A phrase that is often repeated at Alexander Daniels Global is: “We understand that your talent goals are your business goals”.
By this, we mean that a business wishing to scale and grow, must have a healthy talent acquisition plan as part of their growth strategy. Why? Because making the right hires into your business at the right moments in your development timeline, is key to the success you’re working towards.
What does a strategic acquisition plan look like?
A strategic talent acquisition plan requires a delicate balance between funding developments and maintaining the day-to-day business tasks.
Even if you think you’re not in a position to hire right now, having a plan in place for future talent acquisition isn’t such a bad idea.
Using the following steps, you can get an overview of what should be considered when developing an acquisition plan which supports your business growth goals. These are questions that we might ask of our advanced selection clients, and sometimes – if the shoe fits – also our contingent clients.
1) What are your business goals?
Perhaps you have plans to expand into new territories or maybe you’re working towards enormous sales growth in certain regions. Maybe you’re looking to take ownership of a larger market share or starting to develop new products or services within your business. Whatever your plans are for your business, having a solid goal in mind is the root of starting to understand which hires you should be making.
2) What resources do you have to put towards them?
Once you are clear on what your goals are, the next thing to consider is what kind of resources you have available to put towards developing your business goals? How do you plan to split your resources between maintaining ‘business-as-usual’ and allocating funds towards development plans and, inevitably, hiring new talent? Do you already know if you should reshuffle your internal teams to achieve your growth goals, or will doing so upset the balance you already have? If the latter is true, which new acquisitions will you need to make to start leading your organization towards new objectives?
3) How do you prioritize the actions that need taking?
Perhaps you have more than one business goal in mind. This is often the case for rapidly growing organizations. If this is the case for you, how have you decided which goal to direct your resources towards first? Does it make more sense to pump money into R&D before developing your sales department? Or perhaps you need to increase sales to support your R&D efforts. Creating a ‘bird’s-eye-view’ of the overall business strategy should start to highlight the hires you need to be making first to achieve your objectives – and in some cases those hires can be entirely strategic and might not make sense to someone standing on the outside, looking in.
4) Which positions and skills do you need to hire first?
Once you’ve identified which goal to focus on first and where you will be allocating your budget, you can start to identify the positions that will need filling to make your growth plans a reality. This is where working with a specialized recruitment company can support your plans. Perhaps you would like a new recruit to have particular skills or experience, or maybe you are concerned about finding someone who has the right cultural fit – by that we mean someone whose values and ethics match that of your organization – or perhaps you need support in identifying transferrable skills in professionals who have worked in vertical industries. Recruitment, especially to support business growth plans, is a full-time job, especially if you want to have a healthy team.
What is a healthy team?
A high-performing, healthy team is one that is built around mutual trust and respect – of each other and the direction of the business.
If we look at Tuckman’s Model for Nurturing a Team to High Performance, we can start to understand the stages that a new team must go through in order to ‘gel’. These stages are as follows:
each time a new member is added to the team, the team must reform and understand where each individual fits in. This may be moment of uncertainty for a team as the team dynamic can change quite dramatically. At this stage it’s important to have strong, unified leadership as team members will rely on this for direction.
as a team starts to find their feet, their true characters and preferred ways of working may emerge. This can cause friction or conflict as if roles and responsibilities are not made clear. Individuals may feel they are taken on too heavy a workload and others may feel frustrated by lack of progress.
at this stage individuals will typically resolve their differences and start to appreciate each other’s strengths and how they benefit the common team goal. The team will feel more comfortable asking for help and offering constructive feedback and there will be a perceived strengthening of the team’s commitment to achieving their common objectives.
now that the team is working in unison and performing to its full potential, you will see that objectives and goals are achieved at a much more efficient rate. Everyone has found their place and the result is that you will have created a high-performing team.
Bearing Tuckman’s Model in mind, you can start to understand the care that should go in to recruiting for your team. Especially considering that finding a professional with the right cultural fit for your business can see teams sailing through these stages at a much faster rate.