There are little to no processes in place that take corporate alignment into account when creating talent strategy. When companies do put structure into place it’s one or two items they think will solve their problems. In fact, most CEOs don’t even realize there is a problem because they are focused on everything except talent strategy.
This hack proposes a total solution that fixes the recruiting problem when a CEO is committed to building a great company in all aspects.
The recruiting process has been contaminated. It is designed for failure. The process as it is trades quality for volume. The process encourages recruiters to sling as many candidates as possible into the mix. Would you ask the Marketing department to develop 10 proposals so that I can find the best one? Managers who can’t find the right candidates automatically blame recruiting rather than looking at the real issue/s. Some of these issues include, but are not limited to: job descriptions that don’t truly reflect what a company needs, poorly paid recruiters which means companies aren’t hiring quality search professionals, or recruiting departments operating as agents of management rather than consultants to management. Why is this? If a company hasn’t aligned its corporate strategy and then built a talent strategy around that, how can one expect that they will even hire recruiters who have a clue how to find them top talent or even know what top talent truly looks like for them? Finding the best sales talent, for example, is not about duplicating your top people.
The vast majority of companies are incapable of attracting and retaining top talent. The heart of the problem is the lack of true corporate alignment and the inability and/or unwillingness to align strategy at the executive level and then build your recruiting function around this.
Without a comprehensive process to manage the alignment of talent with corporate strategy you lose. Even if you are able to attract top talent, as many companies do, you won't retain them without top to bottom and bottom to top alignment.
Companies are inclined to look for the easy way to fix their issues. The problem is that there is no easy way. There is no one process or technology that is a panacea. It takes commitment and thorough planning and execution.
1. Does your executive team understand the value of talent?
- Do they actually get that talent is the single most important function within the company? Without your “right” talent you will never achieve the level of success you would with the right talent.
- Have you looked at tenure and turnover? Are top performers sticking around?
- Have you calculated the real costs related to your sales organization? Remember that sales is your only source of revenue (everything and everyone including what you pay out to your sales organization is an expense) and if you don’t have a handle on reals costs you can never truly plan profit.
2. What percentage of employees are performing at or above 100% of expectation?
- Have you even determined what it takes to perform at 100% in each job function? Do you know the most effective way to do this?
- Do your job requirements take into account corporate values and objectives?
- Do your job descriptions describe the job based on aligning talent strategy with corporate strategy or just list qualifications based upon some current/prior top performer? Are you looking at performance measures of your performers and non performers and looking for common denominators? How are you doing this?
3. Is there an atmosphere of mutual respect between recruiters and hiring managers?
- Are you working together as a team?
- Are you actually recruiting candidates, or posting jobs online and sorting through resumes?
- Do you employ professional recruiters with the experience necessary to get the right candidates in the door to interview or are you hiring low quality, low paid individuals?
4. Are your people excited to come to work?
- Do your people know how their job affects their team, other groups close to them, and the company as a whole?
- Do they feel they are in a position to affect outcomes?
- Is your organization operating cohesively and do your processes support this?
- Do they see performance evaluations as a positive growth step, or a “box checking exercise”? How do you utilize performance reviews?
5. Is your company seen by outsiders as a great place to work?
- Is your recruiting process efficient and welcoming?
- Does your recruiting process respect your candidate’s time and talent?
- Does your on-boarding process breed confidence and success?
It is imperative that everyone learn new habits in order to be successful. How do we change processes collectively so that both the organization and people have the opportunity to grow and excel? It is critical that we transform the talent acquisition and management process in such a way that companies are able to attract and retain top talent. It is imperative to align your talent strategy from the CEO (including your BOD) down and then build the strategy from the bottom up.
- Assess and align executive team
- Evaluate mission, vision, and strategy to determine if company is aligned
- Assess past and present performance of company and people
- Organizational development
- Benchmark positions and employees
- Roadmap based on assessment of past/present
- Technology recommendations
- Document the optimized recruiting process
- Hire and train recruiting staff
- Coach and train hiring managers to use behavioral based interviewing
- Qualify and ensure offers are accepted
- Retool the performance evaluation process to give line of sight to corporate goals
You can give a man fish and feed him for a day. If you are committed to a process that truly works, however, teach a man how to fish so he can feed himself for a lifetime.
Aligning goals and objectives top to bottom and providing line of sight for all employees does the following:
Employees can make real time evaluations and make decisions based upon them
All policies work for someone, but no policy works for everyone. When everyone is aligned in goals and objectives, they will find the best way to achieve the goal without the limitation of a broad-brush policy.
Employees unconstrained by traditional management structure and policy will meet their goals in ways never expected.
Tying the talent acquisition process to the strategic planning process insures that you bring on people who are equipped to do this.
Linking the talent management and talent acquisition process to the strategic planning process turns organizations into communities. Imagine onboarding the dynamic change agents needed to revitalize you organization and providing them with a management and incentive system that allows them to operate freely and in the best interests of the organization at all times.
What really happens is that there are many unexpected consequences occurring when passionate, focused people are trapped in the confines of a traditional organization. The real value occurs when those organizational barriers are broken down and a real community emerges.
- As a consequence of having great people who are aligned with your mission, vision, and strategy, profits will increase
- No complaining from hiring managers that they aren’t seeing the right candidates
- Management team respects its recruiting staff
- No need to engage 3rd party recruiters
- Ability to attract professional recruiters to your organization
- Recruiting staff has user friendly tools to do their job with more effectiveness
- Significantly reduced hiring costs
- Reduced turnover leading to improved revenues and ROI
- Employees are engaged in day to day operations
- Understanding of recruiting best practices designed for the company so that the right candidates are found and brought into the candidate pool
- Competent decision making taking place at lower levels
- Strong partnership between recruiting staff and hiring managers
- Attract and retain 80%+ top talent who are aligned with corporate goals and objectives
- Recruiters “recruit” candidates, eliminating the process of posting jobs online and being buried in resumes that aren’t what you’re looking for
- Hiring managers interview the “right” candidates
- No more time wasted in talent acquisition
Depending on the size of the company the process can be rolled out one department at a time. In a billion dollar organization it would make perfect sense to start with the sales organization, for example before moving on to other departments. A $20MM dollar company will roll this out throughout the entire organization. It is important to put a roll out process in place that makes sense for you.
Great hack, Carol. It's remarkable how little innovation has gone into recruitment and talent retention processes in recent decades. My hypothesis would be, some of the blame lies with the employees-as-semiprogrammable-robots dogma that arose in the industrial era: labor 'purchased' in fairly standardized units to perform repetitive mechanical tasks. Obviously a rethink is required for the Whole-New-Mind era.
Question for other MIXers: how does your company's talent strategy fare against Carol's questions in the Solution section?
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