Building an effective talent pipeline requires a shift from reactive to proactive recruiting: from recruiting to fill an open position to thinking about who your company will want and should hire in the future. Building one without cracks or blockages requires long-term focus and structured planning. It will take time and effort but the benefits are worth the investment.
Professor Jeffrey Gandz, of Ivey Business Journal, has outlined the architecture of effective talent pipelines as consisting of 4 dimensions:
Incorporating these 4 dimensions will ensure that high-potential people are recruited into your organisation, assessed regularly and given the opportunity to develop and advance. Note that some will reach the level of their potential and plateau, others will decide to drop-out or will be moved out because of their performance or because they block the development of others, hence the importance of continued assessment to ensure a healthy pipeline.
Some will show potential for leadership and they will need to be given broadening experiences, programmes, challenges and opportunities (commonly known as a leadership track – your company should design how this track looks within your organisation). Others will show either limited aptitude or desire for leadership roles but have high-potential for development along specialist lines.
Professor Gandz notes that there will be many errors in making these assessments since assessment of potential is an inexact science at best, an art at worst. So be prepared to recognise and reverse an error. In addition, be aware that you need to allow time for development to take place. As so much development requires experience and reflection on that experience, people need to be challenged with real-work demands and assessed on their responses, you have to recognise potential talent early and manage careers actively.
By implementing these talent pipeline strategies, businesses can improve the scope of their prospective applicants and continue to make smart hiring decisions.
As always, if we can be of any assistance, please get in touch.
In essence, workforce planning is simple: ensuring there are the right number of people, with the right skills, in the right place, at the right time and at the right price to execute business strategy. However, because it’s all about people and because it takes a longer-term look, in practice it’s much harder than it sounds.
As Dilys Robinson of HR Magazine puts it: understanding workforce demand is notoriously difficult. Priorities shift, managers get distracted and the economy does unexpected things. Added to this there’s often a lack of strategic direction, poor quality data, the battle to get workforce planning on the senior management agenda and to get the organisation thinking long-term, along with the difficulty of extracting sensible demand forecasts from managers.
Common problems include:
The end result is that workforce forecasts look remarkably similar to the existing picture, even though managers, often admit that their existing workforce profile is far from ideal.
Success Factors, in the paper Workforce Planning Pitfalls, outlines 6 common pitfalls to look out for when beginning the process of workforce planning:
Workforce planning will continue to grow as a critical element of business success. Understanding how the process works, how to demonstrate its impact and how to avoid common pitfalls will enable organisations to focus on what really matters: having the right number of people, with the right skills, in the right place, at the right time and at the right price to execute business strategy.
As always, if we can be of any assistance, please get in touch.
Previous articles in this series:
Resources: Overcoming the Challenges of Strategic Staffing
Given the enormous cost of bad hiring decisions, it’s a small wonder corporates are spending time and care on making sure they source and hire the right people. From ensuring excellent talent selection systems to the compilation of complex and accurate job descriptions, it pays to finesse every step of the process. However, there’s always a chance that one of the candidates, who looks great on paper, may turn out to have misrepresented themselves in some way, or may not be a good personality fit for either the role or your corporate culture. Thus the importance of pre-selection screening, which moves beyond past credentials and experience, and brings a certain objectivity to the process.
In South Africa, these tests typically take place once the field has been narrowed down to only a few likely candidates. However, internationally they often take place earlier in the process: after only the initial telephonic interview or even as the first step in the process (generally via short, web-based psychometric tests. Such tests efficiently clear out the least-suitable applicants, leaving a smaller, better-qualified pool to undergo the more costly personalized aspects of the process).
Types of Employment Tests
Ultimately, these tools are most effective in screening out non-appropriate candidates when used in conjunction with background screening to obtain hard facts about a candidate. Pre-employment background screening works in four critical ways:
Other important tools include CV verification, financial background checks (when relevant to the job), ID verification and drivers license verification.
Common Concerns Even with all the advantages of a screening program, these are the four most commons concerns that employers express:
Administered correctly, pre-employment testing can help companies save time and money in the selection process, decrease turnover, increase productivity, and even improve morale.
If I can assist in any way, please get in touch.
