Your retention strategy is more important than your attraction strategy!

People are leaving your organisation, or gearing up to, because;

  • better opportunities are being offered to them,
  • they are unhappy with the commute / business travel requirements,
  • your business lacks purpose and cause,
  • they don’t respect their boss!


People want to;

  • be paid well,
  • have a reasonable commute and business travel regime,
  • work for a business and leaders they can be proud of,
  • have a boss that is fair and supports them!

These are the proven top four. Now sit back, clear your mind and think of everything else that you personally covet, and if they don’t fit into the above you are thinking of the five and onwards that are extremely important but in general are not top of the leader board.

So if you can;

  • pay commensurate to the effort someone gives you,
  • consider and react to the challenges people have commuting and travelling for business,
  • clearly articulate and communicate what you stand for as a business and aim to achieve,
  • ensure everyone treats everyone else fairly and equitably…

…you will have a better than average retention rate!

Better still you will have some amazing;

  • employer brand messaging,
  • EVP components,
  • ratings on Glassdoor and Indeed,
  • positive brand virility across LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter etc.
  • brand advocates recommending brilliant people to work for you.


It doesn’t work the other way round, hence your retention strategy being more important than your attraction strategy!!!!!

You can spend all the money in the world on;

  • strategic workforce planning,
  • marketing your business and jobs,
  • state of the art digital, recruitment and HR technology,
  • the world’s leading attraction channels,
  • an award winning social media presence,
  • the slickest recruitment process,
  • an outstanding onboarding experience…

…BUT if the actual employment experience doesn’t live up to your front end attraction experience and what you sell to candidates, you will get found out!

At best you can expect sub-optimal productivity from new hires until they leave.

At worst you can expect new hires to leave immediately, thus wasting all the time, effort and resource attracting them in the first place!

I’m concerned about the amount of people confirming retention issues to me when we have arguably one of the biggest changes in the labour market looming in the form of whatever Brexit brings us.

A diminishing labour pool due to reduced immigration, and growth, yes growth, after Brexit day, because let’s be honest the Government and Bank of England will jump in with fiscal stimulus if things start to go South; means increased competition for less available talent.

You must retain your most important asset, and develop your most important asset, which will in turn help you attract more of your most important asset, and put your business in a much better position than most in the run up to, and aftermath of, 29th March 2019!

The majority response I have had from my last post “Is your Resourcing / Talent Strategy Brexit proofed”? was from people suggesting employers will leave things too late (just like GDPR two said) so let’s please prove them wrong.

If you need any help with any of this, you know where I am, but remember time is running out and there is only one me! Thank goodness I hear some cry!

All the best.

+44 (0)7887 480142

Is your Resourcing / Talent Strategy Brexit proofed?

It’s coming and will be upon us faster than you think. As things stand, the UK will depart the European Union on 29 March 2019. That’s just 10 months, and allowing for Bank Holidays, it means approximately 200 business days to assess if your talent acquisition, optimisation and retention effort will stand up to whatever Brexit throws at us, and evolve it if it won’t!

With many businesses already reporting recruitment challenges due to reduced immigration, no crystal ball to confirm whether or not the UK will fall or stand tall after Brexit and increasing reports of retention issues amongst millennial, diverse and established employee groups; smart leaders are acting fast to sure things up.

If you are not already excellent at demand planning, best people attraction, the selection process, equipping hires for success, managing employee experience and retaining employee commitment;  the basis for, and pillars of, the Six Pillar Talent Lifecycle Model, you might want to take action quickly to be optimal by Brexit day!

Why quickly? Auditing your existing end to end resourcing, talent optimisation and retention solutions and processes against the Six Pillar Talent Lifecycle Model, to identify which of the three components of excellence in each pillar are optimum, in need of evolution or at worst missing, takes 20 business days.

So let’s say a month. You will need at least three months (and that’s pushing it) to implement the recommendations from the audit. Let’s assume this is the case and if you leave it to the last minute to complete the audit, this means January, February and March 2019. So there are only really seven months left to get your audit in! Take into account August and December are predominantly lean months for project progress, and you are left with just five months, starting from June 2018 (Friday next week is the 1st) to get your audit in!

