Before you get angry at the title and assume how it challenges what most businesses and talent teams do, read on. Having seen various articles in the past decade that claim to be “teaching” the art of talent management to talent teams, who day in and day out breathe that challenge and live it, is firstly not useful especially when that advice comes from people who are not experienced or living the dream each day.
The practicality of working on some of the strategies out there, the reality of what happens each day on the front line and an idealistic way of getting it right is all too complicated. Most of us that have worked in the field of teams and talent management know for a fact that you cannot plan for the future 10 years in advance today. That is a strategic HR and talent initiative that has very little to do with on the ground day to day, and tactical challenges from skills shortages, to manual processes and lack of right tech etc.
Whilst these strategies sound great when they say plan for the future, what are you really doing to equip your teams on the ground responsible for delivering? Too often resourcing and talent teams are seen as culprits. They have to work extremely hard to prove that they are doing their best for the business and that without that team the business would be spending millions on external staffing agency costs and many inefficiencies.
What I find impractical is also the numbers game that is now moving in-house in talent management. So, the challenge of nurturing the talent pipeline heightens. It is even worse when we think about the external workforce i.e. the contractors and interims that form part of the talent pipeline. In-house teams barely have the capacity to nurture perm pipeline, when will they find the time and space to think about the creative ways of nurturing contingent workers? They know they will need them again and again, and again yet at this stage, they are highly unlikely to waste their breath on this ever-growing population of the workforce, bringing us back to square one when it concerns day to day, especially when faced with skills shortages.
Now, I am not saying that all advice out there is rubbish at all, take this article https://www.forbes.com/sites/meghanbiro/2015/06/15/zen-and-the-art-of-talent-management/#1824f49b4491 by Meghan Biro. Whilst she highlights the key things that need focus on; there is a clear distinction on how technology and dimensions play a key role in the day to day talent pipeline building and management.f you thought that your total people agenda did not include contractors and interims, think again. Because whether Brexit or not, the way our macroeconomy is right now more people may be pushed into temp jobs or choose to have a diverse portfolio career. Check out my video here with Steve Preston, author of Portfolio careers.
Here are some quick solutions or fixes.
- Start including your external workforce in your total people agenda. This will truly help you understand the skills in the business and externally already in your reach.
- Begin digging the numbers. Costs of hiring and managing contractors, how many does your business hire, get that data and if you don’t have it, ask your suppliers to provide it
- Start looking at ways to bring part or full capability in-house. Albeit not end to end, there is tech out there to help in-house teams do this internally partly and InteriMarket helps to do it all fully, in-house. It is no longer a wishful thinking but real objective driven success when it comes to starting to understand and nurture total talent.
- Assess what is important to your business and culture. I.e. Engagement, retention, experience, pipeline and then focus on doing what you do best. Of course, a holistic approach is always useful but know where your strengths currently lie and build on that. Not to brag but again thinking contingent will lead you to InteriMarket that does it all.
Finally, do not be afraid of change via automation that technology like ours bring.
Automation is for mundane repeat tasks that do not need human intelligence as much. We all know that a recruiter’s job will be very different in the future. Training some of these tech algorithms is one of the key duties of a future recruiter. So, get on board with being an expert at what you do and bring that confidence into your day to day work.
Very often recruitment and talent teams have been unfairly judged on wrong things like the rejections of offers, or lack of level of engagement and retention. But in my opinion, the reason is simple and transparent. As an in-house recruiter, we do not have time to do the good value add duties purely because we lack the right technologies and support from business leaders who do not grasp that talent and recruitment is a KEY function of any business, instead we are tested by numbers of CVs and other outdated KPIs. Future starting now is all about quality not quantity as I always used to tell my hiring managers. People bring profits, not the other way around.
I am always keen to hear views and comments if you like it. Feel free to share too and spread the word. If you don’t, find me and talk to me. If you need further information on how InteriMarket can solve your total contractor workforce challenge by helping you bring it in-house or rolling it out to your MSP partner, get in touch with me here.