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The Need for Faster Action to Acquire Talent in a World of High-Speed Change

Often the process of getting the right people employed into the right jobs at the right time to achieve operational objectives has lagged behind because the yearly budget process gets finalized too late.

Today the pace of change in business, throughout the business year, has accelerated to such a speed that this approach severely affects the top line revenue growth.

Furthermore at the start of a business year this problem becomes a critical point of failure. New services and solutions to grow top line revenues demand new & different skills compared to the existing employees. The planned and budgeted revenues are put at risk due to a time lag in new people being hired.

Hightech Partners believes that a new and more dynamic approach is needed to take account of planning cycles, speed to market and having the right people in place, at the right time.



First line and mid level managers face unprecedented pressures in running their operations. The last 3 years severe economic trading conditions have seen the numbers of managers reduced and yet the workload – to keep business on target – has increased. Hiring new people at any time of the year is a time consuming activity. Pressure of immediate work means that time spent on longer range planning is inevitably reduced. In fact when under such pressure of short-term deadlines any kind of creative thinking is a far more difficult skill to practice.

What this means in regard to hiring new people is waiting until definite roles are agreed in every detail.

When the added stress of closing business at the end of the financial year is considered, we can see the old approach of waiting until end of the fiscal to start even thinking about the search for new talent is almost inevitable.

The consequences for business of this late start are very serious and not immediately obvious. In addition, for those companies closing the financial year at the same time of the calendar, a mid-December start of a search faces the holiday break as the first challenge, and then year start activities occupy the first 2-3 weeks of January. This means it is effectively mid of Q1 before meaningful discussions can start with candidates. More time is needed for the interview / selection process – often now involving more people and approvals –and finally the candidate’s notice periods further delays the start date.

On this basis it can easily be well into quarter 2,before the people needed are in place and well into quarter 3 before they start making a productive contribution to revenue generation.

We can see on this basis why so many businesses face an uphill struggle to achieve quarter 1 results.

It will come as no surprise that the second quarter is also often disappointing in terms of order intake.


Business plans are “back-end” phased in an effort to achieve the expected growth but this places undue stress and pressure in the second half of the year.

The consequences are twofold:

  • Margin erosion as excessive discounts are given to try and keep the plan on track

  • Under-performance as orders slip into the next year

A more dynamic response to this situation is required, with a “long range” approach to hiring. We can consider this in two distinct phases:

Phase 1: Identification of the needs

  1. Elicit through a proven methodology  the ideal personal profiles (track record, skills & knowledge) for new job roles in support of new products, solutions, services and markets.
  2. Optimise/benchmark existing employees to map into the new business plan requirements. A high level view can then be followed by a more detailed assessment if required.
  3. Gap Analysis to identify the profiles not matched by the existing resources and define the consequent recruiting priorities.
  4. Construction of employer a Value Proposition and Labor-go-to-market model designed to attract the top performers and most qualified executives.
  5. Business analysis of key competitors’ capabilities and organisation delivers a go-to-market benchmark.

A key element of such a methodology is a workshop involving Line and HR Managers that efficiently addresses the above items.

Phase 2: Effective hiring process

  1. Search, interview and short list candidates more rapidly and with detailed insight knowing where to find the right people and making a compelling first approach.
  2. FastStart – support the on boarding process with first 90 days plans to reduce the time taken to a net return from the newly hired people
  3. Coach & train – the leadership team and key contributors with the skills required to deliver the new business plan objectives

Returning to the opening observations about the time pressure on the reduced numbers of first and mid level managers.

More help in the hiring process needs to be given to the managers to streamline the old manual steps. Searching and finding the right potential candidates needs to become a more dynamic and online process.

Managers today are more likely to have a few moments between meetings, possibly at an airport, to use their mobile device to keep updated.

New cloud-based systems can accomplish this requirement of managers for a fast online update. Precise tracking and status of candidates can be done in seconds and where needed CV / Resumes can be viewed for comments and feedback.

Using such an approach raises the probability of business plans being achieved and reduces the pressure on the second half results. In today’s fast moving trading environment those businesses that act quickly to get the right talent on board at the right time will have a clear advantage over those that wait until every aspect of planning is completed – by then it is already too late!


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