But first, define what you’re looking for!
The age-old deliberation about talent, its importance and its “fit” continues unabated. If anything, the current slowdown and pandemic impact has fueled it even more, as organizations start to look at ways to remain committed to their customer experience with lesser resources, limited number of people and stretched leaders. However, whilst the war for talent continues, one has to think whether Organizations know what they want and what “best” means when they want to hire the “best talent”, i.e. if the War for Talent is on, do we really know what we are fighting for?
Search for the “best talent” is mostly driven by years of experience on a CV, companies worked with in the past and GPA scores/rankings for courses done from the right university. And whilst the importance of all these cannot be undermined, it may not define whether a person who carries all these credentials is the “best talent” for the company. Time and time again, we hire people with great experience, awesome pedigree, lots of stability in their previous roles but for some reason, they are unable to perform and be successful in a new organization. These instances highlight the gap between organizations wanting the “best talent” when what they actually need is the “right” talent.
The search for the right talent will only start with organizations first taking the time to define what the “right” talent means for them and then hire accordingly. And whilst lots of assessments in the market provide an insight into a person’s psychometrics and abilities, one can never be sure if a “high performing” candidate on these assessments is actually a great fit for an organization. Creating your own benchmarks of success may initially seem to be quite a task; but once defined, it will provide clarity on what the definition of the right fit is for a job role or a job family within an organization. Moreover, it also puts to rest the dialogue on someone being a “bad” candidate. Each candidate is good, each has their own strengths and their own journey. The differentiator always is whether they are the right fit for you or not.
With the level of agility expected from leaders today, a fixed competency model no longer provides a solution to selecting or developing leadership talent. However, working with a fluid competency framework not only allows you to create individual success profiles for different job roles/job families to hire the right talent most suited to be successful to the organization, but it also eliminates common biases and inaccuracies in decision making.
A real talent strategy will aim towards creating seamless connect between what organizations hire for and what they develop for – all driven by the success profile of the role and what is defined as the right talent for that role. Succession strategy on a similar principle will help prepare the next generation of leaders and set them up for success as well. Organizations believe that if they want to change they need to bring a different profile – something new – not realizing that till they don’t change, a different profile will not survive!
The solution: change the role, change the profile, set a new benchmark and then hire. In the end, It’s always about the right talent; how one sets the approach to define and then hire will support business continuity and success in the long run.
For more insights, watch J. Maja Magnusson – a Business Transformation / Executive Coach and ARK Panel of Expert with Aseem Kapoor – Founder & Chief Ark-itect of ARK People Solutions in an interesting chat on how organizations can retain talent and hire for success.