metro map career

Why not hire one new employee for two or three jobs? I don’t mean that these new employees should work themselves to the bone, performing multiple jobs simultaneously. I mean that companies benefit from creating a perspective to make the follow-up trajectory clear, very early in the process.

The extent to which companies can successfully connect candidates to themselves correlates strongly with the extent to which companies can offer perspective. This can be illustrated relatively simply. Consider a subway map. Dear candidate, you are here. On this line, there are three stops (opportunities for advancement), and at the fourth stop, you could switch to another line, if you wanted to. Switching involves a so-called non-linear career switch, where the employee does not advance within the same role but can explore an adjacent role.

This brings me to “g”, the seventh letter of the corporate culture alphabet, which stands for growth.

Many companies prioritize growth but fail to propose a personal growth trajectory during the hiring process.

next best employee

Your next best employee is likely your current employee, said Ryan Roslansky, the CEO of LinkedIn recently. Furthermore, he said that if you focus on building skills and insights into the skills of your current employees, there is a great chance to help your top talent find other roles within your company, instead of leaving. According to LinkedIn data, an employee who has moved internally has a 75% chance of staying after two years, compared to the paltry 56% for an employee who has not experienced internal mobility.

The key concept here is an insight into skills, both hard – and soft skills. These “people analytics” building blocks are often lacking today, but fortunately, they exist and can be practically applied and leveraged.

primary job

Human resources professionals’ primary job is to create career development perspectives and opportunities. Recently, I heard Howard Schultz, longtime CEO of Starbucks, say this. Below, I’ll try to create insight into how this could be achieved, through 10 pointers, taking into account the potential pitfalls.

  1. Offer training and development programs, such as workshops, classes, and mentoring.
  2. Create clear career progression paths within the company.
  3. Encourage employees to take on additional responsibilities and stretch assignments.
  4. Provide opportunities for employees to work on cross-functional teams or projects.
  5. Offer tuition reimbursement or other educational assistance.
  6. Facilitate networking opportunities with other professionals in the company or industry.
  7. Offer leadership development programs.
  8. Provide regular feedback and coaching.
  9. Encourage employees to set career development goals and track progress.
  10. Be open to flexible work arrangements and remote working opportunities.

All these initiatives rely on insight and a clear understanding of the employee’s skills — both hard and soft — and professional expectations. Without this, you’re flying blind.

Many companies believe they’re performing well on people analytics, but in reality, many valuable insights are still missing.