When companies change their strategy the hard facts are primarily in focus, i.e. production facilities, finance, existing processes and support methods. However, successful implementation also requires the soft factors to be taken into account and checked – and by these I particularly mean the human factor: employees, customers, suppliers, competitors. Because wherever people think, feel and make decisions, interaction plays a role. Thus, communication and change management are critical success factors.
The customer, supplier and competitor analysis should be carried out intensively as part of the strategy definition. We are thus now focusing on staff.
When it comes to the selection of staff who can make a positive contribution to the achievement of the strategy, several aspects have to be taken into account at the same time. For example, how familiar the employees are with the hard factors or how they interact with the other parties. After all, many elements of the environment will change through a modified strategy, and people must prepare themselves for it. This affects the entire fabric of interaction.
Whoever wishes to successfully implement a new strategy, perhaps taking into account industry 4.0 and digitization, or already requires new staff as a preparation for disruptive changes, is under pressure to find the desired competencies quickly from the outside or to generate them on the inside. With this process, it is important to implement as many new aspects as possible and at the same time to preserve as many tried and tested aspects so as to enrich the company culture and not damage it.
It is often difficult to find the right candidates. I believe that there are ten challenges that companies must react to in various different ways. The options at hand are presented by me in the different blog posts.
- For its search, the company uses media that do not reach the right candidates.
- The company is located in a place that is not appreciated by the right candidates.
- The company has an image the right candidates cannot relate to.
- The company is looking for skills to fill a gap.
- The company is looking for skills that do not match the presented strategy.
- The company is looking for Jacks of all trades to cover all the missing competencies.
- The company is not yet able to identify the required competencies.
- The company itself does not have the competence to determine the competencies required by the changed strategy.
- The company cannot give the individuals with the appropriate skills what they are looking for.
- With regard to the required competencies, the company has to compete with companies that have better means to lure the candidates.
For its search, the company uses media that do not reach the right candidates.
It is now generally known that the younger generations use other media in their communication than the older ones. The exchange of information today runs via platforms like WhatsApp, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and Snapchat. I once watched a member of the Management Board of a company bet with a young man that he knows more about the company than the young man could find out over the weekend. The young man asked on facebook what it is like to work for the company and received roughly 100 answers within 72 hours. Much of the information was accurate, constructive and detailed. And much of this information had either escaped the Board Member’s notice or had been withheld from him. Social media are able to provide much more information about companies than direct, personal conversations – which can also be seen in many application letters and job interviews. It is therefore all the more important for companies to use these media and to keep an eye on what and how things are posted about the company and its products. The HR department in particular should keep an eye on Kununu or Glassdoor, where employees comment on companies and rate them from an employee perspective. Professional networks like XING and LinkedIn are also often used to contact employees and to obtain information.
In addition, many companies miss the chance to establish a page on their website where potential employees can get an idea of what it is like to work at the company. Is there a career website? Do employees talk about their work, for example in a corporate blog? The young generations are particularly looking for companies that are interested in them and want to develop them. If a company’s website fails to mention the employees or does not have a description of what it is like to work there, this can have a negative effect. Because, a potential new employee might conclude that employees do not play an important role at this company and continue to look for another employer who focuses more on people.
It is therefore important that the company website has a career section that includes the following:
- Staff comments on what it is like to work for the company
- Portrayals of role models, i.e. employees who have climbed the social ladder at the company
- Descriptions of what is expected of employees and what they can expect
If this information is missing, potential employees will look for it on other platforms. And companies are only rarely blank sheets. So usually you will be able to find enough information in order to form an opinion.
My advice: Find out what is said about your company in the internet. Read the reviews and descriptions of you as an employer. Only if you get the ‘thumbs up’ on these media, will many and hopefully appropriate candidates want to join you.