Whether your people become your assets or your liabilities depends on how strategically you manage your talent supply chain. In times of economic downturn, it becomes all the more important to identify, recruit, develop, deploy and extract maximum value from the employees. This article will look at the evolving landscape of demand and supply, with employee resources as the inventory.


Identifying needs:  A hiring strategy today requires a clear understanding of whom the recruitment efforts should be targeted at and the market intelligence of the available talent pool. The target could be defined in terms of qualifications, competency, experience level, budget and time frame. Resources may be required for plugging vacancies in existing workforce, for filling up new roles or to support an expansion drive. For a short term requirement, it makes strategic sense to go for third party resources since they come at a lower cost than full time employees. For leadership roles, while some companies opt for lateral hiring, others aim to hire graduates in bulk to reduce the overall recruitment cost and groom them for working their way up the ladder.

Promote value proposition: Recruitment today is no longer a one-sided game with employers waiting passively for candidates to seek jobs with them. Attracting the best talent requires a good deal of marketing and selling. Employer brand is an important influencer of the quality of talent hires. As such, many employers today are revamping their career portals to communicate their brand story to potential candidates. Career pages of companies have evolved to provide a more interactive and real-time experience to stake-holders in a bid to attract the top talent from the market. Apart from branded content about company events, features like online talent community keep the users engaged.

Recruitment strategies:  Traditionally, companies have hired via the medium of employment agencies, advertisements in newspapers and job portals and through employee referrals. Given the race for talent today, finding quality talent at lower costs and shorter time is the need of the hour. Networking tools like LinkedIn, Facebook and twitter provide a solution for the same. Recruiting leaders are fast switching to social professional networks for faster quality hires, the number shooting up from 21% in 2011 to 44% now. Companies will fall behind in the race if they fail to embrace web-based recruiting.

Effective utilization: After absorbing the right talent, the greater task is to put them to the right use. The IT industry in India typically has been hiring in bulks, in anticipation of future project demands. Typically after freshers are hired, they are made to undergo various technology and skill-based training before allocating them to projects. One of the key challenges faced by resource teams today is to reduce the lead time of these fresh hires. They need to be made deployable faster so as to contribute to business.  To do so, many employers today are shifting portions of the training content to online modules which the candidates can go through before joining, thus saving the company training time on the same.

Make the most out of employees: To ensure maximum productivity, employees need to be provided with a work environment conducive to overall development. Standing on their heads, dictating the right and wrong and imposing rules will only restrict an employee’s ability to ideate and innovate. Employees may be capable of contributing beyond their defined job descriptions and an employer just needs to tap into that potential. As part of their engagement and retention strategies, employers today clearly communicate their expectations from employees, discuss their career prospects, provide them adequate technology and tools to boost their performance and tie their bonus to their performance. Companies today empower their employees to come up with innovative solutions to business challenges and take the final call instead of blindly following instructions.

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