What if we gave a party for the most talented and no one showed?

As human resource professionals, we are charged with finding the most talented candidates to fill the positions within our organizations. But what would you do if the most talented are not available to you? 

Dr. Richard Florida in his book, “Flight of the Creative Class” suggests that the talent assets are choosing to go elsewhere then this country. We are in the middle of reading the companion volume to the movie “Waiting for Superman” and in today’s newspaper was an article from the The Atlantic entitled “Your Child Left Behind.”

Each of these resources suggest that the educational system within the US is turning out substandard talent for our business environment. Let’s leave your silo for a moment and say that they are correct, what are you going to do when you throw the party to attract the top quality talent for our human capital needs and you can’t find them?

Unless you are living life as an ostrich , with your head in the sand, you know that as we come out of this trying economic times we are in, the better employee is going to consider leaving for supposedly greener pastures. If Your Child Left behind is correct the only state that comes close to being in the top 18 state or countries for 15 year olds performing at the advanced level in math proficiency was Massachusetts. This means as we search for replacement human capital we can’t find them.

So as we begin the final week of 2010 and begin 2011, we as human resource professionals need to take the initiative to help our local schools gain the lead back for this country. There are many suggestions around on how to resolve this issue. But we would suggest that while dramatic changes are needed we need to do with reason in mind. The transition team for the new governor of the State of Florida has suggested letting parents remove their children from classrooms where the parent feels the teacher is being ineffective. Is this ineffective by actual data or based on the beliefs of the parent? We need to ensure that the talent of the future knows how to think critically about the issues confronting our organizations.

Here are some thoughts for consideration.

  • As the vehicle for introducing talent to our organizations, we need to let the educational institutions know what the voice of the customer is, by informing them of the criteria for employment that our organizations have established.
  • As Human Resource professionals we should actively work with local educators to ensure that the talent that they are producing know how to use the critical thinking skills that is required of our cross-functional teams in today’s organizations.
  • As Human resource professionals we are accustom to completing SWOT analysis of our policies and procedures. We should do the same thing  with the local educational programs as they relate to our talent needs. Following the SWOT it is imperative that we are not bystanders but forward thinking professionals by showing how the SWOT can improve our schools.
  • We need to benchmark what our colleagues are doing in other sections of the country and use the data to guide our local schools to implement what is working with other corporations.
  • If we have some concrete ideas about how to invent some break through strategies for improving the status of our students in the world of the future, we need to be prepared to share it with the world.

In final thoughts, we need to be bold about becoming involved int he future of our educational initiatives or we will be destined to throwing the party with no one in attendance.

Have some other ideas? Share them with us. Share them with your colleagues. Share them with your organizational management. Share them with your educational leadership. Be part of the solution not a bystander.

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