Getting the Right Talent: It Takes a Lot More Than Just Recruiting Well

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May 6, 2014

Assembling the right combination of talent is about MUCH MORE than just recruiting well.

Cornerstone No. 1 (out of 3) for building a high performance workforce is “assembling the right combination of talent.” But what does that really mean?

It’s easy for people to jump to the conclusion that this is just a nice way of saying, “Recruit well.” If you recruit well, and recruit great people, it means you’ve got the right talent, right?

Wrong. Assembling the right combination of talent includes recruiting well, but there is much more to it.

Hire A, B, and C players

Of course hiring the right people is part of it, but that doesn’t always mean hire the best, or hiring only “A” players.

There will be times when you simply do not need an “A” player, where a “B” or a “C” player will do just fine and is the BETTER business decision. In fact, pursuing exclusively “A” players is impractical and expensive.

Instead, pursue (and accept nothing less than) “A” players for your high leverage/impact positions.

The team is the thing

In today’s work environment, many times the best solution for consistently producing excellence is to shift your focus from individuals to teams. And a focus on building a highly effective small work team may change the competencies and criteria you use to hire/select each individual that’s part of that team.

Be quick to deal with people in the wrong roles

Assembling the right talent means hiring the right people, but it also means being willing to deal with the wrong ones. Obviously hiring better means you’ll probably have fewer people problems later, but even that’s not entirely true.

You can hire someone and they can come in and do exactly what you hoped they would do. Then, three years later, something about the company might change or perhaps your employee has changed, and they’re no longer the right fit.

It doesn’t mean they’re a bad person. It doesn’t even mean that they’re not a skilled, wonderful employee. It’s just may be your strategy has changed and their skill set isn’t the right skill set you need anymore. In today’s world, that could happen a lot.

And when that happens you may need to terminate them, or maybe just move them out of their current role into a different role. That means you must have the right systems in place to quickly identify workers in the wrong roles.

You should regularly be looking for the right people to bring in, the right people to move out, and then getting the right people into the right roles.

Mix talent types: contingent, professional & outsourced services, robots

Focus on talent, not employees. When you’re assembling the right combination of talent, you should also be thinking about the right temps, the right contractors, the right professional services, and so on. Maybe even the right robots.

In other words, determine the right mix of talent working on behalf of your company, regardless of where they come from.

Is your company less certain about its future plans or strategies, or facing particularly turbulent markets? You may need to shift to fewer employees and more contingent talent. Can’t find certain types of talent that you need in the pool of potential employees or temps? You might need more professional or outsourced services.

In a nutshell …

It’s not good enough to simply hire the right people if you want to assemble the right combination of talent. This first cornerstone to building a high performance workforce is challenging and complex.

It involves not only good hiring practices, but also equally good retention and forced turnover practices. It means knowing as much about building effective work teams as hiring superstars. It requires a focus on total talent, and not just employees.

What now?

To learn more about how you can build a high performance workforce, don’t miss TLNT’s High Performance Workforce Summit in Atlanta, GA., May 28-29.

You can also check out my last article – All It Takes is Talent? Just Another Myth About Building a High Performance Workforce.

Stay tuned for the next article in our series.

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