Last week, we discussed 3 simple ways for companies to deal with the significant issue of employee retention and recruitment. I talked about the importance of re-thought talent databases, uncovering hidden talent, and giving power to the people that can make the difference. This is obviously just the tip of the iceberg, so, without further ado, here are 3 more ways to find the best talent.
1. Get young, fresh thinkers before anyone else does – Taking on employees fresh out of university or from an apprentice program is a practice which used to be much more common than it is now, but the process is coming full circle. With university fees continuing to rise, and companies continuing to struggle for cash, bosses can hardly afford to take on graduates fresh from university in a full-time position, unknowing if they’re able to deliver on promise. Many more young people are finding that companies notice them more for producing a social or entrepreneurial impact, often non-profit. A great place to look is to so-called “feeder” companies. Venture for America aims to build up new generations of entrepreneurs to revitalise urban areas, Girls Who Code aim to close the gender gap in technology and engineering, and Teach for America wants recent graduates to help bring improvements to education. Whether you decide to fund internal development or liaise with a feeder company, teaching young learners the work skills they need to succeed, even if they are in a junior position, will bring forward the next generation for your company, without the risk.
2. Build centres of excellence – With reference to the last point, it isn’t about minimising risk, or avoiding it altogether, it is instead more about calculating risk in the right areas. One great area to risk in is building centres of excellence in areas that may not be considered. An example here is Nestlé, who focused one of their teams on digital marketing (specifically “social listening” and “analytics and content”) The teams work like venture capitalists, managing portfolios, evaluating proposals, and deciding themselves where to invest time. At the end of the program, the experts return to their retrospective areas, and act as company ambassadors for their new field when the need arises. This not only expands your company’s expertise without hiring new staff, but also engages employees to learn new skills.
3. Open Innovation events – Sometimes the real innovation comes completely out of the business. IBM first introduced the concept of the innovation jam nearly 10 years ago, a constructed event with a finite time schedule in previously selected topics. Once the jam begins, popular ideas build momentum, moderators advance or shape the ideas, and the ideas evolve at the drive of the community. Chief innovation officers can figure out just which ideas can have an impact, and great ideas can come from a relaxed environment. Bosses who want to tap into the minds of your employees to identify sweet spots or solve problems can look no further as this allows your community to not only speak out, but to also actively fix the problems they are unhappy about. Win-win.