talent acquisition…..

“Oh – Sharmila is a such a great professional. Smart, intelligent and so very capable. Much as I would want to, I will not be able to hire as her high salary will upset the equilibrium of my organisation.” Rahul’s dilemma just as it is of so many leaders in mid to large organisations.  

The last couple of weeks have been a time of absolutely fantastic learning. Have interacted with a lot of people within and outside the organisation, including some solid industry and management gurus. While the topics have ranged from business to politics to entertainment and what it takes to make it big in the competitive world of today, inevitably the discussions on talent – acquisition, retention and development – have been the most engaging. Something very close to my heart too!

We all recognise talent as the most significant differentiator between good and great organisations. Most of the initiatives see the light of the day only because they are in capable hands. Otherwise they may never even take off.  While that is well established, it is also true that a growing economy like ours places a huge premium on quality talent. Tough to locate, not easy to recruit and even more difficult to retain. There are obviously many attributes of a good resource and I am going to focus this post only on recruitment. On how do we solve Rahul’s dilemma.

I am of the firm belief that once you spot a great talent – and a good fit for the organisation – go all out to hire. Do not get bogged down by the issue of compensation parity with the existing employees. Sometimes hire even without a specific role in mind, if possible. This has many benefits :

– as an individual contributor, one good resource delivers far more than 2-3 average resources. The impact is magnified multiple times if it is a leadership position

– their presence generates a certain creative tension that leads to a positive spiral which has the potential of uplifting the performance of the entire team. In a way establishing a performance oriented culture 

– sooner than later all disparities of the existing employees, including compenstion ones, get addressed. If handled well, this can energise the entire organisation.   

Net net, never compromise while hiring. I have presented a very simplistic view and am aware of the many complexities that leaders have to deal with. Managing aspirations of the existing employees is one such challenge. Not difficult to overcome if communicated with purpose! 

They always say – Cost is long forgotten and quality is remembered forever!

This is a vast topic and will be helpful to understand your views.

best wishes


4 thoughts on “talent acquisition…..

  1. well said. quality is remembered, but cost is forgotten, when it comes to hiring good talent. Just like how good talent, can spin a virtous wheel – bad (and many times cheap) talent can also demoralize an otherwise high performing team. That’s why people say – Pay peanuts, you get monkeys.

    Here are some other good quotes I have heard on talent management:

    My main job at GE was developing talent. I was a gardener providing water and other nourishment to our top 750 people. Of course, I had to pull out some weeds, too – Jack Welch

    Hire people who are better than you are, then leave them to get on with it – David Ogilvy

  2. We come across many definitions of leadership which encapsulates necessary traits and great attributes and the roles leaders need to play in current hyper competitive business environment.The one which strikes me the most is simple but very effective and echo the sentiment expressed in this blog. States “Most important role of a leader is to build a globally best in class leadership team that delivers outstanding business value in every customer engagement “.This is so complete. The only thing I need to add is to continuously providing them challenges, motivations and platforms to outperform themselves over and over again so that retention does not become an initiative but is neatly woven in the fabric and culture of the organization. Needless to say, this sets up a chain reaction of having the best talent at every level which can then build lasting organizations or institutions of great learning and performance where the best in class aspire to contribute.

  3. Very Apt for Today’s talent market. Right Talent Acquisition today is one of the top five CEO priorities.We need to consider the connections between leadership development, and the development of emerging leaders in particular and not just focus on any one area say succession planning !
    “You can’t turn lead into gold.”…
    It is hard to know exactly where the future leaders will arise from, so hiring the best candidates for every position will help lead to the most high quality leaders being developed in the future.

  4. The key question I believe in while recruiting is ” are you recruiting today’s employee or tomorrow’s Manager”. While the former will help in getting additinoal pair of hands to do the job on hand the later will free your hands to do something better.

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