Some will say this might not be the case because UK will have a transition period. Some will say they have tasked someone internally to focus on this already and an experienced and totally independent third party pair of eyes is an unnecessary cost. Some will say this is Brexit scaremongering. That’s fine, I personally wouldn’t take the risk and if I was back in a Group Head of Resourcing role, I would have audited straight after the referendum.

I’ve been round the block a few times, looking at resourcing from every direction, outside and inside of some of the largest companies in the world, and I have every scar imaginable. So to those that do say any of these things, I wish them good luck.

To everyone else out there, that may not have started optimising their resourcing and talent strategy ahead of Brexit, I am taking just five bookings to run audits on a first come first serve basis. I’ve highlighted why it can only be five above, so that’s five audits for five smart leaders before the Brexit button is pressed and whatever awaits us plays out.

If you want to be one of the five and ensure your resourcing and talent strategy is optimised and Brexit proofed, please contact me ASAP. Unfortunately, once I’m booked, I’m booked!

All the very best.


How I would have approached GDPR

I’m fascinated by the GDPR debate, where some are suggesting recruitment and HR functions need to assume full responsibility and become experts, and others are suggesting there’s too much hype surrounding the subject.

So I wanted to share how I would have approached it if I was still the Group Head of Resourcing and HR Systems for the world’s second largest private employer, just in case it supports the conversation.

As soon as I had learned about GDPR legislation I would have walked out of my office, turned right, walked approximately 30 paces into Group Legal, knocked on the door of the Group Legal Counsel responsible for global data protection legislation for the entire organisation, and I would have asked her for her timescales for being able to brief me on what I needed to know and learn about it, and evolve and change across my areas of responsibility.

She would probably then tell me that she was still in the process of assessing the impact and specific risk to the organisation as a whole, which when finished would trigger the production of a bespoke set of aligned guidelines and critical activities for the organisation, backed up by one to one support from Group Legal to help manage any implications and changes across all functions.

I would have then gone back to my team, briefed them, then carried on delivering the things I was ultimately responsible for. Over the following months I would have continued to take my lead from her, the guardian and expert of best practice data protection legislation from within my organisation.

Granted, yes, I would have needed a healthy level of understanding of GDPR, which would have grown over time, driven by Group Legal, but I wouldn’t have needed to be educated and trained to the level of a person with ultimate responsibility, unless of course I had ultimate responsibility.

It’s everyone responsibility to know about GPPR and support the implementation of the correct systems and procedures, but it’s probably just one person’s responsibility to own it, and if that’s not you, then I would leave it to them to guide and educate you!

All the very best.


People are the jigsaw pieces of productivity in business!


Assume everyone in your business is equal in terms of the overall contribution they make, regardless of the role they perform!

Assume 100% productivity in business equals 100% business objectives achievement and 100% shareholder/stakeholder expectations met!

Divide 100% by the number of employees you should have working for your business, e.g. what you would confirm as full establishment. Effectively the completed jigsaw puzzle!

The answer is the percentage contribution that each individual employee makes in a given time period! For example 100% divided by 1,000 employees equals 0.1%.

Now you can do some interesting things and make some equally interesting assumptions.

Delete the individual % contribution for each person you are short from full establishment! This immediately shows how important it is to run as close to full establishment as possible at all times. Also visualise that incomplete jigsaw puzzle! Recruitment freeze anyone? Taking too long to hire by being reactive rather than strategic and proactive anyone? Without the right people in the right places your business could already be sub-optimal!

Imagine that the individual % contribution per employee is linked to them being the very best person for the role they are performing. Now imagine a sub-optimal resourcing strategy, EVP, remuneration policy or poor learning and development programme, or having great people but in the wrong roles…….. whatever essentially could affect the quality, motivation, commitment or output of your workers.

A subject that many of you know is close to my heart is diversity. We all know that difference is great for an organisation, so as we are visualising jigsaws, how much difference is in yours? Does a lack of diversity and too much of the same impact on individual % contribution?

It stands to reason that the individual % contribution of each worker could be reduced by a fraction, or worse, if you haven’t got some or any of the above right! Breaking down each person into a target % contribution is now a real eye opener.

