Steve Jobs said, “The secret of my success is that we have gone to exceptional lengths to hire the best people in the world.”
Businesses need to move at a great speed in order to deal with an environment which is volatile and uncertain. It is their talent who has to play the critical role in maintaining the speed. Steve Jobs naturally knew this and made sure that they do their best in getting the best on board. Talent Acquisition teams play a very critical role in making sure that they are able to hire the best people. They need to attract the best, separate the wheat from the chaff and make sure that the wheat is used well.
Attracting the best
This seems simple, but in practice it is not so! Right from talent strategists to recruiters in many cases, have no idea what kind of talent is good for them. This is because the leadership team has not taken the effort of defining what is good for them.
It is easy to define the skills needed for a role. For example a salesperson selling a mobile phone across the counter needs a set of skills and knowledge. We can define them and they are broadly the same for all organizations selling mobile phones. However, the complexity comes up when we think of getting the talent who can provide a competitive edge to the company over the others.
Talent strategists in collaboration with the leadership team have to define what is critical for their own context. Accordingly, they have to pick the skill which is more critical than the others in the basket of skills and what kind of personality traits are critical for their success.
Separating the wheat from the chaff
We live in a talent market with a huge supply of candidates looking for jobs and at the same time, organizations are unable to fill vacant roles. When an organization puts a job advert out, it receives a huge number of applicants but cannot find the right match easily. This is a problem of plenty, an interesting paradox.
The issue is partly due to our educational institutes being unable to produce what the industry is looking for. However, the major reason behind the problem of plenty is that we are an ambitious society with several socio-economic changes around us. All salespersons have experience and skills in selling but do not have the same depth in selling. Because we are a young and ambitious society, many applicants do not think twice about the job requirements as a whole before expressing their interest. And at the same time, there are many potential matches available in the labour pool who do not come forward.
There are several assessment tools and the assessors need to be trained on using these tools. Often the assessors do not believe in the tools prescribed by the HR team. They tend to use whatever has worked well for them in their experience; and they apply benchmarks which are based on their own judgement. These may not be the best way to get the right talent on board. So, Talent strategists need to think of effective ways of separating the wheat from the chaff.
Engage them well
Employer branding is a critical lever to get the best talent on board. Members in the talent acquisition team have to behave in a way that represents the mission of the organization. They have to deliver a memorable experience to the candidates who go through the selection process.
Irrespective of the outcome of the process, the candidates must carry memories that last long and reflect what their organization stands for. Such levels of engagement need to be planned well in advance and orchestrated in such a way that all the candidates have a near-uniform experience. All the members of the team need to put the behaviours into practice and someone has to monitor the effectiveness periodically.
Steve Jobs spoke about the exceptional lengths they went to get the best in the world. You can do it too!