Towards A People- Focused Future

How we design teams, how we identify people to work for us and how we manage and lead them are structured around assumptions and processes that are outdated, ineffective and detrimental to achieving any kind of meaningful employee engagement or encouraging a more diverse and inclusive workforce.  We have to think more disruptively, more creatively, starting from the fundamental new assumption: that the people in an organisation are the critical factor to its success and organisations that want to survive need to embrace a people-focused future.

We provide tailor made programs for your organisation, covering every aspect of your people management strategy to create a truly scalable and effective solution.

Ditch the CV - Then What?

A Look at Possible Options

The evidence that CVs are no longer the best way of identifying your best people is clear but then the discussion has to move onto - then what do we use instead?  The answer is that without any standard document, you can now tailor your new approach to meet your requirements.

I find myself having spent 25 years in Telecommunications. I started my career as one of two Finance/Commercial Graduate Trainees for a rather large German multinational corporation. Following my initial 14 months rotation around the company I was asked which area I would like to work in. I answered Sales. I was told that was not possible as I had no prior Sales experience. The words ‘frustrating’ and ‘illogical’ do not do it justice. We all have to start somewhere.

Fast forward to 2018 and I found myself assisting a consultancy client of mine with recruiting a couple of (Sales) Account Managers. Having done some research into Lee’s work and attending a webinar run by Lee, I decided to put what I had learnt into practice. I did not ask people for their CVs and instead took a whole new approach. It worked. I found a couple of great people with a fantastic attitude. They found my approach refreshing. It is safe to say that Lee most definitely is onto something.
— James Williams, MrConnectivity

Does Experience Count or Not?

We are told we need CVs to see what experience, skills and knowledge an individual has, to help understand whether they will be able to deal with the role's requirements.  In a risk adverse organisation, hiring people who have done that role before for another business provides a sense of security - I can hire them, because someone else hired them before.  And, to make it even safer, they stipulate a minimum required years' of experience - the logic again being, if they have had that amount of time doing the role, they will be more able to do the job here.

But the use of experience has a couple of problematic issues:

Diversity In A Broken System

Much of my work has related to understanding how best to encourage better diversity in the workplace. 

The many initiatives that have been set up to tackle diversity challenges are well-meaning and are having some success in driving forward more equality. 

However, even if we had that equality, even if we had 'solved' the diversity issue, we would still have the issues of low employee engagement, the widening skills gap and the increased need for speed and innovation in organisations that are tanker-like in their ability to change course rapidly.

Organisations need to have a diverse workforce, but there is a bigger issue that relates to the whole of their people management strategy.

The CV Is Dead

The CV was born as a consequence of the Industrial Revolution, the point in history where manual jobs were taken over by huge machines with even bigger engines to run them.  The production line mentality of the factory translated over into all manual and non-manual work, with the concept of having a machine that ran with a particular set of cogs (roles) that were shaped in a particular way. 

If a cog broke (or resigned), you simply tried to locate another one that looked and performed exactly the same – maybe if you were feeling ‘innovative’ you would select someone who had slightly ‘more’ experience, or even better, had been that cog at one of your competitors, and they could tell you how they had run their machine.

Time To Get Off The Carousel

We talk about industries being full of exactly the same people, just moving from business to business, and you can tell how long your career journey has been when every name that is mentioned in a conversation is someone you have worked with at some point.  These individuals may have experience of the role, and experience of your organisation (and of your competitors) but with no ‘fresh blood’ entering the organisation, the likelihood for innovation or creative disruption is severely reduced.  Put simply, they get paid better and better for doing a job that they have done time and time again - why would they change how they operate?

The Permanent To Contractor Ratio

The optimum mix of permanent staff to contingent workers is essential for any business, but as with so many workforce solutions, the current approach is more restrictive than flexible, and companies are feeling the strain. When the decision to hire is made on financial considerations, but the decision to fire is made on ability to deliver, it creates the risk for many companies that they will continue to see increasing financial burdens as the amount of people who are relied upon increases, which could lead to spiralling costs and ultimately, the decision to reduce spending via reducing the workforce for both permanent and contingent staff.