Have you got the right people in the right seats?

its the perfect time to talk organisational structure and talent strategy

Written by Rosie Skinner

Rosie Skinner is a recruitment expert, speaker and Director of Mployable - Talent Strategy and Recruitment on Subscription, also known as the Outsourced In-House Recruitment Team. She's been in the recruitment industry for almost ten years, in recruitment agency (yes, high street agency) roles in her early days, through to in house recruitment and HR managerial roles in the latter part of her career. Rosie is CIPD and REC qualified and has spoken at prestigious industry events such as 'Disrupt HR' and 'Inspire Recruitment' as well as numerous business events and workshops.

As we all begin to find our feet and wonder what next year has in store for us, it’s the perfect time to begin looking ahead.

If COVID has taught us anything this year, it’s that planning can be challenging. You never really know what’s around the corner.  But building a plan that can flex, pivot and grow with the twists and turns of your business is key in straddling the line between a rigid plan and having no focus at all.

However, in between all of this planning, you should really give some thought to your talent strategy. Or, as I like to say, ensuring you get the right people on the bus. 

Perhaps your bus has had to take a few unscheduled stops or change course completely. Or maybe it has had a complete refurb and is back on the road with a shiny set of wheels and a fresh lick of paint. 

Whichever direction your bus has had to take to get you through COVID19, it’s now time to consider the people on the bus and the seats they are occupying. 

I’m talking about your organisational structure and talent strategy. 

A great talent strategy and effective organisational structure need to be relentlessly focused on supporting the company’s overarching business strategy – they must work in perfect harmony for the business to succeed.  If that means a Plan A, B, C and D for the business – your organisational structure must reflect this. And be regularly reviewed every time a plot twist comes your way.

Adopting a strategic approach to talent strategy and talent planning will enable you to align the efforts of your most valuable asset – your people – with your organisational objectives.  But the talent strategy will only deliver if it ‘sticks’ and can demonstrate value. 

The cornerstones of an effective talent strategy are:

  • Alignment of your talent strategy with wider organisational strategy and the business culture.  Be clear on what you want to achieve and the challenges you may face.
  • Segment your talent needs and be clear on what is crucial to the success of your business. Then build a plan as to how you manage, attract, develop, and retain the skills critical to your business growth.
  • Be transparent about how talent is managed and developed.
  • Create not only external recruitment plans but also internal upskilling and succession planning.  Take care to build internal capability.
  • Create simple but robust systems and processes.

Once you have created your talent strategy, consider the talent cycle of:

  • Develop a talent strategy
  • Attract talent
  • Identify talent
  • Develop talent
  • Deploy talent
  • Retain talent

Your organisational structure is also intricately linked to the operations of the business. If the people structure isn’t right or requires re-alignment, the business is unlikely to reach its goals. 

The organisational structure can be deployed within a business in many forms, but to develop it, you first will need to define the framework upon which your business operates.

These are the cornerstones of building a simple but effective organisational structure:

  • Complete clarity on the goals of the business and the capability required to reach those goals – a talent strategy.
  • Definition of the roles in the business, and the work that needs to be done.
  • Assigning of roles to people – bring the structure to life and remember that more than one person can fill a role.
  • Governance, leadership, and reporting.  Choose a traditional hierarchy and reporting lines. Investigate Holacracy or another innovative organisational structure method.  However, you do it, just make sure someone has responsibility for ensuring work gets done and people are happy.

Investing in people may feel risky in the current climate.  If you are planning to grow your business, mitigate that risk, plan your strategy (with multiple options for the twists and turns that may lay ahead) and lets all hope for a peaceful and prosperous 2021.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from me and the team at Mployable.

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