Life & Work
Why a talent mismatch could prove costlyWednesday September 21 2022
Human Resource (HR)has metamorphosed into a new realm where people are the only resource any firm can leverage for competitive advantage. Other resources like finance, machines, locations, and even the markets remain homogenous and therefore available to all and sundry. What is not available to all is differentiated talent.
We come from a background where companies could hire people to perform specific activities but in the new realm, firms have defined their visions and missions and require specific talents for specific outcomes.
In this new era, it’s no longer tenable to hire your cheerleaders when the owners of capital are focused on the outcomes. Now, even the average talent acquisition professional is out to pick the highlighters in the market if he or she is to keep their job.
The entry of premium silicon outfits [ such as Microsoft and Google] into the market has led to an unprecedented scramble for talents. This has in turn activated the famous great resignation that we in the HR sector thought was to affect only the tier one companies and countries.
Instead, we are witnessing the fluidity of talents and motions from one outfit to another, and HR managers are trying everything possible to retain the remaining talent.
We need to shift from the generic approaches to talent to a more refined and intentional positioning for specific outcomes.
There should be an understanding of how skills and competence translate to value and call out the opportunity cost when we mismatch talents or even onboard a wrong talent with a wrong skillset. We have seen companies offloading premium talent to load inferior ones only to later hire top-notch audit firms to tell them what went wrong.
Whatever positioning strategy firms prefer, they ought to review the technical, behavioural and leadership competencies required.
Largely, is the notable need for skilled labour, its supply vs demand, and how that talent will be upskilled concerning the fast-changing environment and technological advances we are witnessing.
This takes us to the competence matrix of the people to be trusted to realise the specific outcomes. We have to trust a driver to drive the car, the doctor to treat and a lawyer to plead our case.
A mismatch has its own cost. Success is anchored in the utilisation of the sum total of skills and competence as seen as human capital.
Nicholas Kibet is Group Human Resource manager at Wananchi Group and a Wages Council Kenya member