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Rethink talent for disruption

17th Aug 2021
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Rethink Talent, Tuesday with Ron Thomas, Strategy Focused Group

This photo caught my eye the other day as I was scrolling through Facebook.

A Toyota car dealer in Arizona, USA, bought a 2018 Camry that was wrecked from the front and back.  They then proceeded to put it in the showroom to show his customers that it is very safe for passengers even if it had a serious accident!!!

So, my thought, I will always filter it through the organizational, marketing, and talent perspective.  Having bought numerous cars in my lifetime, when you walk into a showroom, you tend to gravitate towards the beauty queen.  All shined up and waiting to go.

What caught my eye was the marketing approach.  How many of your customers come to buy a car that has kids.  Here is why I asked that.  My grandson Tyler asked me a question during the past Christmas holiday “granddaddy, can we go for a ride in your car if you put the top down.  I have never ridden in a convertible”.  My thought was sure.  So, we went outside, and I proceeded to put the top down. Then he asked the question.  Can I sit in the front seat with you?  I said yes, and why would you ask me that?  His response was me and my sister always sit in the back.

So, I know from safety precautions that kids should sit in the back seat.  That is what connected me with this photo. How better is it to talk about the safety of a vehicle than to show what “could” happen to your brand if you were to get hit.

As I followed the comments, I knew they would come out of the woodwork. And yes, the obliged.

Wise or not wise leaves a negative impression on one's mind. Bad marketing.

It might appeal to some engineers; most people don't understand physics.

Is there a sign that says how fast the other car was going when it was hit? I'm guessing 10 miles an hour.

Type one: make you scared and force you to buy their product.

Type two: show what you are scared to buy their product

Folks, we are in a new era. As we look for talent and disruption, we must move the needle. If you are looking for the same marketing approaches or talent that delivers an approach from yesteryear, you will lose.

I was intrigued when I read years back about the formation of TESLA. They did not want Engineers from the auto industry. Why? Because they were going to disrupt, and they knew disruptive thinking will not come from "must have 5-10 years experience in auto manufacturing".

Recently, I saw a job posting that asked for 10-15 years of engineering experience but further down in the description they listed: out-of-the-box thinking, new approaches, etc. This is a solution for eventually failure or irrelevance.

The phrase “think out of the box” means different things to different people, and now more than ever, we must embrace the crazy.

Volvo's approach to marketing was an excellent case study when they were purchased by Greely out of China.

The CEO/CHRO came up with a unique talent approach that rethought the talent they needed for the reinvigoration of this brand.

They hired non-auto people, and the result was the birth of a new brand and shook up their approaches and brand. They called it M&A for talent.

Take a look below at the videos and the articles

  1. How Volvo reinvented itself through hiring
  2. Volvo approach to the Super Bowl marketing campaign
  3. Volvo Recruiting Car

A friend of mine who is based here in the Middle East was contemplating moving back to the USA.

Fantastic talent, but he changed roles in the past two years and has kind of a zig-zag career. He has an initial discussion with a head hunter. The headhunter's thought was that his talent was unusual and would cause a lot of “questions and concerns”. He told him that his client wanted a more traditional HR executive. CASE CLOSE. This gentleman's accomplishments were astounding, but the client wanted safe.

As we enter this new competitive environment, we must throw out this outmoded way of thinking.

TALENT will be the deciding factor.

While many companies have parted ways with workers, others from e-commerce firms to grocery stores are looking to bring more on. Many are struggling to fill open roles. This should spark organizations to rethink how they bridge the gap between talent demand and supply.

The approach assesses candidates based on their holistic skill set (including adjacent skills across industries) rather than just industry experience or certain educational credentials. Assessing candidates based on skills, instead of their last job title, can help fill critical roles with the best talent.

So yes, Tyler and I had a good day. We rode around, he showed me his school, and he was the navigator. Kudos to the dealership that uses this unique marketing approach.

Rethink the hiring process, hire for skills, and not so much on industry experience.

Disruption is different today.

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