Your Company’s Future Growth Is Completely Dependent On Talent That Doesn’t Exist. Here’s What You Can Do About It!

Your Company’s Future Growth Is Completely Dependent On Talent That Doesn’t Exist. Here’s What You Can Do About It!


I’ve observed an interesting phenomenon over the past couple of years as I dialogue with some of the most respected leaders in the world during our Speakeasy workshops.  All are leaders in their respective organizations embarking on aggressive growth strategies capitalizing on a number of global economic factors.  These factors include the global transition to big data with its impact on the expansion and efficiency of business strategies, and the significant impact on business growth as the result of innovation.

“The challenge corporate leaders are facing is not the lack of business expansion or innovation but finding the people to fill all “the boxes” in their ever growing org charts to achieve 2020 business goals.”

While the growing number of young professionals entering the market worldwide helps, these bright and enthusiastic workers don’t yet have the experience companies need to fill middle management leadership positions.  Prior recruitment strategies are no longer as effective and the strategy of “poaching” talent from other organizations comes at a very high price which challenges rising overhead costs and declining operating margins.  Many companies have attempted to acquire talent through acquisitions, literally buying smaller companies, not to increase product or service lines or even to enhance top line growth, but purely for the gross acquisition of talent. This is actually cheaper than the 30% talent acquisition fees on a per person basis, however, in addition to the price tag, the strategy places significant demands on companies from an operations and integration perspective.

“The most effective strategy I’m seeing Speakeasy clients employ involves making long-term, wide spread investments in processes to grow internal talent and prepare them for middle and senior management and ultimately, leadership positions.”

This strategy of creating internal talent development processes accomplishes a number of business goals very efficiently:

  • Provides a stream of ready talent for expansion whose competency set is tailored specifically to align with the company’s future growth strategies.
  • Rewards internal staff with increased responsibilities, upward mobility, and compensation, while dramatically increasing retention of quality talent and reducing the poaching of high potentials.
  • Reduces business expansion costs by reducing the high cost of talent acquisition.
  • Increases the speed of “go to market strategies” by creating a predictable output of talent eliminating the guess work of execution timelines for business growth.

I’ve personally seen many of our clients shift to internal staff development strategies with excellent results. These strategies are manifested in “hypo initiatives” where high potentials are identified and put through rigorous development programs. For example, EY’s “NextGen” is an annual initiative where the firm is developing hundreds of senior managers to fill future Partner positions as they expand aggressively worldwide.  Cox Communications employs a “hypo” program called “LEADS” which develops Cox Project Managers over a 2 year period for future leadership positions. Comcast’s “ELCAP” program (Executive Leadership Career Advancement Program) develops selected Executive Directors as they are tapped to become Vice Presidents within the company over the next 1-2 years. These are just a few client examples in which Speakeasy is continuously consulting with companies in structuring and executing “hypo” programs.

Clearly based on the increasing scope and investment in these “hypo” programs, companies with such processes are reaping success by creating homegrown top talent that is desperately needed to meet growth goals.  Eliminating the reliance on expensive and unreliable recruitment efforts in a shrinking talent pool is an added bottom line benefit.