The Talent Battle

One of my fellow Techserve Alliance members sent out an article that I thought was pretty interesting.  You can view the original article here.  It reinforced the idea that local talent is important.  STAR BASE, Inc. has always focused on Cincinnati and Dayton IT talent, so I felt validated.  Some of you may think I’m crazy for talking about a Talent Battle while unemployment is still so high.  I don’t think so, because some IT talent is already hard to find.  Here are some key points from the article in winning the up coming Talent Battle.

1. Eliminate Past Biases.  Many companies don’t consider candidates who they have interviewed but declined previously. There is often a strong bias against them, as in, “We interviewed that guy in January, and he wasn’t any good …” Given that most companies don’t have highly refined selection processes; this is an error in strategy.  Most companies’ selection process is very subjective.  For companies to win, they will need to revisit local talent who they may have interviewed previously for other roles.
2. Don’t Overweight Experience and Technical Skills.  Most companies routinely overweight years of experience and technical skills through the interview process.  A question that needs to be asked is, “Is it possible for someone with five years of experience to outperform someone with ten years of experience? How is that possible?” Smart IT service providers will help their customers select on the portfolio of attributes that drive success in a job, being careful to not overweight less-predictive candidate attributes such as years of experience. Doing so will increase the candidate pool that is available locally.
3. Map your Internal Talent.  Now more than ever, developing internal talent is a smart strategy, as it also correlates to reduced attrition. So for those jobs that can be sourced internally, organizations will be well served by doing so, provided it supports the local search strategy.
4. Measure the Opportunity Cost of Key Vacancies.  Understand the business case for paying relocation. There could be a good argument for what jobs might warrant a rich pot of relocation dollars. This will put you ahead of the game.
5. Focus on the Local. Now would be a good time to look at your suppliers and choose ones that are local and focus on the local.  (I think I may know of one…)
6. Outsmart Your Competitors.  Smart companies will quickly recognize that improving the value package offered to employees to attract and keep more local talent carries far greater ROI than buying someone out of their underwater mortgage, or letting a key role in the organization sit vacant.
 7. Keep Your Best:  As always, the best local talent to attract and recruit are the strong performers who are already working for your company. But most companies have cut bonuses, reduced merit increases, and kept job promotions to a minimum in order to control costs during recent challenging economic times.

Now is a good time to think about your Talent Strategy.  Don’t get caught short in the up coming Talent Battle.