Filling talent gaps: It’s a bit like the idea of building into the attic to create extra space in your house rather than shouldering the cost of moving to a larger property – take advantage of what you already have.
The same goes for employees. Many companies don’t realise the potential of the people who are sitting right under their noses. How does HR discover, for example, that Marianne in sales has been running her P&C for the past 5 years, administering a large annual budget and is perfect leadership material? Rather than leaving it to a chance conversation at the annual Christmas get together, a strategy for accumulating in-depth knowledge about employees can end up saving an organisation an enormous amount of time and money.
Gathering information on staff doesn’t have to be as creepy as it sounds, according to LinkedIn. They have just launched a new, free app called Lookup that helps find co-workers and learn more about their background through information in their personal LinkedIn accounts.
Claire Rogers, head of digital strategy and business performance, Australia at ANZ says the company has stopped using outside recruiters to find great talent and now have a much heavier reliance on platforms such as LinkedIn. “We don’t know enough about our people and our own people’s networks so we are working to change that,” she says.
Some of the other initiatives they use include getting people involved in app competitions and hackathons, both internal and external. “We have done this across the whole of ANZ and this both grows our internal team’s solution design and digital skills, and allows us to spot potential talent.”
ANZ are also about to implement an internal social collaboration tool with the aim of increasing the social and democratic culture of the organisation. “One of the first communities digital will be setting up is an open innovation discussion blog which anyone interested in innovating will be able to contribute to. This will also give us visibility into potential talent across the organisation that is harder to locate through traditional means,” Rogers says.
In large organisations, it’s easy for skills and talent to pass under the radar. Before they released Lookup, LinkedIn surveyed 814 North American professionals and found that only 40 per cent found their company’s intranet to be useful in helping them find and learn about their co-workers. Nearly 60 per cent said they would like to be able to search for someone based on specific skills.
Companies such as Infosys, a technology-driven business solutions company, are rising to the challenge. They’ve created an app aimed at attracting staff for short assignments when particular skills are required and employees haven’t been identified. They are also about to launch Zero Bench, a forum where employees who have free time can go and browse to see what assignments are available.
Anyone who has worked in large organisations knows that there are people who might not have supervisory roles or managerial titles, but are highly influential and make vital contributions to a company’s success. Yet often they fail to make the cut when it comes to leadership development training. One of the challenges for HR now and in the future is to find innovative ways to discover the hidden talents of the workforce.
Here are LinkedIn’s five tips on what to look for when searching for internal talent:
- Voluntarily working overtime to ensure targets and objectives are met
- Displaying a hunger to get tasks completed within the required timeframes
- Trial and testing new ways to encourage efficiency
- Thinking inline with the ethos and core values of the company
- Using their own initiative and finding new ways to support the business