Secretary or Sales… I can do both.

I had a great visit with an HR director this morning, who is running his department in one of the fastest growing companies in the US (according to Inc. magazine), and I asked him what his biggest Human Capital challenge is.  His answer: finding good people.  “An example is a resume we just got that said, ‘I can be a receptionist or do sales.'”  Wow.  Since those are both in the same skill set, I think that is a golden find….

The truth is, in a time where actual talent could potentially grow scarce in the throng of people ‘just looking for a job’, your receptionists and sales people ought to share some of the same skill sets.

Good sales people are always looking for suspects and then moving them along the path to becoming a prospect, hopefully queuing them up for a close at some point.  They should be building relationships, creating networks and active in various, diverse circles in hopes of doing a little hunting and farming for future deals.

Receptionists, managers, coders, employees and contractors also ought to be doing the same thing, in relation to finding talent.  Its no secret that great leaders surround themselves with people who are more competent that they are, and companies filled with rock stars usually find the resources to deliver innovative, enthusiastic solutions to their stakeholders.  Then why don’t more organizations share that behavior (‘always looking’) when it comes to filling their own ranks with talent?  

Leading organizations in talent management should be:

1. Recruiting all the time.  Always looking.

2. Training each employee how to find and recommend talent to the organizations.

3. Keeping a full pipeline of people interested in working for the company, not just immediate job seekers, but people who want to join the culture.

4. Using marketing resources to market the workplace and organization to prospective contributors.

5. Leveraging dedicated recruiters, both internally and externally.

6. Planning and developing the succession process in order to be continually on top of needs and projections.

8. Managing their finding sources just as any other supply chain.

Just as organizations should continue their investments in marketing and advertising during a recessionary period, this may be the time to find the best people available and ready to contribute. Then, as the economy recovers, they will find themselves not only ahead of the competition, but filled with the resources to out-distance and out-pace them in market leadership.


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