Hiring, Recruitment, Sourcing

Find and develop the talent you need to grow 

Watch the webinar Help Wanted: New Report Outlines How to Find & Develop Talent. 

New national report outlines solutions to talent planning issues

Mid-size companies consistently report difficulties with talent management, including recruiting, hiring, and retention. Through surveys, focus groups, interviews, and case studies, the Brookings Institution and the National Center for the Middle Market have identified sources of these problems and outlined potential solutions in their new report, “Help Wanted: How To Find and Develop the Talent You Need to Grow.

It’s important to understand the key issues outlined in this new report, and then focus on solutions.

Here’s how middle market companies can modify their people practices. Watch the webinar (above) for even more specific and actionable recommendations on how you can improve your own talent management approaches.

Make people your priority

  • Elevate HR beyond the administrative/tactical to a strategic leadership role.
  • Establish an ongoing, strategic, and proactive recruitment process that includes identifying current and future skills gaps, rather than waiting until you have open positions to fill.
  • Understand and enhance your employment brand and promote it, leveraging what may be your best kept secrets.
  • Treat recruitment as a sales process by developing a candidate pool, nurturing relationships with potential hires, and offering an exceptional candidate experience.
  • Value your candidate pipeline the same as you do your sales pipeline.
  • Focus on candidates’ soft skills, like attitude, aptitude, and culture fit rather than simply considering technical skills.
  • Enlarge your candidate pool by removing unnecessary filters: for example, requiring a bachelor’s degree when it’s not really needed to do the job.
  • Welcome new employees with a personal plan that provides total support and clear communication. (And don’t call it “onboarding”!)
  • Move beyond recruitment to focus equally on retention by offering training and development programs, and providing a variety of career paths.
  • Excel at performance management by treating it as an integral part of the work day and enlisting senior executives to give regular, informal feedback.
  • Bolster your internal HR staff through partnerships with appropriate outside resources.
  • Create relationships with colleges and other outside resources to offer internships and/or apprenticeships that can allow you to acquire talent early on and groom people internally.
  • Ask for help and resources from universities, community colleges, nonprofits, and public- and private-sector institutions that may not usually think to focus on middle market needs.
  • Participate in consortia and networks that leverage your efforts with those of other companies in your region or industry.

Don’t overlook culture

One significant element of talent acquisition and retention that was not included in the scope of the “Help Wanted” report is culture. Culture is hard to quantify, but it’s a hot topic for executives of middle market companies. Developing a purposeful culture is a major factor in your ability to attract, engage, and retain people. As a middle market company, you are smaller and more nimble, poising you perfectly to improve and promote your difference. Be sure to focus on culture by design, and not by default.

As an agile middle market company, you’d find solutions

Middle market companies are constantly changing, learning, and evolving in order to overcome their unique challenges. This creates an awesome environment in which to grow a company. Increasingly, mid-sized companies are waking up and taking control of their workforce challenges. All that’s needed is a courageous leader, a solid process, and a strategic mindset when it comes to your people. If you’re missing any of these building blocks, you have work to do. There’s help out there, and I challenge you to take advantage of it to ensure that talent issues don’t slow your growth now or in the future.

Read more on this topic: In the race for top talent, your company size can be a strength or a weakness

Category: Hiring, Recruitment, Sourcing

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About the Author: Kathleen Quinn Votaw

Kathleen Quinn Votaw is Founder and CEO of TalenTrust and KQV Speaks. She is the author of two books, Solve

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