I frequently have conversations with candidates that have been on the job search for a while, often through no fault of their own, and it’s sometimes (understandably) difficult to stay positive.
It’s a numbers game, and although an opportunity might be the perfect job with the perfect company, there’s always some competition. Until you’ve signed the contract there’s no guarantee. Use the above tips to stay positive while you search and you will get your day in the sun!
A strong employer brand that helps you create competitive advantage in the talent market begins with a well defined Employee Value Proposition (EVP). The two terms are often confused so let’s begin with a simple explanation for each:
According to research by the Corporate Leadership Council, a well thought through and executed EVP can:
However, the value of an EVP goes way beyond cost and time savings, it also:
The EVP encompasses both reward elements and intangible benefits, such as:
Whether formally defined or not, all companies have an EVP, albeit often unconsciously. Organisations typically fall into one of four stages on a value proposition evolutionary scale:
Stage 1 – Tactical: Roughly one third of organisations have made little progress in defining the coherent set of factors that make up the value proposition to employees and candidates. They certainly provide rewards and have cultures, but employees are on their own to understand and interpret them.
Stage 2 – Integrated: These organisations have established a formal EVP and typically have stated objectives for each reward and talent management programmme with key connections amongst them (e.g., clear links between competencies, hiring processes, learning programmes, career paths and compensation bands).
Stage 3 – Communicating and Delivering: Third-stage organisations have gone further by cogently communicating the EVP to employees and delivering consistently on their EVP promises. In effect, they’ve established an internal brand.
Stage 4 – Segmenting and Differentiating: Stage 4 organisations have differentiated their EVPs from those of their talent market competitors and are more likely to measure the effectiveness of their rewards programmes. They view their employee brands as strong and, in some important way, uniquely attractive. This advantage comes from the way they respect the order of the phrase employee value proposition. They start by understanding the employee, then define and deliver rewards that have true value, and then convey a clear and compelling why-you-should-care proposition to the target audiences.
There are many ways an organisation can approach developing an EVP, but most fall into these four key steps:
Step 1. Review and dissect your data. This might include employee engagement, onboarding or exit surveys and recruitment and retention metrics. Analyse all data by key employee populations to identify trends and key themes. Remember to look beyond the top line numbers; the real insights come from the verbatim comments of employees that provide context to the numbers.
Step 2. Discover and dive deeper. This step should include interviews with key stakeholders including senior management, HR, marketing and most importantly existing and target employees. External customer value propositions are often based on a “tell” approach, where a brand will define what it wants to stand for and then use marketing channels to deliver this brand promise. However, an EVP is an employee-centric approach informed by existing employees.
Step 3. Develop your EVP. Based on the research and insights from steps one and two; craft your value proposition as a simple overarching statement. This will become the essence of your employee experience and employer brand commitment. Clarify key areas of focus to support your EVP, such as career development, work-life balance or CSR. Remember to keep these areas focused and don’t try to be all things to all people. Test your EVP against your HR strategy. If your EVP does not support your HR strategy you need to revise it.
Step 4. Deliver your message. Implement your EVP across the employee experience from your recruitment processes, through to onboarding, career development and even through the exit stage. Build in methods to measure the EVP, this will help you demonstrate the value of the EVP, return on investment and financial benefits to the organisation.
As always, if we can assist in any way, please get in touch.
The life of modern-day leaders is more demanding than ever. Internally, they need to motivate diverse groups of people, work across organisational boundaries, improve efficiency and achieve growth. Externally, they face a complex and globalised environment in which they have to keep ahead of competitors and exceed the expectations of other stakeholders.
According to a survey conducted at the Center for Creative Leadership, involving 763 leaders across seven counties, there are six primary leadership challenges facing all leaders no matter where they are in the world:
These are difficult challenges, and many leaders feel ill-prepared to tackle them. The most frequently mentioned challenge is developing managerial effectiveness. Here are some recommendations:
The division between task- and relationship-oriented leadership has long been a challenge. Three of the challenges namely inspiring others, developing employees and leading a team; are all related to the relationship-oriented part of leadership. Here are some considerations:
Guiding change is a key challenge for leaders. Organisations exist in a VUCA world (volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous) and leaders need to be adept at managing, mobilising, leading, and dealing with change. Some suggestions include:
Another frequent challenge is managing internal stakeholders and politics. To more effectively accomplish this, leaders need to develop and enhance their political savvy, defined as “the ability to effectively understand others at work and to use such knowledge to influence others to act in ways that enhance one’s personal and/or organisational objectives.” There are several ways to do this:
If you have any questions, please get in touch.
