Ready. Set. GROW!

Growth? Growth?! Can it be true that we’re talking growth after six years of a challenging global economy?11182014a

In many parts of the world there is enough evidence indicating economies are moving forward and within the USA, we’ve blogged about signs of economic growth over the last 18 months. As of October, job growth has averaged 222, 000 jobs per month over last 12 months. And as most economists will agree, we will start to see pressure on wage growth and competition for talent which will add more economic growth and a war for talent.

That’s right. Just a few years ago unemployment in the USA was over 7.5%. Now we’re at 5.8% and trending downward fast. The NFIB (National Federation of Independent Businesses) reported in October the second highest commitment of business owners/CEO’s to invest in their business over 3-6 months since early 2008.

When speaking to CEOs, we’re seeing their actions mirroring the data trends. Companies are investing capital in infrastructure and people to take market share and grow. It’s not a full robust growth as in 2004-2007, but it may be the beginning.

If you are on the verge of growing and believe or will be growing once the market picks up, you need to be thinking about how to handle a few challenges before targeting talent.

  1. What will the structure of my company look like in 18/36 months and what type of roles will we need to ensure we grow and cover our attrition?
  2. Am I really clear on what competencies, cultural fit, and a successful profile that can be measured when hiring?
  3. How will we compete locally, nationally, and globally for talent when there is a shortage of skills, boomers are retiring, and competition is fierce?
  4. How can we be proactive? Is Talent Pipelining the answer?

It’s impossible to answer all of these questions (and many more) in a 700 word blog, but you can prepare by focusing on three key components within your Talent Acquisition Strategy.


Do you have the right people with the right competencies to find talent, market to talent, assess talent, treat candidates and internal customers properly through the process, and can run processes and systems like it is second nature? Much like the uniqueness of an engineer, scientist, or sales person, the skills needed to be successful are complex and the person HAS to be agile in order to keep up with tools changing every 24 months and the pace of growth. If they are not agile, you risk missing the needs of your customers which ultimately impacts revenue and profit. Decide if you have the talent to execute and get it done right, then make your move.


Process drives efficiencies in everything we do, especially Talent Acquisition. They need to be defined from start to finish with repeatableclarity on who does what and by when. Planning, job descriptions/success profiles, requisition build and approvals, sourcing, screening, assessing, interview process, and onboarding all need to have a defined process. The processes should be so clear and defined that anyone can point to where you are in a Talent Acquisition Process. And lastly, quality, quantity, and speed have to be measureable to drive accountability and the opportunity to improve the process.


Systems are used primarily to speed up your process. There are too many to mention here, but any way you can automate administrative tasks with a system, your speed and efficiencies improve dramatically.

I heard a great quote the other day from a CEO of a fast growth, highly profitable company. “Either you are growing or controlled. You can’t be both.”

For those of you who are in leadership positions wanting to be ahead of the curve and win market share, the message rings true.

So….are you prepared for growth?

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