It used to be that things were simpler when you wanted to recruit senior “talent” in to your organisation. Companies and sectors worked in a pretty siloed fashion and with a commercial hierarchy in place. Making it more straightforward for recruiters and managers alike.
When you needed to recruit an senior hire in to your business, you’d first identify your place in the industry hierarchy. You then had two choices, you could look up the hierarchy and identity people who were in more junior roles to your vacancy, but in a bigger organisation. Or you’d look down the hierarchy and find people in similar or larger roles, but in smaller organisations.
Of course, there were always organisations and companies of the moment. The ones that CEOs and leaders would say, “how about getting someone from ABC Corp?” but generally it was a straightforward thing.
Then things got a whole world more complicated.
As our businesses have changed and developed through the use of technology, as new “super companies” have come on to the scene and as the fetishistic adulation of the start-up has grown to gargantuan proportions, the world of talent acquisition has become much less linear.
On one hand you have the large traditional corporates, with their constant refrain of, “get me someone from Google/Facebook/Apple” and on the other, increasing evidence that these target companies are looking to established FMCG players
So what’s going on? Well nothing really, it is just the silos falling away and the increasing movement of talent both within and between industry. But the implications for those working in HR and talent management become increasingly more interesting:
- Brand names don’t guarantee skill sets and whilst they never have, recruiting within industry always ensured a certain level of transferable knowledge that would pass as valuable. With cross industry moves it is harder to be sure.
- Established organisations and fast growing organisations have completely different cultures and ways of working. Even if you get the skill set right, the ability to land well and navigate the organisation is an imperative for hiring.
- The more sources there are for recruiting from, the more competitors there are for the same people. As career paths become less linear, your compelling argument needs to be greater than your status in the industry. You need to understand what you really have to offer someone from outside.
- Compensation, benefits and career structures might need to go right out of the window. When things are no longer moving in a linear fashion, you can’t have linear structures. That offers a whole heap of pain, but it is a natural repercussion of inter industry moves.
But, at the end of the day, the biggest challenge is letting go of the things we’ve had, to gain the things we want. Bringing people in from outside of the industry, whichever way they move, means that they won’t have industry experience, it means they won’t necessarily look, behave and talk the same. And it means it will probably take them longer to get up to speed – regardless of the name or prestige of their previous company.