Is your talent your Achilles heel?

5th September 2019, by

Whether you’re a FTSE 100 organisation or a start up with 2 people, not having the right skills in the right place, at the time you need them most, can cripple your business.

Today’s volatile market conditions makes the ability to sense, respond and pivot with agility, a core capability in surviving the everchanging landscapes within which our businesses operate. At a drop of a hat, we can be faced with the challenge of creating a new captivating service, solution or product, that is intrinsically linked the longer-term viability of our business. A new concept that must be turned from idea to output, as quickly as the idea itself surfaced. However, innovation, is only part of the story. With the right mindset, culture and processes, the possibilities of new ideas are endless. Afterall ideas can, come from anywhere.

It is the execution which is difficult, the part where bringing the service, solution or product to life, quickly, can be tough. In order to do so, being able to be crystal clear on the skills you need and to have them within arm’s reach in a world where new skills are constantly emerging is one of the biggest challenges businesses have today.

The answer lies in reimagining the good old-fashioned recruitment process, which let’s face it, is unlikely to have been significantly changed in the last 20-30 years, let alone radically redesigned, and that if there is even a process in place to begin with! Tinkering with the edges, automating parts, and possibly digitizing elements are all part and parcel of modernising the way we engage, attract and retain talent – but it is enough? In my view, a responsive, intelligent and thoughtful approach to Talent Strategy is the unseen superpower many businesses are failing to harness.

A few questions worth considering:

  1. When your business needs to pivot how can you quickly access the very specific skills you need? Is there a more fluid and flexible approach that allows you to acquire the talent you need when you need it, whether that be, buy, borrow, lose, automate, or outsource? Imagine a ‘just-in-time’ talent model.
  2. As intangible human skills become increasingly important, can we be confident that we can objectively and accurately assess skills such as emotional intelligence, adaptability, or the propensity for risk taking? Imagine the possibilities if you could access 1000’s of behavioural data points, alongside aptitude and motivators to ensure your hiring decisions were not only capturing the desired behavioural traits but were truly evidence based. Bye-bye unconscious bias.
  3. In a workforce that would comprise of five generations at any time, all of whom may have varying needs and expectations, seeing career, progression, benefits, and purpose slightly differently, are you actively building your brand magnetism? Afterall today organisations no longer have the luxury of identifying talent, they choose you.

Despite living in a world where technology is becoming a consistent and important area of focus, unlocking the potential of people will remain at the heart of business survival. Unless we rethink our talent strategy – it will be our downfall.

Is your talent strategy your Achilles heel?

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