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Business Innovation and Smart Recruiting Top the HR Agenda

Business Innovation and Smart Recruiting Top the HR Agenda
Hiring innovative staff a top priority according to global research from Alexander Mann Solutions
Innovation is going to be an essential objective for the majority of businesses in 2011, and having exceptional people onboard will be vital in bringing about business success according to Part One of the Future Fit Recruitment Report, released today by Alexander Mann Solutions, the provider of world-class talent and resourcing capability.
The global research project, which examines the opinions of senior global HR decision makers from around the world, reveals that HR leaders think that 1 in 5 board members or senior executives, 1 in 8 middle managers and 1 in 10 graduates would need to change in order to create a more innovative company culture. Therefore, if organisations are serious about building an innovative workforce, radical change is required from the top down 20% of their current board level staff will need to change, either through recruitment or training, to move businesses forward.
While recruitment is not always seen as a direct driver of innovation (34% view it as a driver of innovation and change), it is definitely viewed as an enabler (53%) and there is almost wholesale agreement that a lack of good people affects an organisations ability to innovate, which only serves to further the importance of high quality personnel as a catalyst for driving the change. In addition, only 6% see recruitment as a potential barrier to innovation.
While the last two years have been tough, against this uncertain backdrop, innovation has been rife. Indeed, the research found that almost three quarters (73%) of HR leaders believe that the economic climate has forced them to innovate in all parts of the business already.
Looking forwards, the picture for HR departments is business as usual for almost half (46%) of companies, but over a third (38%) are cautiously predicting a rise in permanent staffing numbers in the coming months (increasing to 45% in Asia Pac). Interestingly, staffing confidence is higher in companies where recruitment strategy is set globally rather than regionally (56% of those with a global recruitment strategy expect a rise in staff numbers, compared to just 38% where strategy is set regionally).
Of the HR leaders polled, 92% consider innovation to be very important to their business, the market is ripe for widespread recruitment, especially given the fact 92% of respondents recognised that a lack of good people will adversely affect an organisations ability to innovate.
To gauge how far organisations are from achieving the desired level of innovation, respondents were asked what proportion of their workforce would need to change in order to bring about a notable shift in company culture, around innovation.
Businesses in every sector and region are under increasing pressure to drive innovation throughout the organisation and deliver tangible results in a challenging climate, commented Rosaleen Blair, CEO and founder, Alexander Mann Solutions. This in turn is raising a number of new challenges for HR, which has a key role to play in bringing in the talented, game-changing individuals that businesses need to succeed. If HR is to help drive this culture of innovation, we will need to see more organisations taking a genuinely strategic approach to talent, moving away from process-driven, production line style recruitment and prioritising bringing in the very brightest and best over the long-term.
"Often companies talk about people being their differentiator, commented Jerry Collier, Director, Alexander Mann Solutions. This reports points to another important fact:  people lead change, people can influence innovation and competitive disruption. And, as this research highlights, it only takes a relatively small %age of great hires at different levels to bring about higher performance.  Todays recruitment teams have to be intimate with the business and must play a key role in changing the game as part of a wider people strategy."
Future-proofing business is not about simply fitting square pegs in to square holes, commented Richard Donkin, the author of The Future of Work, who contributed to the report. Too often today, managers have little appreciation of the size and shape of the hole. The temptation is to look at a vacancy and match a candidate to the position that needs to be filled. However, recruiting is no longer that simple, not if companies are serious as this report says they are about finding people with truly innovative talents.


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