How close are you then away from 100% productivity in business? How incomplete, or samey, is your jigsaw puzzle? What do you need to do to put things right?

Let’s take the resourcing strategy and function as an example. Surely ones resourcing strategy and service delivery model should be designed to fully support the achievement of the business plan, which in turn is designed to achieve 100% productivity in business.

But we hear and see so many examples of businesses not investing in workforce planning, or simply racing ahead with a career centre, digital media, employer brand, organisation design or technology project (for example), without potentially establishing what the ongoing resourcing needs and objectives are. Without a robust strategy aligned to the people and business plan!

We hear and see examples of businesses not having standard job descriptions, processes, attraction messaging, EVP, interview formats, onboarding……..… the list is endless.

Why is this? Is it because resourcing is talked about as being the most important thing in business because people are the most important asset, but in reality other things are prioritised and resourcing is under invested in?

Maybe. So let’s go back to people being the jigsaw pieces of productivity. If you want to achieve 100% productivity in business, consistently year on year, as a consequence of being truly strategic and inclusive, the solution is as clear as day and quite straightforward!

Invest in an optimum end to end resourcing strategy and function to ensure you have the right people, in the right places, in the right volumes, at the right time, for the right price!

Anything else is sub-optimal and puts pressure on achieving 100% productivity in business and your stakeholders/shareholders won’t like that!

Big Idea Talent - Six Pillar Talent Lifecycle

Oh and you won’t ever finish that jigsaw!

If you would like to spend a bit of time running through the six pillar talent lifecycle model, which is one way of achieving resourcing excellence, I’m on +44 (0)7887 480142 and

All the best.


The Six Pillar Talent Lifecycle – Demand – Needs / Planning

Six Pillar Talent Lifecycle - Demand - Needs Planning

Think of your business as that specialist curry you are going to cook for the dinner party at the weekend, that you have never attempted cooking before! Hang on in there, stay with me, and please note; other dinner party offerings are available I just happen to love curry.

You are going to just wing it right and throw all kinds of ingredients in the mix and hope for the best???? I don’t think so! You are going to look at a recipe listing all the ingredients you need, in the right volumes, in the right order for mixing them together before applying heat.

So why do some businesses wing it and consistently fail to forecast, and therefore forecast to fail, when it comes to workforce planning? Why do they not future think and write up the recipe of all the people (ingredients) they need and the associated volumes, locations and timescales they are required in to cook up the perfect business? And if they attempt it once, why do they not tweak it continually, adding new forecast data and rolling performance metrics to empower all subsequent talent related activities? Let’s call this the seasoning!

The journey of becoming the best corporate recruiter and employer you can be starts here, and Needs / Planning is the most important component of the Six Pillar Talent Lifecycle, because everything else hangs off how well it is done initially and maintained.

It’s actually quite straightforward, and although it’s not the sexiest Resourcing and HR activity for some, once you start doing it you will notice all subsequent talent related activities become much easier and more productive. It’s like decorating for me. I can’t stand the thought of decorating, but once I start I get a great sense of potential and ultimate achievement. Then when it’s done I absolutely love spending time in the room, whilst attempting to keep it in the best order possible with two young kids in the house! OK, OK, I’ll stop with the comparisons now.

So where to start?

First of all the business and Exec need to make workforce planning a critical and mandated activity. Without this your outcome will be sub-optimal. There are obviously ways of mandating and ways of mandating but in essence you get what I mean. It needs to be part of the back office culture.

Then you need to identify your data sources and data contributors. This could be current headcount, desired 100% establishment, employee turnover, business growth expectation data etc. Coming from systems, management, the business plan, sales pipelines etc. I’ll go into more detail in a bit.

Finally you need to be able to bring it together simply and effectively so it doesn’t become a data scientist role to crunch and articulate. Some will challenge me on this but remember the first post about keeping it simple and ‘thinking start up’. Creating a complex way of doing things is the fastest way of switching people off. Keep it real and people will embrace it.

