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#306: Helping Win the "Talent War" for Your Clients

Posted By Mark Haas CMC FIMC, Monday, May 17, 2010
Updated: Monday, May 17, 2010
Probably like every other company, my primary client is desperate to recruit and retain skilled and experienced staff. What can a consultant, who is not an HR consultant, do for a client to help?

Most companies report that they are losing, or at least not winning, the talent war. One survey says that only one of five companies claims to be winning, and one in ten claims to have lost.

I agree strongly with one of the survey's conclusions, specifically that many companies are losing the war on talent because they really have little basis on which to make decisions about who they want to hire. The assumption that one can never go too far wrong hiring really smart people is a flawed strategy. Without a clear and consistent strategy, a company is hard pressed to begin to amass the kinds of talent and experience needed to meet emerging challenges. It is not necessarily high IQ, but a mixture of people with high EQ, experience, contacts, growth potential and common sense - all acquired and trained at the right time in the right way - that determines the long term talent war success.

Tip: Help your client explicitly map to strategy the types of people to hire (and subsequently support and nurture) that will take them through each stage of change. Some of these hire/grow strategies may take years and may involve people who don't seem right for the next quarter, but need to be in place a few years from now. It is more like a game of chess or go, where longer term strategy and position means everything.

© 2010 Institute of Management Consultants USA

Tags:  consultant role  customer understanding 

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