Wednesday, June 27, 2007

The Search For Talent - What Happens After the Boomers?

What are our real people challenges? Starting in three years, “Boomers” will be retiring at a 10 million clip per year for the next ten years. Many will continue to work but will work only where and when they want to work. This will leave us with a lot of part-time employees that require flex-time as a benefit. We will be at their scheduling mercy. The Department of Labor has been forecasting a major labor shortage of young people to fill the ranks. So, where are we going to search for talent?

In an interview The Conference Board of Canada conducted with leading management guru, Dave Ulrich, he emphasized that the 21st century will belong to human resources and to organizational capabilities. I agree with him as did the Conference Board of Canada. For the first time in the history of management, it is the human mind that is the primary creator of value. The quality of people and their engagement will be critical factors to both corporate and small business vitality and survival.

Companies must start building their leadership pipeline by formulating a developmental plan for its people. Leadership must be considered a role rather than a function, and individuals within a company must be called upon to exercise leadership within their spheres of influence internally. Succession planning by position and defining the importance of that position to the overall success of the company is a must. What is your succession plan for the future development of your company? What does it look like?

No market is more competitive than ours for employees. No market is more competitive than ours for management talent. In a tight labor market, like the one in which we are about to enter, a strong employment brand identity must be present. You will have to capture a larger portion of the employee mindshare by setting your company apart from the competition by branding your attractiveness to engagement. You will have to make sure that your employees are engaged and that they understand the real purpose of the organization. In our management development courses, we talk about “connecting the dots” for all employees within the company. Managers must exhibit the ways and means to motivate employees to become engaged and make sure at the same time they are connected to the mission and vision of the company. It is even more important that they understand the purpose. We need to provide an environment where the rate of learning exceeds the rate of change. Not an easy task even for the high achieving manager.

This culture of engagement and purpose can be achieved if we hire the “right person” for this culture. As business owners, we need to develop a Hiring and Selection Process that both demonstrates the flavor of our company in terms of a “brand” that attracts the candidate that is the “right person” for the position. What does your Hiring and Selection Process look like? Are you fitting the candidate to the job or the job to the candidate? You better get ready soon because us “Boomers” are coming and the fit needs to be right.

Author: Richard J. Hohmann Jr.
P:(609) 390-2830

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