Daily Archives: November 8, 2011

Winning the Talent War – Start With A Resource Strategy

In yesterday’s post, that mentioned that the talent war has just begun, we discussed Don Klock‘s keynote at last week’s NPX workshop, put on by the The Mpower Group. In his keynote, Don, a Senior Global Procurement / Supply Chain Executive with over 30 years of experience with multiple major multinationals who is now with the Rutgers Business School, Don noted that, as a result of the severe skilled talent shortage,

      if you don’t have a Resource Strategy to build your talent
pool, you better develop one.

Why? Because, to put it in the colourful euphemism us North Americans understand so well, you’ll be up sh*t creek without a paddle otherwise. And while Seth Green, Matthew Lillard, and Dax Shepard might have parlayed their situation into a 69 Million gross for Paramount, you won’t be so lucky.

Fortunately, a resource strategy isn’t that hard. A simple one consists of:

  • an internal skills assessment
    to define your skills (& talent) gap
  • a training and development program
    to take the both the resources you have, and the resources you bring in, to the next level
  • a recruiting plan
    to get that talent

Or course, the recruiting plan can be quit an exercise. After all, where do you look? Internally? Externally? Do you use a recruiting firm? Do you use a temporary staffing agency to keep the canoe afloat in the interim? Do you rotate your top performers through temporary assignments to make sure all critical functions, and tasks, get addressed? Do you just outsource? And if you look external, where? Universities? Industry Associations? Job Boards? Your competitors? The answer is typically — as Don notes — all of the above. You need talent, and you need to get it wherever its, whenever you can, through any means necessary.

This will obviously take some work.

  1. First, you will have to identify how you will relate to your job pool.
    These days, talent wants challenging work, good benefits, life/work balance, advancement opportunities, the right culture, and the right management in addition to a good salary. And, in fact, chances are culture, life/work balance, and organizational mission are more important to them. For the Millennials, a lack of focus on environmental stewardship is unthinkable and a kiss-of-death to your organizational future.
  2. Then you have to get that message out there.
    You’ll need a great job description, a great corporate message, and a great communicator leading the charge. And this person will have to connect to your talent wherever they are — job fairs, industry events, and on-line social networks like LinkedIn.
  3. Finally, you have to rope them in during the interview process.
    An interview is a two-way street now. They are interviewing you as critically as you are interviewing them, if not more so. Not only is their unemployment rate as skilled, college-educated talent, approaching an all-time low, but they know that, in many industries, there are not enough people to meet the demand and that they have the power. You will need to address all of their concerns, and (honestly) demonstrate that your organization is not only paying better but also providing a better work/life balance while providing challenging work and advancement opportunities, and that they will shape the path of the organization going forward. (Of course, if all this isn’t true, then your organization has a big problem as it’s not going to attract much talent until it is.)

Of course, if your organization does all this right it will be one of the few in a position to find, attract, and retain talented resources, which will soon be the supply chain’s number one talent. Almost 25% of the North American workforce is now eligible for (early) retirement. The only reason they are hanging on is the down economy. When it bounces back, they’re gone, and you’re down another 25% (or more) if you’re not ready. So get ready.