How to Make the Connection Between Talent and Success
America’s got talent. So does every other country on the planet. The real question is how much of the world’s talent are you leveraging for your success. No matter how much talent you have, you can’t do it alone. You are going to need the help of other talented people. How much of that talent you need largely depends on your definition of success, and exactly how much success you are after. Are you looking to be #1 in every possible success metric? That’s a big goal, and probably unrealistic. The first thing to know about connecting talent with success is that success has to be carefully defined and strictly limited to realistic goals.
All too often, success is only measured by the amount of money you made for the company and the shareholders. Sure, shareholders are people too. But you could be missing the mark if you believe those are the people who matter the most. That leads us to another important measure of success: What people are we trying to please.
It is almost certain that what pleases the shareholders is not exactly the same as what pleases the average company worker. And what pleases the average company worker is not what pleases the end user of the product or service. Shareholders are focused on profits. Workers are focused on wages. And customers are focused on value. You can have an extremely successful product with customers and find that your business is still tanking. The right talent can help you find success with all three groups. But it is ultimately up to you to keep all those needs in balance.
However you measure success, it all comes back to talent. It is either taken you have in your company, talent you need to hire, or talent for contract labor. There is a lot you need to figure out before entering your talent acquisition phase. Here are a few things to consider to make the connection between talent and success:
Where to Look
Is Craigslist really the best place to find talent for your business? Don’t completely rule it out. There are a lot of people with underutilized talent scouring Craigslist everyday looking for opportunity. When looking for talent, leave no stone unturned, including those stones in other parts of the world.
There are global employment outsourcing services that can help you find talent wherever it happens to be. One of the biggest mistakes businesses make is limiting the range of their talent search. Sometimes, it is out of a misguided sense of loyalty to country. This neither helps your business nor your country. The reason you are looking for talent outside of your normal search parameters is that you are not finding exactly what you need. If you don’t find it, your company will suffer. And your country will lose a fine business unnecessarily.
Another reason to look outside your borders for talent is to bring in people who don’t think the way you do. You have had many great ideas in the past. But the world is quickly changing. For the next great idea, you are going to have to think outside the box. That often means bringing fresh ideas in from outside the border.
Finally, your first step to international expansion will involve tapping the expertise in the markets where you hope to expand. If you want to find success in other parts of the world, you are going to have to pair it with talent in other parts of the world.
Talent Cannot Just Be a Means to an End
When you listen to the experts explain the importance of great talent, you will learn a lot about why your business can’t survive without it. But if you are not careful, that’s all you will hear. You will start thinking of talent acquisition as merely a means to an end without considering the human component. Humans are not robots or mechanical objects that we can use and forget about until we need to use them again. Talented workers are also parents and spouses and siblings and friends. They are fragile. And when they break, they are hard to fix.
As an employer, the money you pay each worker is often not enough to cover the mortgage and the car and the school supplies. They are often no more than one or two paychecks away from financial ruin. So when you acquire talent that fuels your success, be sure to do it in such a way that fuels theirs as well. Success must be shared by both entrepreneur and employee.
Maintain Hiring Flexibility
If you hire 100 workers and you can only afford 100 workers, you have reached the ceiling of what you can expect from talent acquisition. If it turns out you develop a different need than what is satisfied by the positions you’ve filled, you will be out of luck. Being out of luck is the first step to being out of business.
Instead, consider hiring 50 employees and using an employment service to supply the other 50. The benefit is that you have at least half your seats available for flexible staffing. Contract your temporary workforce based on time-limited terms. When you need a project manager, you will be able to bring one in on a temporary basis. Move talent in and out of position as needed. That way, you will always have room to bring in the specific talent you need at just the right time that you need it. Never fill all your slots with permanent workers. Leave room for flexibility.
There are many other things to consider when connecting talent and success. Even if you are not bringing in outside talent, there are still laws, regulations, taxes, and ethical matters with which to contend. Even so, there are very few models of success you can achieve without the help of talented individuals. Find those individuals globally and not just locally. Treat them like human beings rather than like disposable machines. And maintain hiring flexibility so that you always have a little room in the budget for more talent that can take you to even greater heights of success.