Building a larger EcoSystem of Technical Talent -Think like an outsourcing firm

Onshore, Offshore, Outsourcing, Insourcing....there are all different words for it but one great Constant: Talent Pipelines


I've been interviewing with a large breadth of companies.  These are stellar organizations all technically innovative and all have the same challenge.  How do they create a new ecosystem of talent for their current and future needs?  Talent is their number one concern but yet many are approaching employment strategies in tradition ways and are not ready to take a risk of hiring outside of their known box.  Only going for the traditional sources of talent is a critical failure in building an evolving technical organization. 

Recruitment and HR traditional answer to talent deficiency we are familiar with are:

  • Buy talent-This is the external recruitment and usually you are hiring or spending money on getting the known talent, branding etc. Corporations win here because they have smaller ramp up times to productivity, and the intellectual property remains as an internal resource.  Industry loses because its not a net new add of talent, just a transfer of talent. 
  • Build the talent: I'm a big fan of this---Train with an emphasis on University recruitment, internal training or employee referrals. Training and Development makes current labor force smarter, and more flexible--I agree we need to invest in current talent and do some technical training, as well as look into company curricula for upgrading technical skills through stretch assignments.  However, we don't need to stop there.
  • Borrow-- traditionally this catagory comes with a contract, agency or an outsourced arrangement.  Outsourcing firms can range from Onshore to Offshore models but all have talent that is at the ready or nearly at the ready.  Traditionally corps borrow because they don't specialize in the talent they outsource, there is a deficit of talent in that niche space, the project is a short term gig or someone else can do it cheaper.  Outsourcing industry hunts talent anywhere they can, and usually spends a great deal on succession planning.  However, for the Company borrowing --- This model comes with lots of negative impact on the talent Pool globally.  First corporation doesn't develop the IP with that resource its expendable, Secondly the talent usually is hired as a third party so representing the corporation and loyalty to that product or service is not as great, and Thirdly it doesn't build new talent in that EcoSystem.

Now think about it.  What makes that firm your borrowing from adequately staffed?  Could it be that we could learn something from them?  Will their talent pools shrink as we ask them to do more and more?  I raise the question--- If we think like a firm that supplies resources could we broaden our ecosystem, retain knowledge and grow a bigger skilled talent ecosystem?


My thought and research is just starting but is leading to the answer:  Yes a company can grow external talent pools by thinking beyond this three step model to include a fourth step what I labeled as Invite It.

I think we as recruitment and employment specialists have to think beyond Buying talent, beyond Training and Development--we need to think like Outsourcing Organizations and go beyond re-engineering talent.  We need to do everything we can to grow the talent, we also need to invest in finding the talent, and we should always partner or borrow talent when it makes sense.  However, we must Expand our EcoSystem and invite new environments, ecosystems, and worlds into our arena to expand the labor pool.

We need to think outside of the job description and reach into new or old industries, new regions and new systems, for talent that can fill our new roles.  We need to hire for Intellectual Capacity  to broaden the Talent Ecosystem in certain fields.

What does this take especially in a technical field where hiring teams want XYZ Skills and technical depth in a language or platform?  Well it takes Risk, it takes Guts and it takes Innovative thinking with lots of consulting and delivery. Some of your finest recruiters and HR folks already are there-- that is how they are successful, others will get there, and still others won't risk it.  However, the organizations that think outside of the box and take the risk to hire for Intellectual Capacity, Innovativeness, and what could be versus what is-- Will Evolve, Prosper and WILL HIRE!


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