I’ve not seen a time when companies need expertise in hiring, development, and retention of their people more than they do now. Here are 4 reasons why:
Kicking off BartonRock in September 2020, mid-way through a pandemic with suppressed hiring conditions, would ordinarily be cause for great concern but I quickly realised that companies weren’t just looking to hire the right people, they increasingly needed advice around their entire ‘people ecosystem’.
Hasn’t that always been the case though?
What has changed is the context: an even faster-pace and more transformational environment than could ever have been envisaged. Disruption stemming not just from digital advances and the impact of the pandemic but also significant change at a geopolitical level.
This demand from companies for a broader people solution was one of the drivers to the launch of leadership effectiveness and sister company, NewlandRock, which advises businesses and leaders through a transition.
Here are 4 high-level observations that are having a significant impact on the hiring landscape. I should caveat that these are from a data set of operating within the digital sphere of the consumer and retail sector but much of this applies cross-industry.
1) Staff turnover is real
Sister company NewlandRock has covered the subject of the great resignation in some depth and I would add weight to the argument that it’s very real and job tenures seem to be getting shorter. Several blog posts I read recently suggested it was advisable to jump ship frequently to build skills-sets more rapidly, and that companies should be more open to hiring job-hoppers. Whilst I understand the sentiment, 90% of companies I hire for place emphasis on stability when hiring an executive, and I support that view. Admittedly, there is greater leniency in early-career positions. If companies develop their people in the right ways, then staff turnover can be curtailed and skill sets can still be fast-tracked. Some of the most successful executives I have worked with have decade-plus tenures in organisations but their career has remained on a steep growth trajectory.
The Great Resignation Organisational Success Blueprint by NewlandRock is free to download and offers a valuable resource to help companies forge a new ‘people first’ agenda and give you and your leadership teams a framework to maximise your organisation's effectiveness.
2) Talent shortages can be over-stated
Much is made of this and whilst I don’t doubt that there are certain niches (especially emerging ones) that have a finite supply of expertise – eg new technologies, gaps created by companies adapting through the pandemic, I can’t help but feel there is some incredible talent not being fully recognised. As humans, we are conditioned to hire stereotypes of ourselves. We instinctively know that this doesn’t serve the wider organisation as effectively as diverse skill sets and leadership traits but there is a great tendency to fall back into a default position of recruitment conservatism. Cultural fit is intrinsic to success and that must remain a pre-requisite for any hire but there is an opportunity for companies to think more laterally, hiring more willingly at both ends of the age spectrum is critical with the workforce spanning the broadest age group ever due to later retirement ages. Recognising the merits of diversity in all its forms contributes to more effective decision-making.
3) Lack of sophistication when assessing candidates
If you want a job at companies such as Apple or Google, then expect to be put through your paces with sophisticated selection processes that provide genuine insights around job and company fit. However, many companies are still relying too heavily on gut feel to make hiring decisions. Furthermore, processes asking the same questions in successive interviews don’t add further insights to companies and simply hinder candidate engagement. You don’t have to be Apple or Google to add greater rigour to your assessment process. Some companies, especially larger ones, choose to build internal capability around assessment but many choose to focus on their core business and outsource this specialist skill.
4) Purpose and EVP matter more than ever in hiring processes
Purpose and EVP are now far more important than ever, the trend exacerbated in no small part due to the shift in priorities stemming from the pandemic as well as the emphasis younger generations are placing on core values. This isn’t lost on companies, but it continues to slip down the list, with shorter-term commercial goals prioritised. We advise companies on purposeful leadership and NewlandRock has designed leadership development programmes with powerful outcomes around EVP and leadership impact. Our observation is those companies whose CEO is firmly behind the importance of a culture-first mentality are winning in terms of employee engagement and enhanced retention levels.
If you feel an exploratory discussion around your executive hiring or leadership effectiveness could be useful, please get in touch.
To your continued success,
Guy Day is Founder of BartonRock, the executive search partner for digitally transforming companies.
We manage the careers of leaders whose know-how and commercial acumen within digital steers the strategic direction and future survival of companies.
For more information visit: www.bartonrock.com or contact email@example.com
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