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Four "A"s to move you forward

Four  "A"s to move you forward

Four "A"s to move you forward
by Laurie Padua, Managing Director—Talent Collective

The impact from COVID-19 is far from over, but as restrictions start to ease, businesses are ready to think about the future—not the distant future, but the near-to-mid-term future—where business is no longer on pause and planning, and even growth, seem possible again. The conversation has changed from fear or panic and is now focused on action. Many of our clients have suffered setbacks, while others have been able continue almost as they had before. In either case, the question has become “where do we go and what do we do next?”

Laurie QuoteThrough our consulting work, we are often asked to advise our clients on this question related to talent acquisition. And though the details of our answers vary based on the needs of each client, there are four fundamentals that are consistent across them all. They are actions but should not be seen as a checklist to be completed once and checked off. Instead, these are principles—concepts that should be followed, strengthened, reinforced, and everyone held accountable to maintain. Revisit them, refine them, and course correct as needed.

We are sharing these principles with you today as the backbone for our new Focus on What’s Next series. Over the course of the next few months we’ll be sharing ideas and actions, recommendations and perspectives, for talent acquisition leaders as we navigate what the future holds.

The Four “A”s
As we began to anticipate and evolve to the businesses of tomorrow, leaders must focus on the following four principles to move forward. These pillars are not chronological or sequential. Action may cycle through them, take place along parallels, bounce back and forth, or even address more than one with the same activity. 

To effectively transition to the next stage of business, business leaders must come together to define a clear vision and goals for the organization in small increments—anywhere from 6 to 18 months. This new strategic agenda then needs to be communicated and supported through every aspect of the business. In talent acquisition that means having a clear employer brand strategy is key—clear communication and understanding for your internal/external audience is critical.

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As hard as these last few months may have been, we can almost guarantee that at least some business processes have changed for the positive as a result. Maybe a process was made more efficient, maybe your team became more flexible. Whatever it may be, you don’t want to lose it. In fact, leaders should look for opportunities to build on those improvements from a geographical or functional perspective, manage the lessons learnt, consider the change management and cascade across the entire talent acquisition function.

Whether it’s been implementing new technologies or figuring out ways to shift entire business lines to respond to current needs, every business has been forced to become more flexible. Continue to challenge your organizational culture to stay nimble in order to respond quickly and thrive with whatever challenge or opportunity that comes along.

As ready as we are to normalise and move away from what we just went through, it’s important to balance the forward movement with a healthy dose of protection. For the next 18 months at least, temper each decision with risk mitigation—that is not to say you should stay in a state of stasis, or that you shouldn’t take risks. However, it’s important to consider, with many things still unknown, how do we protect ourselves from ending up where we are, or further behind, should markets shift again before the pandemic is over.

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