In Good to Great, author Jim Collins says the first job of management is to “get the right people on the bus, get the right people into the right seats on the bus, and then get the wrong people off the bus.”
Historically talent departments have tended to focus on number of requisitions processed and reducing time-to-fill, effectively stressing efficiency over effectiveness. Now, however, there is a shift of focus from quantity to quality, largely because of:
Winning the war for talent means rethinking the recruitment process and this begins with getting the right people on board in the first place. We simply can no longer afford to make costly hiring mistakes.
Begin by thinking through the job carefully, along with the attributes, skills and competencies of the person you want to see in the role. Identify the specific measurable goals and outcomes you wish the employee to achieve. Think about your company culture and what kind of people will work well with your existing team and contribute to the atmosphere you want in your business. Although you want smart ambitious people, successful recruiting is not about high performance in isolation. Misfit employees tend to have a huge impact on company morale and visions. If you advertise, be very clear about what the role entails and what type of person you are looking for: skills and competencies as well as personal attributes and characteristics. Be sure to look internally as well and to broadcast throughout all available networks.
Once you have a thorough job description and a solid idea of what the new hire should look like, utilize the law of three:
Throughout the interview process, don’t just ask questions about strengths and weaknesses and job history. Ask questions that help you identify what kind of employees they will really be, for example:
Look for employees who show passion for your company, product and service and fit with your core company values. Make sure you like the person. This may sound like a no-brainer but when hiring a genius or someone with exceptional technical skills; it can be easy to overlook the reality that they might be problematic on an interpersonal level.
If you do end up with someone who is not a good fit, be brutal about ‘getting them off the bus’ quickly. It’s a painful process for everyone involved but better if dealt with quickly.
Last but not least, always be interviewing. Proactively keeping your hand in the talent pool gives you access to the best talent even if you don’t have an immediate need. You also don’t want to wait until you lose someone to replace them.
As always, if we can assist in any way, please get in touch.
Ever wondered what you can do to reward your employees beyond the annual increase? Leaders understand the importance of rewarding their employees and making sure they feel appreciated. There are a lot of interesting ways to do this:
Surprise them with tickets. This could be any type ticket. Check with your team what they enjoy: tickets to the local rugby or soccer game (depending on their preference, of course), ballet or music concerts (which star is coming to South Africa next?) We had an incentive once that offered tickets to Cirque du Soleil… what an experience that was!
Good luck with thinking of creative ways to reward your staff!
Job seekers are often ill-prepared for the emotional turmoil that lies ahead when embarking on a job search.
Typically you start out with excitement at the unknown possibilities. However, the decision to leave your current job is never an easy one. Weigh up the pros and cons but don’t get stuck for too long pondering whether it’s the right time to leave and anxiously considering if you’re ready to take that next step.
Next you begin your search for an available position via the newspaper, online, referrals etc. This potentially holds the first emotional dip, as you often get little response from the applications you send out. Of course, it may be that you’ll get fast and furious responses and feel ecstatic. Be aware that this process might take time and don’t give up!
Your first interview… now this is emotional process! A combination of super excitement and fear of the unknown! Remember to breathe.
Waiting on feedback is perhaps the biggest rollercoaster of the whole process. There could even be a constant knot in your stomach that leaps at every beep from your phone.
Depending on the feedback you either end up exulted and signing a new contract or you start the process all over again!
Sounds like fun doesn’t it? There are ways to bolster yourself during the process:
Job searching can be a very exciting time in your life as it brings change. Be sure to make the right decisions that will support you during this process.
Here are some ways you can improve yourself and your leadership skills to help in climbing the career ladder:
It’s up to you to decide how far up the corporate ladder you’d like to climb; then take the necessary steps to get there.