Wednesday, October 1, 2008

People Strategy

One of the things that I'm finding of interest lately is the creation of an effective People Strategy for clients. There's no debating that our business has a problem; we can't hire enough experienced people to fill the positions that are available. The problem is that our business is growing faster than our capabilities for training and hiring. It's not a simple problem, either.

The solution lies in having a strong, effective People Strategy put in place. A People Strategy may sound rather touchy-feeley and I don't mean for it to be. A People Strategy is simply a name for identifying the areas of growth that you will likely have over the next 365 days and creating clear job descriptions for the management and execution of those positions and ensuring that any potential hiring that you do is done by evaluating the candidates against these job descriptions.

The idea is simple, but the execution is not. You have to understand that portion of the business you are hiring for, you need to know the skills that person should have and you need to know what criteria are "must-haves" while others are "like-to-haves".

For example, if you are hiring for an inside sales rep, or an account manager in some companies, then you need to identify what their role will be and what skills are a must. In my eyes that role must have a media planning background but you would also like them to have interfaced directly with clients. The first is a must while the second is an optional skill set.

The creation of these job descriptions is also important because you can create a checklist of the skills they should have and what you could potentially train them to do. It can also be used to evaluate them over time and determine if they are growing as an employee or not.

A People Strategy is like proactive employee planning. You know what you need, you know what you want and you can evaluate what you have against these points. Don't overlook it.

This is the expensive way to create a People Strategy.

ALERT - shameless self-promotion - ALERT
We can do it cheaper at my company, Catalyst:SF.
ALERT - shameless self-promotion - ALERT

Sorry - I had to do it!

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