How Pivotal Talent Can Increase Talent Acquisition’s Value

Organizations are facing a talent crisis across the industries and maintaining a healthy talent pipeline is a challenge that prevails for talent acquisition teams.

Where are talent heads going wrong?

For starters, they’re not identifying gaps in the organization and allocating the wrong resources.

Too much investment in high potential talent and too little on pivotal roles is a flawed strategy for several reasons. There is a common misconception that high-potential talent – those with larger-than-life behavioral characteristics – will make the most impact on an organization.

However, while these are impressive qualities, they don’t indicate whether an employee will be able to enhance your business performance.

The key is to invest in resources that don’t just show promise but possess qualities that complement the organization’s overall strategy. As a result, talent leaders are abandoning the “one-size-fits-all” approach and moving toward incorporating talent segmentation in its stead.

What is pivotal talent?

Experts in human resources, Peter M. Ramstad and Dr. Boudreau first introduced the concept of pivotal talent to urge companies to adopt a strategic approach to their decision-making skills.

How do companies identify pivotal talent? Each company has core values and roles that drive the most growth and are essential to help it gain a competitive edge. Hence, before you identify pivotal talent, you have to first ask yourself, what are my key objectives and how can I get the maximum value for the customers? This lays the foundation for your talent hiring process and investment in development to drive more value for your business.  

Simply put, pivotal talent doesn’t create value but enables it. They are the supportive talent that makes the organization’s core service possible and improves client satisfaction. These roles are responsible for helping a company work efficiently and cost-effectively. Despite making up approximately 10-15% of the entire workforce, their impact on the business performance is tenfold.

Some examples of pivotal roles are Service Desk Agents in IT companies who connect customers to the company. Healthcare practices feature nurses and billing staff as pivotal roles.

Understanding Pivotal Roles

It’s up to talent acquisition heads to create strategies to attract and develop pivotal roles by hiring employees with the critical skill set that facilitates the company’s pivotal role. They have to understand how to hire the right talent for these roles to enhance the business performance and impact the long-term growth of the company.

Pivotal roles tend to change over time and vary with industries and so should the strategies used to leverage them. Take a strategic and goal-oriented approach to match value to roles to get measurable growth. Here are some ways to identify pivotal roles in your organization.

Zero in on your company strategy

This will require stepping outside of your comfort zone but is integral to getting the most out of your talent pool. Ask hiring managers the key objectives for their department and which performance-boosting skills and qualifications they need the most. Once you have perspective on who the change-makers are, you’ll be able to hire talent that gives your company a competitive advantage.

Understand the drawbacks of focusing on high-potential talent

Here’s the thing about labels – they can be very limiting. When you want to focus on long-term development, HiPo talent starts to seem irrelevant because you can’t answer the most fundamental question – what does the high potential serve?

Instead, when recruiting talent, use specific languages such as a pivotal talent for scalable growth and leadership, or talent pivotal to obtaining growth in service. Persistent efforts to only scout high potential talent also lead to lower morale in the company and disgruntled employees who don’t feel appreciated. This brings us to the next point.

Validating pivotal talent

When hiring managers recruit team members, they tend to look out for employees that are a lot like them.

This creates a bias during the hiring process and also leads to them focusing on their employees’ current performance as opposed to strategic success.

Make sure there are adequate initiatives to measure pivotal talent’s performance and reward them to motivate them to keep succeeding.

Improve avenues of growth internally

Consider implementing an internal mobility program to identify current employees that have the skills to succeed in pivotal roles. This has several advantages.

Internal promotions not only motivate your employees to perform better, but they also don’t need more time to assimilate to the work environment since they’re already familiar with it.  

It’s also a good idea to encourage employees to refer other members who they think are the right fit to fill these roles.

Incorporate new ways of working to attract talent for pivotal roles

When recruiting for pivotal roles, do your research and find out which benefits appeal to them the most. Remote working and the use of virtual communication tools are becoming increasingly common in organizations.

Make sure you mention this in your recruiting messaging to attract more talent. Employees are more likely to work for organizations that are flexible and open to embracing new ways of working.

Pivotal roles help increase talent acquisition’s value

Workforce segmentation streamlines the hiring process by helping you identify critical roles in the organization. As the most fundamental step in your talent strategy, it leads to answering other important questions as well. Recruitment processes and strategies are changing significantly, and the competition amongst firms to hire, engage, and onboard the most important talent is getting tougher.

See Also: Top 5 Tech Recruitment Challenges (and How to Overcome Them)

This is where a well-thought-out strategy for talent acquisition will set your company apart and allow you to recruit candidates that create a long-term impact on the business performance.