Attracting and managing talent in current time
Now that pandemic dust has started settling, the industry seems poised to grow with a vibrant mood. Digitalisation spree is at its peak. Companies have learnt lessons during the pandemic. Everyone is going for one way or another hybrid or pure online model. Data is not just new oil, it has become the centre of the universe. Suddenly new age talents in the fields of software and data engineering, data analytics and digital marketing are in very high demand and consequently short supply.
Impatient investors are pouring in money in the enterprising start-ups, who are trying to organize the unorganized spaces. VC led funded companies are on toes to solve the puzzle of an ambiguous and amorphous world. Maintenance oriented managers feel unsettled and unease in such a company environment. They are not able to either imagine or execute the scale. They rest on their past laurels with dominant logic. They are more oriented towards continuous improvement than any disruption led innovation. Talent market is heated to hire, groom, and retain persistent and innovative leaders, who are wired to see and solve problems in digital way. Investors want credible leaders, weaving passion with energy with solid pedigree and, good network.
So, the scope of talent management has expanded the much larger cross section of employees. Just HiPot driven talent management is not working. It starts right from a company’s ability to spot the right talent and hire the same for both critical and urgent tasks.
For sourcing middle and junior level talent, companies are leveraging social media, references, and campuses. Now, when some segments of junior and middle level talents are in high demand, companies are using various ways to source the candidates-right from incentivising internal referrers, recruiters, interviewers to even the referring candidates. According to the needs good candidates are offered higher salary, joining & retention bonuses & ESOPs to cash incentives, good certification-based training, and career path. If most of the features of different offers are similar, a candidate would prefer to join and stay with an organization, with safe & learning work environment, instant rewards & recognition, clear career path and ample flexibility for time and location. In a faceless remote work environment, it is very important to get employees periodically to offices or some place for developing camaraderie and emotional bonding.
For sourcing candidates for top roles companies rely on good consultants, who could showcase varieties of talents, e.g. entrepreneur, top consultants, achievers from competitors’ companies or similar companies. Companies generally make mistakes in hiring talents in want of a robust hiring process to assess the functional and leadership competencies of the candidates. Leaders must invest a significant amount of time in interviewing and evaluating candidates. They must be trained in competency based interviewing techniques. Interviewers must know, which are 3-4 critical competencies for the role, candidates are going to be interviewed. Good homework should be done for deciding the questions the interviewer would like to ask to assess the level of competencies of a candidate. Psychometric reports could be a good source of inputs for the mental wiring of a candidate. Successful leaders are generally wired to strike a fine balance between analytical & intuitive decision approach, self- motivation and stress management, persistence & innovativeness, and enforcing & warmth.
For attracting and retaining such top talents companies use, besides attractive salary, good ESOPs / RSUs, focus on joining one-time grants with limited use of pay-mix philosophy and value-determined basis long-term earning opportunity linked to some value metrics.
Many companies are using Talent2Value technique talent management process from identification of high impact roles and then going for hiring, grooming, and rotating talents to fill these high impact roles with high priorities. 3 Es (education, experience, and exposure) approach could play an important role in grooming and engagement of talent. The high calibre talent should be always encouraged to experiment and come up with new ideas about products, revenue model and even business model. Culture of recognition of intelligent failure could be a catalyst for fast innovation. One-to-one coaching can be a powerful way in helping talent get unstuck and come out from the comfort zone. Based on the budget of a company it can decide what all measures to take to develop and engage its critical talents.
It is useful to have a diverse set of talents to bring varieties of perspectives for innovation and pinpointing the blind spots in one’s ideas or plans in a high pace environment. However, for nurturing such a process a culture of trust and transparency led by the CEO & other top leaders can play very important roles. Professionalism can flourish only in candid company; otherwise, diplomatic nicety can be misleading and dangerous.