Positive Employment Report Provides U.S. with Window of Opportunity CEO Offers Five Steps to Smart Growth

Brian Wilkerson, national talent management consultant and CEO of WisdomNet, Inc., reminds companies that effective hiring and management has an exponential effect on growth.

(PRWEB) May 7, 2005 - In surprising news today, the U.S. employment report indicated job growth of 274,000 jobs, 100,000 more than analysts and economists had projected.

The news resulted in raised optimism throughout financial indicators. Stocks in such companies as Monster International and Robert Half International, Inc. rose anywhere from 1 to 10 percent. The news sent Treasury prices down and yields up. Most importantly, the strong figure - accompanied by upward revisions to provisional figures for the previous two months - suggests that companies are growing despite high costs and recent softness in the economy.

National talent management consultant, Brian Wilkerson, reminds companies that hiring smart has an exponential effect. Effective hiring and management can build on growth, while overhiring or knee-jerk hires can lead to a bloated organization.

Wilkerson advises companies to look at growing human capital as they would look at growing other capital assets. Here are five steps to smart growth:

Step One: Align people with your business objectives.
In his consulting experience, Wilkerson has experienced any number of organizations that have wasted talent resources. Many smaller organizations have grown in the mold of the founding group and thus have a similar set of talents throughout the organization, for example, “techies,” marketers, salespeople or engineers.

Other organizations do not systematically add to their base of expertise, hiring salespeople without examining the growth objectives, or adding management that often are not suited to the role.

Successful companies avoid this problem by aligning human resources with the business goals. Expansion only begins once recruitment, training and deployment of individuals is planned with growth in mind.

Step Two: Take an Inventory of Current Skills, Talents and Behaviors
There are a number of ways to assess a company’s current skill-set including internal evaluations, talent management software, or outside consulting.

Internal Evaluations
Most companies conduct formal appraisals of their employees, and the more sophisticated will have a number of different criteria for evaluation. The more in-depth the evaluation, the more useful it will be in assessing the alignment of skills and talents with job requirements.

Technology
Talent management software is becoming increasingly popular, allowing human resources and company executives to track all details pertaining to employees and their skill-sets and traits.    

Professional Consultants
Another methodology for assessing a workforce is to bring in a consulting firm that specializes in this arena. Consultants provide an objective, professional opinion with regard to staffing. They also provide a consultative document from which senior management may glean information before making decisions that may affect the bottom line of an organization.

Step Three: Undertake a “Gap Assessment”
Gap assessment is the basic evaluation of where an organization is now, vs. where they want to be. The evaluation of ‘now’ includes an honest audit of employees, their true talents and their benefit to the organization. Additionally, it should include an audit of the skills required for each job description. Once complete, management must ask, honestly: “Can the current talent complete the requirements of the job duties?”

Without an honest gap assessment company executives make assumptions. Some assume (or blindly hope) that they have the in-house talent to achieve planned growth. Others assume the opposite: they’ll need to hire new and expensive staff that have the necessary experience and savvy to take the company to the next level. Both or neither may be the right answer, but without an honest talent assessment management may pursue the wrong direction.

Step 4: Outsourcing
Like buying a car, management must ask the question – to buy or lease? Much has been made of outsourcing, but contract labor has its advantages: it can cost less, is far more flexible and can be easier to obtain from a skills perspective. On the other hand, hiring employees gives the company the final say over performance and costs.

Step Five: Close the Loop
So you have new employees or newly trained existing employees. Now what?

In the human resources space, the hot term is ‘succession planning’. But the bottom line for management is how to keep employees productive and engaged. To do this, organizations must have the processes and the infrastructure to ensure the work of their staff aligns to the goals of the business, and that the right evaluations, structure, rewards, and training are in place.

In conclusion, the overriding strategic imperative is to consider talent as a key ingredient in business success – just as important as other capital investments. And just as additions of hard costs are examined carefully during times of growth, so should the additions of personnel.

WisdomNet, Inc. creates consulting and innovative product solutions for Fortune 500 companies. WisdomNet’s vast and varied consulting experience in strategy, operations and human capital and their leading talent management system, Revexion, generates metric driven results for clients.

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Source :  http://www.prweb.com/releases/2005/5/prweb237779.htm