10月29日，《财富》杂志刊登了一篇由Gazelles 公司CEO维尔纳•哈尼什（Verne Harnish）撰写的文章，对我很有吸引力。文中的一些角度极富创意，令人耳目一新。哈尼什常为《财富》杂志撰稿，也是德高望重的商务会议演讲人。而Gazelles 公司从事的正是经理人教育行业。
Finding the Right People to Bring on Board
In talking with top management leaders in Greater China, regardless of the industry, company size or nationality, the single most common concern I hear relates to the challenge of finding and hiring the right people.
Training and retention are closely related concerns, but finding and hiring come first.
An article by Verne Harnish, CEO of Gazelles Inc., in the October 29 issue of FORTUNE, caught my eye. It offers some creative and innovative perspectives. Harnish is a regular contributor to the magazine and a well-respected speaker at business conferences. Gazelles Inc. is in the business of executive education.
His advice on this comes in five parts.
First, like the coach of a successful sports team, “Build your bench.” Don’t wait until you have an active need for talent to start looking. You should constantly be on the lookout for talent, and stay in touch with those on your target list to develop the relationship. Get your key executives to suggest potential candidates on a regular basis as well.
Second, “Play in the right sandboxes”, or “Hang out where the people you’re looking for hang out.” Industry association meetings and specialized media can be useful channels to reach talent with related skills and experience.
Third, “Try guerilla tactics.” Since good talent is usually working for someone else, find ways to identify, contact, and cultivate them. He cites one example of a business head who telephoned industry high-fliers he read about in a trade publication and found an excellent hire in the process.
Fourth, “Tweak the job description.” Sometimes rewriting the job description can produce dramatically better results in terms of numbers and quality of applicants. Standard HR-style job summaries often sound dull and boring.
Fifth, “Become a celebrity.” Not every CEO can be a celebrity, but those with star status will often attract more top talent to their companies. Writing a book, effective publicity efforts, and public speaking can help enhance the company’s reputation through the CEO’s office.
To Harnish’s five points, I might add one more, especially applicable in the context of China: “Make the FORTUNE Global 500 list.”
Earlier this year I had a conversation with the CEO of a Chinese company which had just made the list for the first time. He said that in the weeks immediately following their entry to this exclusive list, the volume and quality of job applications for posts they were advertising jumped significantly.
Moral of the story: finding and hiring the right people needs to be a constant focus for the top management of the company on an ongoing basis.
Underlying reality: how this is put into practice will necessarily vary widely from one culture to another. Some of the examples mentioned will no doubt strike readers in China as way too American in style to work here.
Still, the moral of the story is right on target.
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