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How do time starved HRDs source top talent?

Posted on from AMBA

Sourcing top talent is a perennial problem for HRDs, what are the first steps?

How can you do this?

Larger organisations will have the resources to deploy teams dedicated to finding and developing top talent which tour the traditional high-potential hunting grounds of Russell Group universities and accredited business schools. However mid-sized and smaller companies, where filling leadership and management roles with the right people is even more crucial to the organisation’s success, often don’t have the resources to compete.

But there is good news for these organisations, the Association of MBAs (AMBA) most recent salary survey saw a 3.2 percentage jump in the number of graduates who chose to work in SMEs immediately post their MBA. From our conversations with MBA graduates we believe this shift is for several reasons. It has been known for many years that the younger generation no longer expect a job for life so they’re willing to take more risks with a portfolio career. Working for an SME gives them a chance to grasp opportunities and gain experience across many functions quickly, they understand the importance of a wide variety of roles on their CV.

Is smaller sometimes better?

Equally, working for a smaller organisation is sometimes more exciting! Whether this is because of the fast pace of the work, the fact that the organisation may be involved in a ground breaking sector or because it’s one of the increasingly large number of successful social enterprises. Which brings me onto my second point – it’s not all about the money. Our salary survey showed that whilst salaries at the top of the scale were increasing (34% earned in excess of £100k), at the other end of the scale 12.8% earned less that £30k compared with 1.8% two years earlier. 

We’ve established that MBAs are willing to work for mid and smaller sized organisations and, if the work is right, they’re willing to do this for less money than you’d expect. So how does a time poor HRD find them?

One answer is to establish a relationship with the careers department of one or two business schools, but this tends to limit the diversity of thinking of your top talent – if they all come from one or two schools then they’ll have been taught to think in the same way. 

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