Simon Sinek has been an influential voice in business and a lot of his ideas have rubbed off in my past work. For a long time, people have separated business from people, borrowing from the movie The Godfather, “It’s not personal, it’s strictly business.” And this is a phrase we hear all the time!
Before we dive into the need for “great“ talent in the company, we first need to understand the importance of talent and people in the business. In the words of Simon Sinek, “If you don’t understand people, you don’t understand business.” While we like to separate the two, essentially, businesses are made by people for other people. Organisations thrive and succeed through their understanding of people, be it internally or externally.
This is why businesses are always on the lookout for the best talent in the market, as opposed to settling for anyone. A smart company is one that arms itself with the best talent given the context, people who can add value in their given role.
What difference does having good talent vs. great talent make?
When recruiting, it’s not always obvious who or what classifies as great talent. In some cases, the best person may simply be the first available one, while in others this can be more tricky.
As a rule of thumb when looking at the individual, a great candidate should be determined by skill and not status. While candidates with better experience and networks (especially when dealing with sales) would seem like a good choice, a lot of the time these traits are only good in the short run, say the first 3-4 months of joining. On the other hand, a great candidate fit is someone who shows the skills and passion for the role, and these are the people who can in fact make a lasting impact.
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In recruitment and looking at the workforce as a whole, there has been a growing trend towards diversifying the talent base. A key reason for this is that more and more studies have indicated that a more diverse workforce helps the company to be more resilient.
LinkedIn’s latest recruiting trends report shows that more companies are prioritising diversity in the workforce in order to improve culture and a big part of this is because many believe that by doing so, they can boost the company’s financial performance (62% of companies believe that diversity in the workplace has the ability to improve financial performance).
Nowadays, companies also have a different approach towards the topic of diversity. Whereas in the past, diversity was seen as more of a requirement, today diversity is deeply connected to company culture and financial performance.
There is also a growing appreciation for a more diverse workforce in the company, as more evidence is indicating that diverse teams are more productive, innovative, and more engaged.
Greatest Challenge to Achieving Diversity in the Workplace
While companies around the world look to diversify their business and hire great talent abroad, they are faced with a challenge. Quite literally, the challenge is one of barrier to entry.
For example, in the EU, there is no unified visa scheme, which makes hiring abroad less feasible for up and coming businesses. This means that certain candidates who’s gained access to one country in the EU will have to go through a new national system to move to another country within the EU.
Not only is this the case, but even applying for one visa in the area is highly laborious. While legislations such as working visas into a country are often overlooked in the planning process of recruitment, this is in fact very important as it directly impacts the cost of hiring and, in this case, swaying companies away from hiring internationally.
Luckily, as countries start to compete for greater market share in the global industry, we are seeing changes to these rules and regulations, as they help local businesses gain a competitive edge in the fight for great talent world-wide.
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At the beginning of this year, China launched a new visa attracting high-value talent into the country. This visa, sometimes quoted as the “high end talent” visa is an attempt to draw more skilled people into the country in an effort to grow the economy as well as the local population through a share of ideas.
Eligible applicants include nobel prize winners, specialists, top entrepreneurs and olympic athletes. In order to apply for this visa, applicants have to first complete a high-end talent certificate. While currently, most foreigners working in China must renew their visas every one to two years, this new fast-track, multi-entry visa will be valid for up to ten years allowing for greater ease of access into the country.
In our latest Links Onboard HR & Visa updates we also mentioned Japan’s plan to launch a start-up visa programme.
This new visa will be valid nation-wide, allowing holders to reside anywhere within Japan for a year, making it a lot more lenient than the existing visa system. Whereas currently, holders of the visa have to either put up more than 5 million yen as capital, or have opened a Japanese office with at least two full-time employees, this new system only requires a submission of plans demonstrating the ability to open offices and secure funding for the period of their stay.
The Global Fight For Talent
On the whole, we are witnessing an initiative from countries to attract more high value candidates and talent, in the hope of invigorating the local business and economy. As we move into a more open society with shared intellectual property and flexible working arrangements, we will likely see more and more countries follow suit, relaxing their policies in order to attract better talent and perhaps see an new era of work mobility.
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