Talent Supply V4

5 reasons your talent strategy needs to be a priority

Don’t have enough time to recruit for your scaling digital business?

It’s a common complaint we receive from business founders.

We often hear, “yes, we are going to scale our business from 10-40 people on the back of series A funding and then again from 40-150 people after series B funding. But, I’m a techie at heart and I don’t really want to be involved in the recruitment process. I don’t want to be involved for more than a 15 minute Skype call at some point during the process. I’m not good at interviewing and frankly, I don’t have the time.”

This type of outlook hinders your business from achieving its goals. It’s a candidate driven market and we are in the middle of a war for talent. Hiring the right people is one of the most important aspects of scaling successfully because employees bring your product alive. Ultimately, they allow you outperform your competitors.

As a business leader, if you aren’t at the forefront of your company’s Talent Strategy, it could cause major obstacles in your ability to satisfy the VC’s desires.

Here are 5 reasons a business leader needs to be at the forefront of their Talent Strategy

1. Hire for attitude, not for skills

Organizations that look for skills ahead of attitude severely limit their talent pool. Attitude is just as important because you need to hire someone that matches the company values and mission.

Do not limit your talent pool. Give yourself the opportunity to make hires that provide talent, match your way of working, encourage diversity and provide unique outlooks. These ‘right hires’ help the business grow in terms of revenue and as a culture.

In order to give your business access to the sort of talent that has both the right skill AND attitude fit for your business values and mission, you as the leader, need to be at the forefront of the process; not a passive involvement.

2. Need a ‘Talent Strategy’ to deliver your goals

Scaling a business, in terms of talent and the consequent revenue, is a massive task.

You have specific goals you need to hit to ensure you deliver against your agreement with the VCs. Therefore, you cannot place this important task entirely in the hands of your Line Managers or an Office Manager (yes, I’ve seen this many times).

You need to create a hiring process that is specific and targeted to help you achieve your goals. Also, it must help you create a positive ‘employer brand.’ Without your vision and input, it does not reflect what you want to achieve and can have a negative impact on your ability to build a talent pipeline and make hires into the future.

I read an article recently, written by a VC Talent Acquisition employee, the article said they asked all CEOs to get involved in ‘people’ driven solutions for 50% of their time. This may seem excessive but this VC believes if you deliver this component of your strategy, you are well on your way to succeeding. So get committed to your talent strategy and play a key part in delivery.

3. Hire a ‘Head of Acquisition’

Many organizations make their first HR or Recruitment hire someone junior and expect them to be able to create a successful talent acquisition strategy.

In my previous ‘War for Talent’ blog post, I discuss the following and will bring it up again because it is extremely relevant here too: “The first recruiter hired is simply that: a recruiter. Not somebody who leads a strategy, but somebody who executes. If the vision is lacking, then the whole function can collapse. This is not the place to cut corners: the stakes are too high. Inefficiencies here are incredibly difficult to reverse.”

Therefore, make that hire a senior profile who can actually help you create and achieve your necessary goals.

4. Don’t run with just one candidate you like for the role

On a daily basis, our clients attempt to ‘save time’ by running with the individual who they believe will bring the greatest value to the role. I understand the sentiment, it saves time and everyone is committed to making the successful hire happen. But that one candidate may have other options from alternative organizations or their current employer, so you are not 100% in control of the entire scenario.

Therefore, ensure you always have 2 or 3 options. You may be disappointed if you don’t get your first choice. That’s understandable. Nevertheless, if the second choice fits the bill, meets your criteria and is committed to similar values as the business, don’t let the rejection from the first choice affect your ability to hire.

5. Provide a marketing budget for your Talent team.

Talent Acquisition has changed. It’s currently as much about marketing, as it is about research or dealing with ad response. Be innovative in achieving your goals. Not only will it help you fill roles and identify and engage the finest talent but it will also build a really positive ‘employer brand.’

Recruitment and hiring the right people is time consuming. There is no doubt about it.  Nevertheless, if you want to fulfill your business goals, it is likely one of the most important factors in play.

Give it the time it deserves.

Need some help creating a Talent Strategy? Get in touch with us.

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This article was written by Martin Collins, Founder & Managing Director at Red Executive

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