BrightBox Roundtable 2022 - The benefits of age - business maturity and how it affects talent sourcing
Maturity has long been a buzzword for established, improvement-led enterprises: companies with one finger on the pulse and one on the driving wheel, always pushing for growth and market placement.
Popular opinion breaks “business maturity” into constituent parts, compartmentalising company lifecycles into start-up and established company definitions. If you were to adhere to the 4 stages of business maturity, “self-sustainability” is considered the 4th and final stage of business maturity - “for an enterprise to achieve…self-sustainability, it must create a successful process of innovation”.
But does categorising, and simplifying, maturity into bite-size parts help companies better, faster, or more effectively?
While maturity is a positive weathervane for business operations, it’s worth understanding just how those maturity indicators work when it comes to recruiting tech teams.
The trouble with maturity and how to generate it.
Is business maturity guaranteed simply through time served? Or is a more holistic establishment of culture and business confidence, grounded in success and adaptability over time?
Effectively judging how “mature” a company is, is an exercise in understanding business, operational and strategic inputs, and how effective they are in creating positive performance, and cultures of sustainable, long-term stability (in effect, see fourth stage above).
A simple question for all business leaders may offer an insight - does your enterprise “operate with intention and predictability--or is it immature, chaotic, and reactive?”
In How Mature Is Your Organisation? Use This Model to Find Out a clear source of business maturity is offered - direction and control of business direction, and “how well the CEO fulfils their five key responsibilities - Own the Vision, Provide the Proper Resources, Build the Culture, Make Good Decisions, and Deliver Performance”.
In this one particular model, CEOs are the foundation of business maturity. So how does this impact recruitment?
Maturity, models, and recruitment.
Is maturity in the eye of the beholder? Is it, in fact, entirely CEO determined? Or is brand power - and how candidates perceive that brand power and placement - a more explicit indicator of maturity?
Or is it something else entirely?
Maturity models are fantastic internal policy strategies for understanding programme, project or business placement and contextual levels of success and growth, and they help formulate operational plans to ensure continued success and stability. But does that matter to candidates, and does maturity play a part in recruitment and talent sourcing, especially in hard-to-fill roles in tech?
According to our Roundtable, maturity is important, but what matters more is agility. In essence, agility is maturity, manifest: the ability of a business to pivot recruitment resources, funding and workforce expectations confidently, and at pace, to new staffing solutions is a sign of considerable stability.
Maturity as Stability.
Is anything stable in our current tech recruitment market? Perhaps not. But, within post-pandemic workforce management enterprises are pivoting towards emerging tech staffing markets. This, by extension, has furthered the primacy of remote and hybrid working cultures.
As a result, nearshoring and offshoring are now credible signifiers of forward-thinking companies that are looking to engage with the best talent available.
For instance, Brightbox’s own CEO, Stuart Houghton noted that “30, 40 years ago it was so ingrained that people would work from an office. If you weren’t in an office, it was 3 strikes and out…even before the pandemic, it was “no, office only”...but once the pandemic happened, and with the younger generation taking a lead on it, remote working works. We’re embracing it. This has ushered in a culture of “skills-based” recruiting, rather than “location” based recruiting”.
Sometimes this is more for necessity than anything else. Kirk Winstanley, COO of BankiFi, noted that if the best talent for a certain tech role is in “Poland, or Azerbaijan…or even in the UK, I don’t mind. As long as they are flexible on time zones”. Much of the roundtable agreed.
Maturity and crisis planning.
As the above quotes allude, business maturity is quantified by how effective that enterprise is at handling a crisis, be it pandemic-related or not.
Tech workforce planning is anything but straightforward - from critical shortages in key sectors and skill sets to candidates having to ride the wave of more recent, rapid downsizing of tech workforces in some of the world’s most well-known enterprises.
Enterprise hiring has to be dynamic, but above all else honest. Neville Roberts, founder and CEO of Planixs, refers to mature retention strategies specifically and explains how honesty and dynamism help retain staff. For him, employees may want to move for more money and new tech, but his operation remains resolute on the key skills they need to retain, and ones they know they can replace.
This sort of operational maturity is absolutely essential to business success in the near future, and the ability to remain stable in choppy waters. It also dictates his operation’s pay scales and retention strategy through an honest interpretation of workflow and a realistic appreciation of the recruitment market.
Maturity, in this regard, means enterprises building recruitment resilience and awareness, and learning how to consistently apply this throughout the hiring life cycle, across employer branding channels, and via referral networks.
In summary, maturity means many things to many people: its leadership, operational management, staff management, business pivot power, and its brand power.
However, within the high-pressure, high-stakes world of tech recruitment, Maturity morphs into something more streamlined - its dynamic hiring practice, based on realistic market reaction, proactive employer brand management, and a healthy dose of honest recruitment management.
After all, mature recruitment companies, departments and agencies are mature precisely because they’ve survived the trials and tribulations of economic scarring, pandemic-related downsizing and inflation. Long may they reign!
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