It is not easy, sometimes impossible for organisations and their leaders to find candidates matching the benchmarks on all parameters they seek. This is one of the critical reasons why organisations cannot grow as fast as they desire or end up making decisions they repent later. Most leaders in the world understand this, yet they overlook the importance of building a pipeline of talent. They invest their efforts in building a pipeline of new product features to work upon, suppliers who can scale up to meet the needs of the organisation in future and so on.
Acquiring talent for the organisation is often left to the HR (Human Resources) or TA (Talent Acquisition) leader who is expected to bring people on board just on time. Normally these teams are under pressure to fetch whatever they can from the market using a range of sources and do their best in scooping up talent from the big pool available to all. There is no exclusive corner or portion in the pool which is dedicated to the organisation. As a result, there is a lot of rush among the sourcers to be the first in the queue for fishing. Employers spend energies to build their brands and keep their compensation levels in the top quartile to earn the top slots in the queue.
Apart from standing in the queue ahead of the others, many organisations do not spend energy in building a pipeline for them which is exclusive for themselves. As a result, they fall prey to predatory practices of other players in the market and end up spending more money in acquiring and retaining their talent. We do not need any superlative skill or perspective to appreciate the fact that we need to take a long-term view of our requirements and prepare for them rather than living by the day.
Commit to a set of competencies
Organisations have to define what competencies they need for the future as well as for the present. Sometimes, they come up with a laundry list of competencies and it becomes difficult to operationalise them. Most often, interviews are used as a tool to recruit people; nobody can remember a long list of items and can structure the discussion along each of those competencies, even if the candidate is internal. Hence, we must make the list of requirements sharp and align all internal stakeholders on the list.
Secondly, we need to get all the stakeholders on the same page about the assessment methods and the manner of applying those methods to assess the potential as well as the competencies. This calls for organised and proactive efforts among the leadership team.
Building a talent pipeline is no less of a herculean task than aligning suppliers for components that get into the machine manufactured by an organisation. Like suppliers are identified, nurtured and partnered for the long run, each source of supply has to be developed. The campuses, recruitment agencies, the company’s career page and social channels, the internal hiring team and the learning and development team within the organisation are broadly the supply sources of talent.
Often these vital cogs in the wheel do not have any idea about the organisation’s talent management processes and the significance they hold towards the organisation’s success. We witness a lot of friction between various supply sources; there is no transparency and synergy between these sources. Hence, more often than not, they work at cross purposes; none of them shows a long-term commitment to the organisation and its success.
The leadership team of the organisation holds the key in organising the efforts and directing them suitably.