Tuesday morning September 18, I was privileged to attend a meeting sponsored by Manpower, ExperisIT, Right Management, and the Kansas City Business Journal.  The topic was workforce strategy.  It was an extremely informative and interesting review of the latest statistics, trends, strategies, and demographics related to employment and talent management.

The presenters elucidated a new paradigm about how companies need to design and execute their talent management strategies.  Their contention is we are entering the HUMAN AGE where the true power of human potential will be fully realized.  Unleashing that potential requires a one-size-fits-one approach and will require employers to engage with their people and their job candidates on a more human level.

Employers are no longer in the driver’s seat—they only think they are.  In reality the skilled worker is in the driver’s seat.  Four crucial dynamics support this statement:

1—A serious mismatch is growing between our demographics and our talent.  Without a new approach, we will be in danger of severe talent shortages in many critical areas of the business world.

2—The rise of customer sophistication is placing greater demands upon companies.  Customers are smarter and therefore have higher expectations.  Product or service problems can become global crises overnight via social media.

3—Individual choice abounds.  Workers have more choice today thanks to the freelance world.  Millennials especially are willing to accept the career path of being free agents and not seeing any single company as their meal ticket.  This again puts the skilled worker in the driver’s seat.  Increasingly, companies are collaborating with freelance talent, creating project teams composed of several different freelance workers in different disciplines to execute specific projects.  Although a physical presence on company property is sometimes necessary, thanks to technology in many cases these freelance workers can be located anywhere in the world and still get the job done.  Especially with the millennials, if a worker today perceives that a company is not up to speed with high-tech in this virtual world, they will look elsewhere.  These workers genuinely want to do a good job, and they want the ability to use their technology to be connected 24/7.  The companies that do not recognize this and adapt to it will lose tremendous talent.

4—Technological revolutions will continue.  We have moved from the industrial age to the informational age to the virtual age.  The next step is what we are entering today: The HUMAN AGE.

Because we are entering the HUMAN AGE, the “Teachable Fit” needs to be the new paradigm for how we assess and hire a worker.  What we mean by this is given the demographics and talent mismatch, we can no longer afford to expect the perfectly matched candidate for every open job.  Instead, the “Teachable Fit” model says although a person may not be the perfect fit for the job right now, we must look beyond his or her current skills and qualifications to the aptitude, attitude, and raw material of who that person is.  Upon doing that, it may be we can train this person into the job over time.  By so doing, everyone wins.

Although the “Teachable Fit” model is necessary, it has two major glitches:

1—Our online screening and hiring systems often kick very qualified people out of the running simply by our filtering systems and algorithms.  We must find ways to soften the online tools by creating algorithmic and human solutions to identify candidates who fulfill the “Teachable Fit.”

2—Too many companies will not want to take the time (which equals money) to manage their talent via the “Teachable Fit” paradigm.  But if we don’t do this, we are going to wind up with some serious talent deficits in many pockets nationally and globally in the future.

This presentation was extremely interesting and I certainly have not done justice to it with one blog post.  A complete edition of my personal notes on the presentation is here:

Thanks to the great kindness of Dr. Mitch Gold, Senior Consultant with Right Management, the complete slide presentation is here:

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About James Meadows

Currently I serve as a training team manager for Tyco Integrated Security at a customer-care center in Kansas City. Additionally, I am a business consultant, a freelance corporate writer, an Assembly of God ordained minister, a Civil Air Patrol chaplain, and a blogger. I believe we are living in the most fascinating times of human history. To maximize the opportunities these times present, I have a passionate interest in leadership development and organizational success, both of which I view as inextricably linked.

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