Those of you who are old enough to remember the TV Show from the 1960"s staring Peter Graves- Mission Impossible will remember that every show began with the following phrase:

Good morning, Mr. Phelps..... Your mission, Jim, should you decide to accept it, is to make XXXXXXXXXX. As always, should you or any of your IM Force be caught or killed, the secretary will disavow any knowledge of your actions. This tape will self-destruct in five seconds. Good luck, Jim.

So here is my question to you this Monday, are you ready to take the assignment before you? Are you ready to truly take responsibility for hiring the right person for the right position at the right time and at the right location?

In reading some of the magazines which come across my desk recently I found two very interesting articles The first was in the January 2013 issue of Mobility Magazine which is the trade association journal for the Corporate Mobility industry. The article reported the results of the 2012 Global Workforce Symposium's Benchmarking Survey which indicated that when asked if their organizations were facing shortages in qualified talent for critical jobs or roles, the attendees responded that  5% were to a very large extent, 24% responded to a large extent, and 49% were to some extent.

The second article appeared in the January issue of HR Magazine under the Executive Briefing which reported on the results of research by  California State University San Marcos and Kenneshaw State University which found that there was an imbedded bias against those with a long term (i.e.18 months or longer) unemployment on their resume. What was further strange was that the research showed that if the unemployed worked as a volunteer the bias was reduced.

We have an unemployment issue in this country, much of it not due to anything that the human capital asset did or asked for. Part of that problem is a continuing belief that the best way to locate the right person for the job is to poach someone from a competitor, the so called passive candidate.

So if you take this assignment as a HR business partner, are you ready to examine your attitudes toward the available talent?

As kids we all remember going to friend's birthday parties where our parents modus operandi was to always include a game of musical chairs. As you also remember the goal was to be the person in the last chair when the music stopped. Concentrating your search for passive talent is the equivalent of a grown up musical chairs.

If you are taking this assignment, consider these strategies on your next talent search:

  1. Concentrate on skill sets not work history - Toyota learned early on when they opened their first plant in the U.S. that some of their most successful managers were people who had management skills, not necessarily those with previous auto industry experience.
  2. Look for skills that are in alignment with the business objectives - Talk to your customers both internal and external and find out what traits they expect to find in your human capita assets and construct your job requisitions around those traits.
  3. Be open to those who don't think like you -  Consider those who respond to a different drummer, as they may be the light a the end of that ark tunnel to renewed success in your organization. Take vantage of others views of how the organization should operate. There are wasteful activities in every organization and the fresh eyes might just spot those activities that you can't see for the forest.
  4. Change you perspective on human capital - Instead of reviewing a resume for the purpose of elimination, look at them as a way to include them in the mix. Your assignment is to find the right person, for the right job at the right time in the right location. The person you rule out today might just be the right person for the next position that opens within your organization.

So, if you take this assignment, remember the goal of talent management is to enhance the organization. Don't rule out the very asset that will allow you to reach the reason for your existence within the organization.

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