Hi, I’m Ted Raymond with Allegra Marketing and Print in Scottsdale, Arizona. As we evolve our business, attracting talent and human capital is probably the most strategic initiative that we have. We’ve done a number of things to try and grow that talent base. First, we’ve tried to get very involved in speaking engagements at local universities; at speaking engagements within other industries, industries like web development and use that as an opportunity to really position ourselves as thought leaders and subject matter experts to try an attract people that we may not even know about.
In addition, we have begun to develop a very easy, but very powerful succession plan where we look for some training metrics and make sure that we are trained at least three deep in every function in the organization, but then also begin to build bench strength. Go out and just have coffee with people that we think we may be interested in in the future so that if we expand and we need to add staff very quickly, we can pick up the phone, we can call three people and scheduled interviews within 24 hours and begin to have conversations. That process has not been easy and we’re still in the early stages, but we feel like that really is going to be an important part of our growth strategy as we move forward.
The new type of worker, the knowledge worker that we need to attract moving forward is very different. Traditionally, coming from a manufacturing business, people think about punching in at eight and punching out at four and having a half-hour for lunch. And the knowledge worker doesn’t operate that way. We found that the knowledge worker will actually work harder for you, but wants to have a different environment. Some of the things that they really like is flexibility. They want to be able to perhaps arrive on a flex schedule. They’ll give you 10 hours in the day, but they want to do it on their terms.
The second piece is they want a fair amount of autonomy. They’re very interested in laying out what the goals are and understanding what the objectives are but want to be able to go out and figure out the problem and develop the solution on their own.
And then finally, they’re interested in having a degree of mastery. They really want to become subject matter experts in their particular area and look for new opportunities to be challenged and to grow.