To compete, large and medium-sized enterprises have made substantial investments in areas like artificial intelligence, automation, blockchain, networked devices and enhanced cybersecurity. The result has been increased pressure on companies to realize ROI from these investments and to bring in talent that can make this happen, quickly. Unfortunately, for most companies, infusing talent for effective digital transformation is a top priority, but is easier said than done. In fact, IT job growth is expected to reach 13% by 2026 — more than 85% of hiring managers and recruiters find it challenging to acquire technical talent.

Some leaders in the talent space, like Mike Ettling, president of SAP SuccessFactors, don’t buy into the “war for talent” narrative, suggesting that we have created this pervasive belief due to the influence of our own biases.

“This entire premise is based on the belief that there is a talent crisis,” shares Ettling. “It’s my point of view that the talent shortage is nothing but a myth. The only reason people may feel a shortage exists is because they are not fishing in a big enough pond. It is the result of unconscious bias in the workplace.”

One of the major problems that I see is that we have been hiring the same way for decades in the US. Companies are constraining themselves in an old school hiring cycle that is doomed to fail, mostly because all companies are hiring the same way from the same sources.

An Example

I recently had a discussion with a business owner searching for top talent. He told me that they were searching for someone who had experience specific to his industry. When I asked why he told me that they had some failures in the past when they attempted to hire people from outside the industry. He said “We learned from our mistakes”. 

What if the failure was due to some other element? How certain was the owner that the failure was due to “hiring outside his industry”. I found out that this was an assumption and occurred only once. So, he was artificially constraining his ability to find the best talent because of this one-time issue.  

Granted, we invest tremendous amounts of time, energy and money on talent, as we should. When we fail, we need to dig into the details of that failure before we set sail again.

People constraints

People constraints can occur at the organizational or individual level. At the organizational level, common constraints include:

• Bad hiring process

• Lack of effective training

• Inadequate coaching

• Lack of effective sales enablement tools and content

• Ineffective methodology

• Poor internal collaboration

At the individual level, common constraints include:

• Lack of individual skills

• Wrong behaviors

• Poor job fit (personality and character)

• Not enough of the right behaviors 

Once constraints are identified, you can drill down to figure out why. If an individual is not performing well as compared to their peers, you can drill down to look at what activities, behaviors, skills, and characteristics their peers have that they don’t.

There is a war for talent occurring right now. Your peers are looking for the same person that you are. Do not constrain your ability to complete for the best!

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