Big Idea Talent has a tool which can get you on your way. It enables you to bring together the following information and calculates demand, the recruiting resource required to meet the demand, with the added bonus of costing your recruitment delivery model. Effectively the investment numbers of the business case:

  • Current Headcount.
  • Desired 100% Establishment.
  • % Annual Turnover.
  • % Annual Business Growth.
  • Seasonal and Extraordinary Requirements.
  • Annual Resourcer Fulfilment Capability.
  • Annual Recruiter Fulfilment Capability.
  • People Costs.
  • Infrastructure Costs.
  • Technology Costs.
  • Branding and Attraction Costs.

Once you have mastered Needs / Planning it’s straightforward to build your Resourcing Target Operating Model, the basis of the next post; Service Delivery Model / Team.

In addition, everything else in the Six Pillar Talent Lifecycle has a chance of falling into place, subject to all previous components being approached and executed correctly. More guidance to follow as the series unfolds.

Remember the offer is always there if you want to chat this, or other HR challenges, through with a Big Idea Talent Associate.

All the best. Service Delivery Model / Team from the Demand Pillar is next up and coming soon…..



The Six Pillar Talent Lifecycle

Big Idea Talent - Six Pillar Talent Lifecycle

I have worked in sales and marketing in the resourcing and HR space for 19 years, enjoying it from every direction, including; agency, on-line, managing director, global head of resourcing and HR systems for the world’s second largest private employer and specialist consultant.

In the last seven years I have focussed on simplifying what has become a very complex and unnecessarily crowded space. Resourcing, HR and HR Technology strategy and delivery doesn’t have to be challenging. In my opinion, it’s actually quite simple when you break the processes and activities into component parts (above) and underpin them all with modern technology. A bit theoretical I know, but I’ll come to reality and transformation soon!

In the spirit of sharing, I would like to share our Six Pillar Talent Lifecycle model. Over the coming weeks I will release the detail for each of the components of the six pillars, to give you some food for thought, methodologies and tools.

In the meantime you could draw up your own talent lifecycle. I am almost certain you will identify some commonality with the Big Idea Talent model, especially when I add some colour to the components in future posts.

Something else you could do, which is a bit disruptive, is to ‘think start-up’. Consider how you would structure your current processes, activities and teams if you had the opportunity to start your business again from scratch! This is where you may find a gap between ‘the now’ and ‘the art of the possible’, and it’s a timely point for me to mention reality and transformation!!!

I, and others, can tell you it’s all simple, and we can all wish we could start again and make fewer mistakes next time. Reality, however, is where most of us play, and transformation is what we need to go through to take our current legacy fuelled position back to a simplified, ‘start-up’ if you will, new world of harmonised processes, reduced overhead and empowering technology.

That’s where the Big Idea Talent Associates come in and the offer is always there if you want to chat this, or other HR challenges, through.

All the best. Needs / Planning from the Demand Pillar is first up and coming soon…..


Watch out for the People Iceberg!


Good year? Figures strong? Nice bonuses all round? Enjoy and celebrate but watch out for the iceberg!

It’s fair to say that a great year and performance in business can be a trigger for complacency, meaning some companies miss seeing the iceberg until it’s too late.

Hitting the iceberg forces a retrospective and expensive effort to correct the damage!

So what could you hit, or hopefully miss?

We all know the world us changing due to technical and cultural advances. Consumers consume content in 140 characters, conversation is secondary to tapping on a device and workers want it all their own way!

So when you sit back and enjoy your last year, spare a thought for the next five. Failing to forecast is a forecast for failure, so make sure you continually evaluate how your workforce is changing, ageing and consuming.

  • Do you workforce plan?
  • Have you got a retirement bubble?
  • How does your workforce need to evolve to meet changing customer and industry demands?
  • Can your people technology and processes keep pace?
  • Can you recruit, manage, develop and maintain in line with what your workforce expects these days and in the future?

It’s a fascinating world and forecasting what’s round the corner is an interesting but costly dynamic if you don’t get it right!

For an informal conversation, or even an exploratory future state workshop, message me, email me or let’s go old school and speak on the phone :-).

Colin Minto, Founding Partner, Big Idea Talent, – +44 (0)7887 480142