Zach is one of the savviest person in recruiting talent and are involved with some of the smartest organisations I know who have decided to put talent as their top priorities. A lot of people say that VCs are glorified recruiters (which I agree) but a lot of people understate the importance of hiring the right people to fill a role. Zach explains more below. Tan Yinglan
Why Talent Matters
Why do some companies fail and others exceed all expectations? Whereas there are many variables, a key factor is quality of the team…from the boardroom to the shop floor, having the right team in place defines every aspect of a company from the quality of their product to the culture that drives them. Regardless of what a company produces, builds or sells, it is the people that invariably could define its success or failure.
Research by multiple organizations supports the argument that talent matters. Global consulting firm McKinsey, for example, reports that top performing executives deliver more than twice the productivity of average performers.
The report continues to identify that it takes a mix of top performing executives and leaders to pursue and implement a variety of growth strategies, which will lead to consistently superior results. On the other hand, McKinsey found no measurable correlation between revenue growth and teams with solid but unexceptional leadership; mediocre or B-level players will deliver average performance
Does the same thinking apply to startups and growth stage companies? I would opine that it is even more critical in these environments.
“Early stage companies fail because of a lack of product market fit. They never quite build a product a big market must have. Later, companies fail to achieve scale because of people issues”.
He further explains: “People issues can be around a lack of founder chemistry that leads to infighting in the startup; a lack of vision, which means that the company doesn’t know what direction it’s headed in so it burns through a lot of capital without achieving significant progress; paralysis, where management is unable to make decisions; or an inability to scale due to lack of hiring the right people who are capable of scaling the company from a sales, marketing, and engineering perspective.”
Nurturing, retaining talent more important than ever
Rocky Francis who has spent the past 20 years as an HR Executive working on a global stage from his base in Silicon Valley has a similar perspective on Talent. “With the rapid pace of innovation happening in the web/mobile 3.0 ecosystems, we are seeing new types of jobs created every other week. The ramifications of this on the workplace are enormous, and every talent management professional, executive and entrepreneur needs to be aware of how this affects their company.”
Rocky believes the definition of “talent” is fundamentally changing. “Talent used to be someone who had years of experience in a particular field or a particular skill set. But when the skills you need to win change every other month to keep up with the pace of innovation, you need a new type of talent. You need someone who knows what skills will win, and who is motivated and savvy enough to learn those skills on their own”.
The Silver Creek team has executed over a 1000 campaigns to identify, attract and retain key talent. Our reach is global, across domains and functions. This has led to us to have a few opinions on the subject.
- Attracting and retaining top performing talent requires a committed and aligned approach throughout the organization.
- The old and very true adage of “A players hire other A players, B players hire C players…” remains as true today as it ever was.
- Key stakeholders need to be bold and decisive in their actions. Change is difficult, uncomfortable and in some cases downright painful.
- HR can be a critical component as they can facilitate successful campaigns to recruit top tier talent and can equally derail and kill any chances of success (unintentional or otherwise).
- Failure is an option as long as you fail quickly, understand the data behind the failure, iterate, learn and no matter what don’t fail twice at the same thing.
Practical steps to becoming a top performing company
This can be a very complex set of interrelated topics and strategies and gets more complex as the company grows. However there are a few common threads:
- Hire the best in your industry.
- If you can’t hire the best talent yourself hire someone who can.
- If you’re current team is not aligned to driving to over performance or incapable of over performance remove the obstacles or remove them.
- Top performers are expensive, the value and impact they deliver far exceeds their compensation.
- If compensation far exceeds value being delivered, you have a problem.
- Hire “A” players to maximize probability of over performance.
- Align your talent to the mission.
(Ikea job interview)
As technology continues to outpace education, and new skills become critical overnight, the true “talent” will be the people who stay hungry, stay curious and never stop learning. The most successful organizations will be the ones who identify, hire and retain these special people.
Zach leads Silver Creek Partners. He helps organizations create and implement differentiated growth strategies through executive recruitment initiatives. A recognized expert in aligning human capital strategies to business objectives, Zach is often called upon to offer his guidance and council to organizations. Expertise spans globally through Enterprise Markets to Consumer Markets. Zach currently sits on several startup advisory boards.
Zach and his team of industry experts have developed and executed some of the most successful initiatives for companies such as SingTel, Google, SAP, CBS, Disney, ESPN, National Football League, America Online, AccuWeather as well as many venture-backed startups.
Powered by Facebook Comments