of Finding Talent -
Where Are They and How Do We Get
When an employer is caught
with a vacant management position, there is often a
knee-jerk reaction to fill that position with a warm body
that resembles what the organization feels management should
look like. However, as outlined in Part I of our series on
Succession Planning, identification of critical positions
and future vacancies as well as individuals who might
potentially fit into these vacancies will give the
organization a larger and more qualified pool from which to
Parallel to identification of
key positions in the organization is the determination of
future critical success factors for the position. What are
the skills and competencies needed in the future for
critical positions? How will you determine a potential
candidate has demonstrated the skills and competencies for
success? It is also important to identify why key talent is
leaving the organization and make a conscious choice that
culturally ingrains "passing the torch." It can be
challenging to recruit for a key management position based
on "future" needs and goals. However with an eye to future
customer needs, future market conditions, and what it will
require to be competitive, organizations can outline a
management profile for the future. Once identified, it
becomes easier to target those skills and experiences in
current and potential employees.
AND FUTURE FOCUS
Key management talent is
crucial in the hyper-competitive global economy.
Organizational talent becomes a competitive advantage and is
just as important to organizational growth as adequate
capital and a sound business model. Organizations today need
executive and staff talent who have the vision to take the
organization to the next level, as well as manage up, down,
and laterally. Developing talent takes time and often
becomes a "nice to do" item on organizational check lists.
Many organizations are engaged in finding warm and safe
places to avoid pain and find it difficult to focus on the
very things that could help them rise above that stage.
Organizations tend to focus on in-the-moment issues -
putting out fires, such as cash flow, increased production,
increased costs, and filling the ever revolving door of
vacancies with qualified and talented people.
It becomes more important in
current market conditions to be very clear about the
specifics of the open position as well as how the
organization will "sell" itself to prospective candidates.
While perks, bonuses and traditional rewards are not at the
level we saw in the technology boom of the mid to late
1990's, companies are aware that by strategically reviewing
the Total Remuneration issues such as health benefits,
compensation, child care, relocation costs, etc., they can
provide an attractive "package" for potential candidates -
especially if those candidates are already employed by
Key factors to identify in the
recruitment of qualified employees are:
Critical cultural success factors
Recruitment policies and systems that must change to reflect
current practices as well as future goals
Non-viable job descriptions that must be rewritten in order
to have a clear understating of the tasks and
Personality traits of a high performing employee (with
regard to a specific position as well as organizationally)
Competitors and potential candidates to cast a broad net for
potential new leaders
Recruitment processes that must be systematized to ensure
consistency of screening techniques, predictive assessment,
reference checking, orientation and training.
Talent Identification - It is
easy to identify a handful of people whose departure would
be devastating to the organization. It is somewhat harder to
identify current employees who are already thinking beyond
their job, thinking bigger, and have the potential to make a
bigger impact on the organization. The task is simpler in
small organizations, but becomes a serious search in larger
organizations. Once identified, current employees are prime
for development to move up into the management positions.
Advantages of developing current employees are retaining of
institutional knowledge and industry intelligence that can
depart with key executives. Additionally, defining what
specific expertise will be needed highlights the importance
of finding individuals with a broad knowledge base. Our next installment in this series will
focus on the development of internal talent.
Targeting and Recruiting
Talent - When looking outside the company for talent whether
executive or otherwise, most skilled recruiters will target
the company's competition - individuals who are already
engaged in areas that the organization has identified as a
potential gap in knowledge/skills or expertise. Passive
candidates are typically the best qualified for positions
you need to fill and also may be less susceptible to
multiple offers. The recruitment process starts with clearly
outlined objectives, skills, experience and knowledge needed
to perform the position successfully - the nuts and bolts of
this starts with an up-to-date job description.
Additionally, defining what specific expertise will be
needed now and in the future will help to identify
individuals with a broad knowledge base. Expertise in only
one area can be a handicap in today's global market.
Critical Success Factors
addition to key position specific job skills critical
success factors for key talent are:
Knowledge of the industry or industries
Vision to take the organization to the next level - often
overlooked and under valued in looking at current employees.
Broad understanding of business and it's global operations
Flexibility - the right approach at the right time
Reasoning and problem solving skills
Strategic skills required to control costs, increase revenue
and be competitive
However, not all organizations
are created equal. The strategic skills required to grow an
organization are not always transferable to another.
To conclude, when employers
recognize the inherent benefits of developing an integrated
recruitment plan to their succession planning system they
have recognized one of the greatest costs in their business
environment - the total cost of turnover as well as the
potential loss of top talent. The next part in our series
will focus on training and development processes that help
ensure growth and
development of key talent, but will also become a
competitive advantage in the recruitment process.
If you are ready to put a proactive recruitment process into
your organization, contact TPO to facilitate development one
that fits your business needs. TPO can also provide that
extra help you need in your next recruitment.
Missed Part I of the Series?
Click here to read TPO's previous newsletters.