Last week, I shared the first three of six talent hacks that companies can use to remain competitive in light of the rapid and seismic demographic and business changes occurring in the marketplace. Companies are struggling with the loss of valuable knowledge due to retirement, M&A activity, or massive transformation initiatives. They need to think and act differently in terms of talent planning and sourcing. And there’s no time to waste. Based on our work with hundreds of Fortune 500, start-up, and private equity consumer goods and life science companies, here are the remaining three of six “talent hacks” you can use now to accelerate your workforce optimization.
Recall that a “hack” is “an appropriate application of ingenuity that finds a short cut or more efficient way to achieve a goal and increase productivity.” In this context, a “talent hack” is an innovative, cost-effective way to acquire and manage talent. These last three hacks focus on creative ways to build ready-to-go talent pools and ensure that both the talent and the company receive immediate and on-going value.
1. Create an Alumni Talent Community. Last week I shared the concept of establishing a Ready Bench of pre-vetted experts that you can call on as needed. One of the best ways to staff your Ready Bench is to leverage your own alumni.
YourEncore was originally established over 14 years-ago specifically to provide alumni management services to Procter & Gamble. We have greatly evolved this concept, moving from simple management to a comprehensive engagement model customized for each client that we call Alumni Talent Communities. Talent Communities are a combination of former company employees who have retired and/or decided to join the “gig economy” as a freelancer, along with relevant talent from other similar companies. This provides a comprehensive pool of highly experienced, immediately effective talent that is ready, willing, and able to be deployed as needed. In addition, Talent Communities have access to on-going training, trend insights, collaboration tools, and social events, all designed and delivered with the express purpose of ensuring that those within the Community stay engaged and effective. Simply managing access to alumni is not enough. Keeping your graduates engaged helps ensure a vibrant, reliable, and productive alumni talent pool that will bring high value back to your company for years to come.
2. Collaborate and Connect. One of the biggest challenges of the gig economy is the disenfranchisement of talent. We see this happening when there is no connection between the hiring company, the provider of talent, and the talent themselves. The managed service provider (MSP) model is a very impersonal approach to acquiring talent that is expected to perform mission-critical work. The Human Cloud companies create algorithms to match employees to jobs, but they don’t build loyalty and they certainly do not create human connections. While that might work for simple requirements, you cannot replace the human connection when searching for the unique combinations of skill, experience, wisdom, and gravitas. Yes, it’s important to have leading-edge tools that give hiring companies transparency, access to 360o talent profiles, and visibility to available talent pools. But selecting the right talent is as much art as it is science. Let’s face it…you want and need your virtual workforce to feel connected and loyal. That can only be accomplished through effective collaboration and community building.
3. Don’t go it alone. The fastest way to successfully implement these talent hacks is to learn from those who have been there, done that. Partner with professional retiree networks, such as YourEncore, for advice, counsel, processes, tools, and ready-access to the highly experienced, immediately effective talent you need.
Companies will always need the full spectrum of talent. But new models for finding, accessing, and employing that talent are emerging as the economy and the demography of this country continues to change. Need help thinking differently about how to meet your talent requirements in the new normal? Contact me, and let’s talk about we can apply these talent hacks (and more) to meet the needs of your business.
About Mike Lewis: Mike is Chief Sales & Marketing Officer for YourEncore. He is passionate about connecting Life Science and Consumer Goods Clients with YourEncore Experts, bringing them the rich experience and technical know-how they need to address their business challenges via flexible resourcing and consulting engagements. He is an innovative sales and marketing leader who has successfully introduced new selling and marketing models that have transformed companies in the process. He is a thought leader in social selling and account based marketing and has leveraged both to grow company revenues and reputation.