Hire adaptable people for your business to thrive

| July 16, 2014

In a competitive marketplace it is essential to find new staff who can adapt quickly to your business environment. LinkedIn’s Tara Commerford highlights how find the ideal candidate, and save time and money in the process.

The willingness of your employees to adapt their skills to the opportunities available to them is a key indicator of their workplace adaptability.

Acknowledged as a valuable source of sustainable competitive advantage, if businesses do not transform their recruitment practices to better attract new talent whilst retaining existing employees, the business risks and associated costs start to increase significantly.

A recent report ‘Adapt to Survive’ commissioned by LinkedIn with PwC analyses the ability of labour markets to adapt to evolving demands. We looked at the willingness of employees to learn new skills and how employers value adaptability in their workforce.

The results show that the more adaptable your employees are, the more productive they will be, with high productivity correlating with a better job match. Comparatively, poor talent alignment is costing Australian companies as much as $3.8 billion in lost productivity annually, the report found.

Changing recruitment practices to ensure you’re hiring the most adaptable talent to your business can make a difference. The following suggestions will help your company find the ideal candidate, and save time and money in the process.

1. The best talent may be right in front of you

Current employees may not immediately jump to mind when you’re determining resource requirements for new projects and roles, but becoming more adaptable means a willingness on the part of employees to address gaps in their skills and experience to be able to match job requirements.

Thinking about how to recognize adaptability within your company, or even how it may be being discouraged is the place to start. Because traditional pay and performance reviews do not typically reward employees for being adaptable, the significance of a lateral move or an overseas assignment may be ignored.  Look at how adaptability is being treated in your organization and begin to reframe this as a true indicator of success.

2. Matching the best talent to the role

The recruitment process can be lengthy for any business so how much time and money your company spends interviewing candidate after candidate through traditional recruitment methods, can really add up. Unfortunately, if the need is great enough, a less-than-perfect candidate may be hired and due to this mismatch, resign in just a few short months. In Australia, we have one of the highest short-term resignation rates of over 23% which highlights the opportunity to get the talent fit right from the start.

Adapt to Survivedemonstrates the strong correlation between a country’s use of social professional networks and its adaptability ranking. The Netherlands has embraced social professional networks more than any other country outside the United States and its adaptability score reflects this with its No. 1 ranking in the PwC/LinkedIn Talent Adaptability Score. Australia is ranked sixth, with 28 per cent of Australian recruiters citing social professional networks as a top source of quality hires. Embracing social professional networks provides organizations access to a larger talent pool, and to both passive and active candidates. As approximately 80% of employed professionals are ‘passive’, LinkedIn provides access to this passive talent pool and an immediate way for businesses to connect with them, how and when they would like to be connected with.

3. Retaining your best talent

Retaining talent is just as important to company success as hiring top talent. At LinkedIn, we’re focused on empowering employees to take ownership of their professional brand, their careers and, by extension, move our business forward. This process of empowerment is a partnership for career success that requires commitment from both the employer and the employee. The employee needs to be clear on their goals and aspirations within the organization and in turn the employer holds responsibility in providing open, honest and constructive feedback to coach and develop employees on the road to success. To help employees become truly successful, we all need to adapt to the ever-changing workplace environment, collaborate on a shared vision of career success and take intelligent risks on opportunities that we might not have traditionally considered.

In developing a workforce that is responsive to the changing demands of the fast-moving industries of today, Adapt to Survive demonstrates that better alignment between talent and opportunity can drive economic growth.

Tara Commerford is LinkedIn Head of Communications AU/NZ & Southeast Asia.

Want to hear more from Tara Commerford? EWA is hosting LinkedIn’s 7 secret to Career Success.