Everything is Changing? Again?!!!

The best strategy for labor deployment is, like many aspects of our business lives, evolving every day. But talent acquisition strategies are not just evolving, we now have front-row seats to fundamental and enduring changes to our landscape. Seismic activity at this level generally creates winners and losers. Which fork in the road should I take? Where are the roads going, and which one is best for me?

When Marc Benioff introduced Software as a Service to the world in 1999 who knew it would transform the way companies around the world purchase, use and access software? It led to a huge disruption in how we all approach our IT infrastructure and operations, giving everyone access to powerful new and scalable technologies. In 2007, Apple reimagined the deepest roots of our social culture by giving us all little, portable computers we now call smartphones. It has shaped, maybe not for the better, every detail of our interpersonal communications and the movement of information through every culture. Exhibit A: The ubiquitous presence of images, photos and videos, in our everyday lives. These and other Richter-scale developments created winners and losers. I’m talking about you, Kodak.

20 years from now, when we look back on today’s pivot-points, what will the clarity of hindsight say about our choices? What events will we identify as formative, and how did it sort out the winners and losers?

We are now in the process of redefining the process given to us by Toyota in the 1950’s. In your college business classes they referred to it as JIT. Just in time. It was a response to Japan’s economic situation as they came out of World War II. Resources were scarce and demand was low. Efficiency was the coin of the realm. Instead of making a product and selling it as you go along, JIT suggested products should be made as they are sold, in concert with demand. Efficiency with agility. This has been a core concept of lean manufacturing for the 75 ensuing years. Labor strategies have been adopted that fit the same template, basically turning on and off the supply of labor like you would a production machine. But now we’ve all become too acquainted with expressions like “supply chain”, “labor shortage” and “chips”. How do you manage a JIT process when the essentials of the process are only intermittently available? Hello disruption. And hello winners and losers.

Throwing headcount against the project at the last minute, turning the labor on and off, is no longer efficient and effective. Labor certainly has to be flexible. But that doesn’t mean it has no inherent value beyond the project of the moment. Today’s winners see opportunity in attracting targeted, highly suitable people, and extracting value from that relationship over time. Attracting talent is now too expensive to turn on and off. The cost of acquisition is high and great talent is hard to find, why let it walk away? When you get it, be tuned to the value of each person and get everything possible out of every “human resource”.

TalentTeam is built for these new realities. Compliance, screening, risk management, nurturing, robust data platforms, and high levels of communication define modern contingent workgroup strategies. “Send me another temp” is not the mantra of today’s winners. Low markups do not equate to low costs when you are on the hamster wheel, because you can never quit paying. Very low cost talent acquisition strategies are available while also creating highly productive workgroups, creating profit now and into the future.

Yes, a fork in the road has developed. It’s right there in front of us. Winners and losers are making their choices, and the opportunities for all of us are amazing!

Steve Pluim

Steve Pluim is the president of TalentTeam, a Salt Lake City based staffing and recruiting firm.

Steve can be reached by email at [email protected]

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