Human Capital Management (Command)
Managers that do not truly know their existing workforce are missing out on a big opportunity to gain more employees for that workforce. Do you know your staff and are you using an internal personnel database to save time, money and increase sales? If not, you should be. Your existing personnel is in itself a goldmine of business opportunities.
To prove it, just set-aside 15 minutes, pick 3 employees and spend 5 minutes each reviewing their LinkedIn page. If you and your employees are not on and utilizing LinkedIn, shame on you! That is a post for another day under Social Media (Communications) in the C5ISR model. During those 15 minutes of looking on LinkedIn, you are guaranteed to have a few ah ha moments. First of all, your employees are going to know you are looking at their LinkedIn page, so let them know you did and pick up on a few things that you noticed of interest. This is a great conversation starter to get to know them better, shows interest and builds morale. They are going to know that you were looking at their page, because LinkedIn identifies that. In the future, while looking for prospects or potential new hires, you may want to mask that you are looking at their profile, again another post for another day. Sounds like we may need to write an entire post just on tips and tricks for LinkedIn.
So, what are some of the ah ha’s you might have while looking at their LinkedIn page? The list is endless. You might have a mutual connection with a current or prospective customer allowing you to gain additional intel. They might be part of an organization that you could leverage. They may have a degree or certification that you didn’t know about which aligns to an upcoming business opportunity. They might be an entrepreneur and have a few side gigs that are in a market you are looking to enter. They may have previous history at a company you are looking to work with, sell too, acquire, etc. They may be an active blogger which means they like to write and might want to participate in some upcoming proposals, white papers, presentations or pitches. Again, the list goes on and on. So why didn’t you know all of that stuff? Because you haven’t taken the time to get to truly know your people. We’re not talking about where they went to school or their favorite football team. We are talking about knowing everything you can about them. For example, what are their kids names? What would their dream job be (chances are it isn’t the one they are doing, but with the right approach you can create/foster that type of job in your business in the future, more on that in a minute)? Where do they want to retire? What types of charities do they support, etc. This type of information serves a few purposes. One, it creates high morale and shows that you care which is only going to strengthen the manager/employee bond which statistics have shown does a great number of things for your business like increase productivity, retention and job satisfaction. And two, you are going learn things about your staff which will more than likely create sparks of interest which translate into business opportunities. This level of getting to know your people should also be used on your current and prospective clients.
So we have established that knowing who you have on staff is good for opportunity exploration and identification. What about current captures? Chances are, if you are bidding on work in the federal or commercial space, the customer is looking for some level of expertise with your proposed personnel to do the work (e.g., certain certifications, degrees, years of experience, knowledge of a process/model, etc.). The first thing most companies do is scour the job boards for these types of personnel, hitting Indeed, LinkedIn, Monster, etc. and start making phone calls. There is nothing wrong with that of course and should be part of your staffing strategy. However, have you thought to look within your own business first? There may be someone sitting in your current organization that meets those requirements. It might also be the perfect opportunity to fleet up and green your workforce, save your customer money, and put someone in that dream job they mentioned. If you don’t know who you have, how are you going to utilize them to save yourself time, money and energy?
Now, as your business grows, this continues to be a harder exercise, but don’t let that stop you. This type of corporate personnel knowledge and data retrieval can be pushed down to managers from which that data can be easily extrapolated when needed. You can also house all corporate resumes in one place (a database of some kind) allowing you to search on keywords very quickly to see if existing staff have what you are looking for. Once established, this is an easy exercise and can be completed in mere minutes. If your resumes are formatted the same, you can also quickly pick them up and put them in your proposal. This resume search can be done in any number of ways including free online software, e.g. Evernote, Dropbox or probably with something already on your PC, e.g. Microsoft OneNote. You can also screen scrape LinkedIn pages and store that information in the same place. Chances are your staff’s LinkedIn page doesn’t exactly match their resume and has tons of useful keywords to include in your search. The better you know your existing staff, the more opportunity you have to utilize their background and skills to help you increase your sales. As you continue to grow, make sure you are continuously updating the employee database so that the information is active and relevant. So, stop sitting at your desk, get up and walk around. Talk to your employees, get to know them, increase company morale, build your database, search in house staff before looking outside, start saving time and money and increase your chances of sales and success today!