneficial deal
• with explicit terms
• between independent players
Employer and employee
develop a relationship
based on how they can
ADD VALUE TO EACH OTHER.
Employees invest in the
COMPANY’S SUCCESS.
The company
invests in the
EMPLOYEES’
MARKET VALUE.
The result?
A MUTUALLY BENEFICIAL ALLIANCE
instead of a transactional relationship.
Employer and
employee can “risk”
committing to each
other over the
long term to pursue
bigger payoffs.
So, how do you organize an alliance?
?
Start thinking of employees as
ALLIES on a TOUR OF DUTY.
The phrase “TOUR OF DUTY” comes
from the military, where it refers
to a single deployment.
Obviously, it’s unwise to run
a business exactly like a military unit,
especially in today’s world.
But military and business tours of duty
have one important thing in common…
A focus on honorably accomplishing
A SPECIFIC, FINITE MISSION.
In business, a TOUR OF DUTY is
an ethical commitment
between employer and employee.
It’s written down and agreed to
by employee and manager.
A tour of duty has a SPECIFIC MISSION
with a REALISTIC TIME HORIZON.
For example,
“Ship this product in 18 months.”
Be sure the tour of duty promises
SPECIFIC CAREER BENEFITS for the employee.
For example, “Over the next 18 months,
you will develop excellent negotiation skills.”
AVOID VAGUE PROMISES
to employees like
“You’ll get valuable
experience.”
Tours of duty reveal the CENTRAL PARADOX
of employment in the networked age…
Acknowledging that
your employees might leave
is how you build the relationship
that convinces great people to STAY.
The tour of duty framework
helped me recruit and retain
ALL-STAR TALENT at LinkedIn.
I believe
every employee
at a company should be
on a tour of duty.
3So there are three types of tours.
Of course, employees and job roles vary.
ROTATIONAL
TRANSFORMATIONAL
FOUNDATIONAL
A ROTATIONAL tour is usually aimed at
entry-level employees. For example,
2- to 4-year analyst programs.
These explicit “on-ramps” transition
employees from school to work or
from one functional area to another.
A FOUNDATIONAL tour:
people whose lives are
fundamentally intertwined
with their companies.
The company deeply
informs the employee’s
INDIVIDUAL IDENTITY.
And the employee has
become part of the
company’s INTELLECT...
A TRANSFORMATIONAL tour
is personalized and
negotiated one-on-one
by you and your employee.
The employee TRANSFORMS his career
by enhancing his portfolio of
skills and experiences.
And the company is TRANSFORMED
by the employee accomplishing
a specific mission that
improves the business.
The tour of duty approach
relieves the pressure on you and
your employees alike because
it builds trust incrementally.
Everyone commits in smaller steps
and the relationship deepens
as each side proves itself.
And the finite term
of the tour of duty
means there’s a
SET TIME FRAME
for discussing the 

employee’s career.
Both sides open about their goals.
Both sides open about time horizons.
Honest
career
conversations.
HONEST CAREER CONVERSATIONS
are necessary for rebuilding
trust and loyalty with employees.
Now, you may worry
that the tour of duty
framework might
give employees
“PERMISSION” TO LEAVE.
But permission is
NOT YOURS
to give or withhold.
Employees
DON’T NEED
YOUR PERMISSION
to switch companies.
And if you try to
assert that they do,
they will simply
make the move
BEHIND YOUR BACK.
Want your employees
to stick around and
DO THEIR BEST WORK?
Provide a structure for
an employee to take on
a series of personally
MEANINGFUL MISSIONS.
Tours of duty encourage your employees to
build A LONG-TERM CAREER at your company.
• Should an employee talk to me about 

other job offers he’s receiving?
• What’s the only way you can retain
an entrepren...
Get the book today ▸
An argument that
we need a new way
of doing business.
And a blueprint
for how to do it.
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The phrase “TOUR OF DUTY” The Alliance: A Visual Summary

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The phrase “TOUR OF DUTY” comes
from the military, where it refers
to a single deployment.

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