We find ourselves at a crucial juncture where Workforce Planning and Recruitment demand immediate attention. The rapid pace of business and digital transformation necessitates swift action. Companies worldwide are presented with unprecedented opportunities, as evident in the first half of 2023, where mega-cap stocks (a market cap of over 200 billion USD) added an astonishing $5 trillion in value. Failing to establish the right staffing levels at this critical moment will result in missed opportunities not only in 2024 but also beyond.
This scenario brings to mind a compelling case study from Faisal Hoque’s book, ‘Reinvent.‘ Nike, a prominent player in the digital business realm today, once faced its own set of challenges. Back in 2010, the company introduced ‘Nike Digital Sport’ and launched the innovative product ‘Fuelband,’ which garnered substantial data on activities. However, due to a lack of prioritization in recruiting engineers, Fuelband could not achieve its full potential and failed to take off. This underscores the immense power of effective Recruitment.
Learning from past experiences, Nike later revamped its approach and emerged as a Sports Digital leader. The lesson here is clear: companies must step up their Workforce Planning and Recruitment efforts to remain at the forefront of transformation and capitalize on opportunities.
Two weeks ago, I came across a medium-sized company that has built its technical talent primarily from call centers. Most of their technology experts started their careers in these call centers. This strategy gives the employees a sense of purpose and gives the business a unique advantage, as these individuals are well-versed in understanding customer challenges.
To achieve this type of result effectively, we must shift the narratives and beliefs we hold about the skills of the workforce.
Changing the narrative on Technology and Data skills emerges as one of the top priority areas for HR leaders. A paper on changing the narrative of mathematics can be a good reference for this. (Cuoco, A. L., Goldenberg, E. P., & Mark, J. (Year). Habits of Mind: An Organizing Principle for Mathematics Curricula. Education Department Center, Inc., Newton, MA).
The authors wanted education to focus on creating pattern sniffers, experimenters, describers, tinkerers, inventors, visualizers, conjecturers, and guesstimators.
“We must reconsider our roles using an alternative ontology, moving away from the traditional structures of Job Family, Job Roles, and skills. Instead, we should organize through an Impact lens, focusing on the outcomes and contributions each role brings to the organization.”
Here is a quick table of organizing Human Resources function into these categories. A few roles may fit into more than one category. (a few roles are taken for explanation purposes)
Here is the same look at the categories with Finance function in mind
You can already see the power of such frameworks. With this framework in place, it will facilitate seamless connections among job function inventors, enabling us to develop a unique value proposition for each role.
Aligned with Recruitment’s experimentation approach, Draup conducted a small-scale data experiment engaging with candidates worldwide to gauge their views on crucial areas of interest. While technological advancements and AI have enhanced tactical elements, there is a growing demand from candidates for a global conversation surrounding equity, inclusion, and pay standards. These preliminary findings have intrigued and motivated us to delve deeper into this subject. We will further expand this study, but here is an initial finding.