I find employers want to make sure they “hire smart” in the new economy, especially when they are continually faced with pending baby boomer retirements, adapting their workplace practices for millennial’s, and adjusting to the challenges brought about by the Internet of Things (IoT) to name a few.  But oftentimes they are just not certain how to do so.

They have had time to reflect on the qualifications and commitment of employees who have remained with them and want to make sure that the succession planning process yields new employees who will mix well with their existing employees, make sure that all employees have a focus on business and personal success, and make sure that these existing and newer employees are technically equipped to leverage the benefits of the IoT in their areas of expertise, technology in their specific work functions, and customer expectations for a personal touch in an ever-increasing trend toward automated touches (press “1” to enter your account, press “2” for a listing of employees, press “3” to enter the last 4 digits of your employee name…).

Person-Future Fit

I expect that employers will increasingly be looking for the person-future fit in their business, with a focus on the potential long-term contribution of applicants, often to the extent that employers will be willing to leave positions open until they find the best and brightest new employees who can help them to implement their strategic and business plans.

Employers are acutely aware of the need for workforce alignment and engagement and are taking the steps necessary to create this alignment. They recognize that the new economy will leave less room for error and chance. The more aligned and engaged that employees are with each other and the goals and objectives of their employer, the greater opportunity there is for increased productivity and profit.

Hiring Smart

I have listed below six strategies employers need to execute to be successful in the evolving, competitive, and sometimes uncertain economy as they begin to “hire smart.”

They need to –

  1. Better understand their company’s needs by defining and communicating their long-term company strategy and plan in a manner that engages employees, customers, and vendors;
  2. Communicate that strategy and plan as a recruitment strategy – attracting who they want and need for their future success;
  3. Refine their application and interviewing process to solicit information about current applicant talents as well as future potential and interests and ensure that these processes are in alignment with the company strategy and plan;
  4. Identify an applicant’s current potential to perform the present job functions by understanding what is important in the job and matching that to what is present in the applicant;
  5. Assessing and understanding how an applicant’s long-term functional potential can match with the company’s long-term strategy for these and other job functions as these functions evolve and change; and
  6. Enable job role changes to better fit a person’s natural talents – by understanding a person’s natural strengths, motivators, and behavioral preferences, and adapting the job role(s) as needed so that performance and accountability results.

Understanding how to identify and select those employees will be a challenge for employers not accustomed to asking questions geared to identify those best suited for the future of their company. It will also be a challenge for those employers who have not done their future-planning homework.

I often look at employee talents and potential as the soft underbelly of a company’s inherent, intangible assets.  Put another way, employees are a company’s intellectual capital, and, properly capitalized, will result in an increase in a company’s financial performance.

Is it worth the effort to develop the 80% of your company to increase the 20% of your company’s financial value?