Is Scalability an Issue?
Yes and no. We’re not in a boom and we’re not in a bust. So how does an organization grow, you ask? What are the best talent pipeline management strategies for growth? Labor costs tend to make up a large proportion of operational expenses, especially in high-demand fields like supply chain. Knowledge is so specialized that working pros can leverage their subject matter expertise quite readily regardless of an up, down, or booming market. However, as we’ve mentioned above, that’s not necessarily the case right now.
Talent pipeline management requires careful scaling in a neutral market. Organizations are running lean and tightening their belts until expansion is absolutely necessary. As we’ve also mentioned, they’re hiring from within before looking on the open market. These retention policies have helped a lot of organizations maintain growth and scale at a more modest rate. Hiring practices focus on aptitude and growth potential as much as experience. Remember, experience only pays off in the first couple of months after a hire. Your mid-management will be required to mentor and develop more talent in these times in order to properly scale, so it’s important to also identify and develop your leaders as early as possible.
Ability to scale is determined by your team. Organizations that weather change the best don’t expand or contract too quickly. They staff in ways that handle disruptions with talented managers unafraid to report the problems up the chain of command.Teams are scaled by ensuring that aptitude and integrity are identified along with capability.
Understanding your team’s capability gaps is also crucial to scaling. There are people on your team with untapped potential. Find them. Develop them. Retain them. The opposite is also true. There are people with tons of potential who don’t work to close the gap between potential and delivery. Your job as a leader to identify both and develop your whole team accordingly.
Finally, it’s absolutely essential that employers are thorough in setting their leaders up for success. You can’t just hire someone and throw them straight in the fire and expect metrics to be through the roof. Give them a runway, a network, and a balanced runway to learn the process, the people, and the business. This is not the time to demand sink or swim from your management hires.
Growing Demand for Fractional and Interim Talent
Fractional and interim talent solutions offer working pros the benefits of marriage without having to put a ring on it, if you will.
Employers can scale in a neutral market by using on-demand talent solutions. One demographic in particular that can be leveraged for on demand talent are the boomers. They’re retiring at a rapid rate. A lot of folks in this cohort still want to work but don’t want commitment. They possess the required knowledge and skills to bridge talent gaps and help with expansions without disrupting current operations. They can also onboard new leaders to replace them and have proven to be cost effective options for quickly and easily handling supply chain issues.
A lot of mid career supply chain professionals are also expressing more interest in fractional and contract staffing options. Specialized talent pros can help you locate these individuals because they likely used to work with them or in similar fields. Logistics or procurement experts are a fairly niche bunch. It’s important to network in those circles in order to find the right people.
It’s not certain that the market will contract. What is certain is the supply chain leaders and hiring managers are preparing as if it already has. Hiring has slowed. Offers aren’t going out at the rate they were earlier in the year and pay scales are coming back to earth. But the news isn’t all bad, especially in supply chain. Employers still have niche talent needs that they’re willing to pay for. Talent pipeline management is going to be more important in 2024 than in past years. Employers have to be willing to get creative with sourcing leaders. Current employees need to upskill and be ready for an internal promotion sooner than later. A lot of these tactics are evergreen strategies for strong growth and a healthy organization, regardless of economic pressures.