Sunday, August 22, 2021

In search of gold, we are losing the diamond

After the pandemic, few skills are in full demand, especially IT skills in India. Digitalization was always one of the agenda in companies’ strategy documents, however it is accelerated because of the pandemic. It means that these skills became crucial in view of organizations fast tracking their digital agenda. 

Does this mean that the situation will remain the same after 3-5 years? Definitely not. Another issue is about the artificial scarcity created by the talent itself. Imagine, you have one offer in hand, and you have resigned from your current company. You are on a notice period. As you are not committed to the current organization now, you start further exploring opportunities in spite of having the offer in hand. You get another offer during the notice period. Now your current organization wishes to retain you and matches your salary with a second offer which is almost double of the current salary. As you have enough time in hand and you get another offer with a triple salary. Because of the notice period and your delayed joining, you start shopping. Ideally it is the only one talent, but because of the insane behaviour of the market and pressure from the business you get multiple offers. Ready-made skills are always attractive for certain periods. 

During the process other organizations could have seen other talent but the assumption is that having multiple offers means great talent. Instead of searching, the talent organizations are only focusing on particular people who are active on job portals and LinkedIn.  

Because of short term focus, organizations and candidates are missing the long-term actions. They want to save the present, but they lose the future. Organizations need to think of “the dual strategy” which means, you build a strategy not based on one outcome, but you also consider the future. For example, you don’t only focus on the short term (hiring the skills from the market) but also start to build up the current and future skills within an organization for the future. Of course, organizations should have done this at least a year back. 

While doing this, there should be some assumptions. Even in the past everybody knew that certain skills are in demand and will be in demand. This is the game of supply & demand but sometimes business leaders are so desperate for short term gain given the reason of cost competitiveness while missing the long-term actions. 

Two years back, the software engineer and IT skills were right sized and fired. The reason mentioned by those companies was performance but actually it was slimming the organizations. This resulted in the formation of unions in certain areas. There were complaints filed against those companies in the labour office and labour courts. Now same talent has become crucial for those organizations. All assumptions were fragile.

A well-known author, Nassim Nicholas Taleb in his book, “Anti Fragile” writes, “there are three distinctions when describing systems, organizations etc, i.e.  Fragile, Robust and Anti-Fragile. Fragile systems and organizations are vulnerable to all kinds of unforeseen events or pushes, like the situation we are seeing now. Robust ones can withstand them. Anti-fragile ones even benefit from potentially unforeseen events. The key is to build your system, organization or company as much as possible in a robust or even anti-fragile way.”

I understand the panic situation of those organizations because of the business pressures but they had a great opportunity in the past to build the robust talent management systems in their organizations. They are looking for the gold but lost the diamonds which could have been perhaps more beneficial. 

The problem is not with that talent who is shopping the job from one company to another company, the problem is with the organizations who are allowing them to do this. unfortunately. Building a robust organization and system is still far away.  

(Opinions are purely personal & does not represent my organizations, current or past) 

Author's book are available on AmazonFlipkartPothi and BookGanga 


Rashmi Singh said...

Awesome write up Sur, truly insightful input Sir. Hope the businesses get some cue in regards to this, specially when it is coming from a seasoned professional like you.

Sameer Deshpande said...

Kudos Vinod Bidwaik This is too candid & bold. Talent management looks more of firefighting than healthy culture

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