Sunday, April 15, 2007

The war for talent - Win, or GO HOME!

We've all heard about the terrible War for Talent we're facing. Predictions are that in many locales, there won't be enough available workers to fill the jobs. I say the problem is actually much worse than the predictions.... and it's already here. Before we ever get to the problem of not having enough people to fill the jobs, we are already deep into the problem of not having enough TALENTED people to fill key roles.

Now I'm no seer, but in my interview with the Cranky Middle Manager quite a while ago, I brought up the idea that it's not enough to have flow of candidates for your company's jobs... you need the best and brightest candidates if you want to be competitive, but do the math; not enough people to fill the roles in general AND hot competition fueling the hunt for the scarce "Fabulous 15%" equals a recruitment and business execution nightmare.

What can you do when faced with this situation? Well, you cannot change the environment, but you CAN change how you address it.

Having the talent your company needs to succeed requires a two-part strategy. Part one is based on ensuring that your company attracts it's fair share of REALLY TALENTED people. Even in a world where you are competing with companies like Google for great talent, there are ways to differentiate yourself to find, attract and engage talented people. The "buy it" approach to talent.

Part two focuses on finding and developing great talent within your walls by identifying internal talent through assessment, development and deployment techniques. The "build it" approach to talent.

I will remind you again (and again and again!) in this series, that neither talent acquisition (recruitment) or internal talent development alone alone will win the war, but in the right proportions - they can be a devastatingly effective weapon.

I normally blog once a week, but for this series, I will probably roll things out a WHOLE LOT faster..... stay tuned intrepid warrior....

4 comments:

Wally Bock said...

There are other pieces to this puzzle as well. There are HR adjustments to pension and work rules that allow people to work beyond standards retirement ages. There are business process changes that can make it easier to be flexible with staffing and do more with fewer people. And there are technological changes from the fancy and expenise (Knowledge Management) to use of social networks and discussion groups to improve job problem solving.

Patrick Williams said...

Wally, you are spot on with this. There are a lot more ways to skin this cat. The key is to acknowledge that you cannot win if your only strategy is the "hire the best and brightest". As a recruiter, I see too many of my internal clients fall into that trap and miss out on some awesome talent that is ripe for the picking within the organization that could be developed or enticed to postpone retirement, or serve as a mentor to develop others to their level.... so many ways to get it done.....

Jennifer said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jennifer said...

Hi there!
I think deployment of talent is very important in order to find talented people to fill key roles.