Competing in today’s business environment requires more than just continuing as usual. It requires understanding your customers, your industry’s landscape, and the ability to recruit & leverage resources to lead. Each of these is dependent on your organization’s ability to recruit the right people, at the right time, with the right skills. Suggestions for insuring that your company’s hiring processes helps the company grow in the right directions include the following core competencies:
1) Evaluating for value congruence,
2) Reinforcing success & lessons learned after hiring, and
3) Coaching for further development, fit, and growth.
These three steps represent a win-win for both the new employee and the company.
Further identification, evaluation, and implementation of processes and strategies that build upon, reinforce, and develop key competencies for your organization will further contribute to the success of this critical relationship. Identifying key competencies for hiring, training, and development requires that the appropriate leadership is at the Lhelm of this process. Leadership needs to be able to step beyond the time limited and localized focus of the management approach.
The Management approach often discussed in the business literature focuses on the immediate business landscape. This is not necessarily well suited for the modern organization’s responsibilities as the KSA’s emphasized are limited to the immediate task at hand without considering the larger systems, interdependencies, and risks of a localized (time, task, and place) mindset. Although this ‘seat of the pants’ approach, aptly labeled in the business literature, is effective at lower levels of a corporate structure the vision is lacking for identifying, evaluating, planning, and responding to larger system’s needs.
In contrast, the Leadership approach discussed in the business literature utilizes, implements, and reinforces processes and strategies that are antithetical to the ‘seat of the pants’ approach so aptly labeled in the business literature. An effective hiring, training, and retention strategy/process expands upon the capacity of the company to deliver increasing value in the future. The Leadership approach avoids the pitfalls of the localized focus attributed to the management model in the business literature. Developing the core competencies for hiring, training, and developing the company’s employees is essential.
How to Compete for Top Talent
Too often it is assumed that talent will inevitably have to find the exact same job that your company is offering. That top talent will decide to be satisfied with what you offer whether or not it is actually aligned with their professional goals, values, and interests. This belief also corresponds with other assumptions that your company has the culture, competencies, values, vision, passion, and strategies needed to recruit, retain, and create a relationship of commitment and investment. The problem with these assumptions is that they are likely to be wrong.
The assumption is that the “unique” will perform, commit, and remain creative in an environment that is “not unique”. When this assumption is not accurate the company inevitably finds themselves frustrated because this ‘top-performer’ is bored, disinterested, unmotivated, and uncommitted to an environment, culture, and architecture that do not address their needs. Their potential is not realized as a misalignment of goals and processes results.
1) Professional Development: Employees often want more responsibility as their career develops and yet employers are not always prepared, or interested, in taking advantage of this opportunity.
2) Problem Solving: Employees often want to contribute to ongoing improvements to resolve existing problems and when resolved increases their efficiency, effectiveness, and the value of their impact and yet companies are not always prepared, or interested, in taking advantage of this opportunity.
3) Appreciation: Employees often desire and actively pursue positive praise, rewards, and reinforcement and yet employers are not always prepared to do so despite these actions are critical to identifying, reinforcing, and enhancing performance.
4) Demographics: Employees often desire more flexibility and support from the employer as their parents age, they have families, they continue their education (often to support their professional development in the industry they are already working in), and as they get older. Employers have displayed poor initiative in identifying, planning for, and addressing these employee demographics without union, federal, or cultural pressures.
5) Innovation & Planning: Employees often desire to participate, identify, discuss, collaborate, evaluate, learn, and contribute towards process, strategy, product, and company innovations and yet companies are not always prepared, or interested, in taking advantage of this opportunity.
Over time a lack of competitiveness will result in diminishing performance, quality, and profits while costs, risks, and losses in market positioning increases.
In contrast to the assumptions above top performers are interested in attributes, opportunities, and core competencies often only realized by competitive organizations. This includes:
1) Professional development including personal, professional, and organizational goals
2) Participating in problem solving corporate and individual performance (etc.) concerns,
3) Receiving reinforcement from positive and supporting relationships in the workplace,
4) Receive recognition of their contribution as well as modifications to their job position parameters so that they can continue to maintain performance requirements, and
5) Participation in planning and other innovation building efforts that create real impact.
Competing for top talent begins with responding to your company’s existing talent. Building upon the core competencies necessary to recruit additional top performers is an investment that will be well spent because it contributes to the company’s competitive advantages as well.
- Employee retention includes the list of core competencies mentioned above, but often missed.
- Product & service innovation including idea generation, testing, and collaboration.
- Customer satisfaction including feedback & improvement mechanisms, evaluation systems, and collaboration processes.
- Regulatory compliance including contract, service agreement, and regulatory scanning and alignment.
- Agile responsiveness including flattened organizational processes, feedback channels, reduced siloes, and data driven efforts.
The company that is able to recruit, retain, and develop top talent will have a sustainable competitive advantage in the race to the future. What is your organization doing to support a competitive advantage? Leave your comments below.
Travis Barker, MPA GCPM
Daum, K. (2013, January 31). How to Compete for Top Talent. Retrieved from http://www.inc.com/kevin-daum/how-to-compete-for-top-talent.html
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