A good strategy for your business is nothing without the people to put it into action. From yourself as a leader through your direct reports and onto the rest of an organisation, everyone contributes to the execution of strategy.
Often, recruitment and human resources demands will inform an integral part of a company’s strategy, so it’s important for leaders to understand where their talent gaps may be and how they can remain attractive for future employees.
Understand your recruiting demands in advance
Ideally, you’ll be able to look at the strategy that’s guiding your business and know which positions you’ll need to start lining up candidates for. You need consider how your business might look in one, two and three years time and compare it with your current staff. Especially consider who has the potential to grow.
Building a succession plan to fill prospective gaps doesn’t just mean focusing on who you’ll have to hire. Take a look at which employees in your current staff can be developed to fill future roles as well. This will give you a better idea of which talent will come from internal sources and which you’ll need to recruit.
Build a bench of possible candidates
Just like sports teams have a bench of substitutes ready to enter the fray if someone drops out, businesses can also benefit from having a list of possible candidates or other people in the industry they can tap on the shoulder when a vacancy opens up.
You can create a list yourself. Remember to also pick the brains of your team. But this is where a recruitment company can also be valuable, helping you to tap into a network of passive candidates and nurture them before you’re even exactly sure when you might have space for them. You will probably go broke if you use a recruiter to fill every position in your company, but recruiters see people you don’t and have good industry connections and candidate networks.
Make your business attractive to candidates
Every part of your business has to be attractive to the talent you’re trying to appeal to. If you’re searching for people in areas with known skills shortages, any weak links will have an even greater impact.
It’s especially important to boost your digital presence, as the growth in online job advertisements means that people will be Googling you whilst applying for jobs. If your site looks out-of-date or is hard to navigate, it will send a strong message – and not a positive one.
You can also be active on social media to give a stronger impression of your role in the market. Many of the larger tech companies are masters of this. For example, a quick scroll through SAP’s Twitter feed makes it clear they’re an industry leader. This doesn’t mean you have to post about job opportunities all the time, simply communicating about your actions and achievements in your chosen industry can have a significant effect on how you’re perceived.
Find out what current and future staff think about the business
You need varied and honest feedback to truly understand how other people – whether they’re former, current or potential employees – perceive your business. When people leave your business, it’s essential to use an “exit interview” to understand why. However, to get a more truthful answer, you may need to follow up a few months after they’ve departed, as this is generally when they’re more honest and open about their real motivations.
I also suggest that you get feedback on your current recruitment efforts. Ask people what they think about your website, your social media presence and anything else that could impact the way people think about your organisation.
By: TEC Chair, CEO mentor and coach Graham Jenkins
Now is the ideal time for leaders to sit down to think about what they want their business to look like in a year’s time. Effective goal setting is not as simple as writing down large-scale objectives and hoping you achieve them.
Many people consequently make mistakes in this process, forgetting that goal setting is actually the first step in the process, to achieving desired goals. With this in mind, here are some of the most common mistakes that are easy to avoid with the right guidance:
Don’t forget your personal goals for effective goal setting
The goals you have for your business aren’t the only directives that should shape the months ahead. All too often, senior executives make a plan for the new year that doesn’t account for their own personal goals.
Most leaders spend the majority of their time working tirelessly on the company, to ensure it achieves greater value for shareholders or competes better in its particular market. It’s easy to neglect your personal investment in these goals, the impact on your life as well as that of the company. Answering the question of why, will help you to find a balance.
Misunderstanding your needs
Most of you will be familiar with Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, but how many of you are confident applying it to your everyday lives? As a leader, you need to be aware of how your position dictates your needs and shape your goals accordingly.
It’s almost a given that some of the lower levels of the pyramid such as physiological and safety needs will be taken care of, which means you can focus on more of the self-fulfilment needs that sit closer to the top. Achieving your potential through self-actualisation can really help you understand why you do what you do, and how you need to shape goals accordingly.
These are not just your goals
Take the time to talk through your goals. Whether it’s your spouse, your children or other family members, talk through your ideas for the future. As these people may be just as affected by your decisions as you and have an invested interest.
For your personal goals, it can be as simple as regular date nights for you and your partner, or as grand as meeting savings goals and travelling more. The point is that it builds on that personal element mentioned above, and helps to build that why that links your objectives with that of the business.
For your business goals, you may want to find a mentor or business advisor to talk through your goals.
Forgetting to be accountable
The other positive that stems from bringing family into the goal-setting process is that they can help you stay accountable. It’s not just you ticking off a list by yourself, it’s important people in your life asking ‘how are we going with our goals?’. This is especially important with regards to personal goals, as these people add just a bit of extra motivation and ensure your progress is being tracked.
It’s not just family that can keep you on your toes either. Sharing personal goals with a peer group or mentor, means you have yet another audience that isn’t afraid to ask you tough questions about your achievements as the year progresses. Maybe the friendly pressure of a surprise interrogation every now and again will result in the motivation you need to keep on track with your goals.
Overall it easier to set up goals that are achievable and to follow through on your promises by creating personal connections and genuine measures of accountability as the first step.
By: TEC Chair, CEO mentor and coach Ian Neal
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