Friday, 28 June 2013

Attracting the right sort of workforce talent

How many large companies / enterprises have you worked in  –  and there is often discussions and drivers towards talent management, if you cant progress within then go to market and attract new blood in..

What is the typical type of talent pool that you try to attract, i wouldn't mind betting that the bulk of companies use some if not all of the the following criteria

  • Graduate just leaving university and having been through some level of graduate training pool or
  • Financially stable or
  • Good credit rating / background checks are all normal or
  • No history with criminal activities or
  • Traditional approach to schooling or
  • Probably middle class to upper class parenting or
  • Appropriate behaviour in social / work situations or
  • All of the above…

Now i am not saying that there is anything wrong with this particular demographic –  however it is also a somewhat limited and in today's social / economic climate is there a different (and better) approach???

Lets look at a few facts here and possible effect on our nice clean talent pool that we currently have (and how its shrinking)…

  • Austerity measures are kicking in, this in turn will cause a rise in families getting closer to / hitting the poverty threshold / running into credit issues
  • A potential rise in crime as a result of less money being available in poverty stricken communities
  • unemployment is not getting any better –  the chances of someone getting made redundant and hence getting an adverse credit rating is getting higher (and then points 1 & 2 kick in)
  • There is too much focus on credit rating systems which companies check before giving folk roles within their enterprises

As a result of the above –  there is a huge talent pool that could be harnessed in the future but will be rarely considered due to not meeting our stereotypical “well behaved citizen” that i mention in my first bullet point list.

it is also worthy of note that looking for our stereotypical employee has been the standard operating model for enterprises for many years and as a result people that could offer great value and do great work have been overlooked. 

OK –  so where does this leave us.. Well I do think there is more innovative approach that we could maybe consider when looking in future employees. Lets face it, as the social economic climate changes the likelihood of getting that (what we currently call) perfect employee falls… Not because they are bad or have done something wrong –  but because people have had to live life and have had to deal with different life situations….In fact this very same talent pool of people could also help steer some of the large enterprises out there to a possible customer base that has not yet been tapped.

There are also prejudices that stop us employing people that maybe have behavioral traits that are not normally considered to be socially acceptable –  lets get over it –  take a look at people for who they are, what they can offer and inherent talent they have.

So what am i saying here –  I guess that we should consider all people for all possible roles, and just don't try to slot our typical cliché employee into position as its *easy*. Lets have a bit more of an open mind, understand people for whom they are and maybe start truly offering roles to people that are best for the job, give everyone a chance and stop going with the cliché approach. You might even be surprised at your work teams rate increase…