Use Your People Strategy as Your Competitive Advantage

Posted: Updated:

I was flipping through some old school papers I've hung on to for far too long and found my notes from Michael Porter's book, Competitive Advantage. If you haven't heard of Michael Porter, here's a great summary of him and the business ideas and strategies he's shared over the years. In this particular book, Porter said companies win over their competitors by being cheaper or by being different - being perceived by the customer as better or more relevant. There are no other ways.

While Porter was speaking to competition within business, we can apply this to the competition for talent we're experiencing today. Companies have two ways to gain an advantage over other companies looking for the same talent: pay the most or be so different from other companies it’s easy to draw in and keep top talent.

Playing the numbers game is not sustainable, and applicants don’t rank this in the top criteria when looking for jobs. Companies must reflect on how their people strategy is better and different than other companies. To accomplish this, think like Porter and create a "value chain" within your employee lifecycle. This value chain should focus on five stages of your employee lifecycle as a series of activities which link together. With it, you’ll be better able to show talent how you stand out from the rest.

Attracting

Companies must remember that their people strategy starts before you even hire the employee. A "careers" page with a list of openings is no longer enough to ensure candidates see you as a great place to work. In today's job market, employees have the upper hand when demanding where they choose to work. Developing a strong employer brand that reinforces your culture, as well as your vision, mission, and values, is imperative.

As candidates go through the interview process, remember to select for talent, rather than experience or intelligence, to ensure you're attracting the right individuals.

Welcoming

A 2007 study from the Wynhurst Group  found that new hires are 58% more likely to be at the same company three years later if they completed a structured onboarding process. Without a strong process in place, employees don't feel welcomed into the organization or don't understand their role or expectations. They feel confused or alienated.

Engaging

While there are opportunities to create engagement within all five stages, the opportunity here is to ensure an ongoing presence of intentional engagement. Creating high engagement is key to employee performance and business success. With it, employees feel a sense of purpose and appreciation. And once they are recognized for accomplishments, they’ll feel empowered to accomplish their goals.

Optimizing

Many companies focus on the importance of retaining employees. To retain means to keep something in place. To keep it fixed. In today's world, I don't hear many employees say they want to be fixed in place. Employees what to be challenged. They want to be able to use their best strengths to help the organization. The best companies are finding the right fit for their employees’ talents. Keep thinking of ways to challenge your employees and provide them with opportunities to help them grow both professionally and personally.

Transitioning

Great organizations care about their employees regardless of their next step, whether that be in a new role, department, or outside of the organization. The average person changes jobs to fifteen times during his or her career. Ensure your organization has initiatives in place to ensure thoughtful transitions within or outside of the organization.

No longer can organizations live off the strategy of "recruit and retain" in their quest for best talent. Companies must create a value chain that attracts and inspires top talent as their competitive advantage. There is no other way. 

Mike Bensi is an Advisor at FirstPerson.

  • Perspectives

    • The Power of Partnerships

      You can't go it alone in tech. All technology companies, regardless of their segment, live in an ecosystem comprised of organisms of varying complexity. More mature companies in established categories can function at the top of the food chain, consuming smaller companies through acquisition, but startups are seldom if ever in a position to gain dominance through acquisition. It’s vital for the success of a startup to be able to play well with others...

    More

Subscribe

Name:
Company Name:
Email:
Confirm Email:
HTML
INside Edge
Morning Briefing
BigWigs & New Gigs
Life Sciences Indiana
Indiana Connections
INPower
Subscribe
Unsubscribe

Events



  • Most Popular Stories

    • Liberty Mutual Plans 400 New Carmel Jobs

      Boston-based Liberty Mutual Group Inc. is planning to add up to 400 Carmel jobs as part of a $14 million expansion plan. The insurance company has a global presence and currently employs 1,430 in central Indiana. The Indiana Economic Development Corp. says the new jobs, expected to be created by 2021, will pay more than the state and Hamilton County average wages. Plans call for Liberty Mutual to lease...

    • Opioid Withdrawal Treatment Lands FDA Clearance

      The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has given clearance for a medical device developed in Indiana to help treat symptoms of opioid withdrawal. The device, known as the NSS-2 BRIDGE, was created by Innovative Health Solutions Inc. in Versailles.

    • Vincennes Woman Sentenced For Tax Fraud

      U.S. District Judge Richard Young has sentenced a Vincennes woman to four years in prison on tax fraud charges. U.S. Attorney Josh Minkler's office says Deborah Richards pleaded guilty to preparing more than 350 false tax returns between 2014 and 2017. 

    • Soybean Alliance Chair Appointed to National Board

      The chairman of the Indiana Soybean Alliance Board of Directors has been named to a national board. Tom Griffiths of Kendallville is one of 19 new members appointed to the United Soybean Board by U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue. 

    • FedEx Plans to Pump $170M Into Indy Hub

      FedEx Corp. (NYSE: FDX) is planning a $170 million investment in its hub at Indianapolis International Airport. In a tax abatement request introduced Monday evening to the City-County Council in Indianapolis, the company says plans call for more than two dozen additional full-time and nearly 180 part-time positions. FedEx says the installation of new package-handling equipment would also help retain some 730 full-timers and 3,200 part-timers.