I recently made what seems on the surface to be a major professional change, going from working in global distribution for Tyco Electronics Ltd. (NYSE: TEL), a large global manufacturer of electronic components with more than 80,000 employees, to starting my own executive search company with an employee base of one: me.
Although company picnics will no doubt be much smaller in scale, there are many similarities between the two careers, primarily that in both positions I am part of the electronics industry supply chain.
Wikipedia describes a supply chain as a system of organizations, people, technology, activities, information, and resources involved in moving a product or service from supplier to customer. Supply chain activities transform natural resources, raw materials, and components into a finished product that is delivered to the end customer.
The process of identifying an organization’s talent needs and finding, acquiring, and retaining employees is essentially human capital supply chain management. In recruiting, human capital supply chain activities transform relationships and data (ad responses, resumés, social networking profiles, LinkedIn connections, etc.) into candidates that are delivered to hiring managers.
Relationships are key in the equation, in that along with specific skill sets required for particular jobs, there are certain "personalities" that also assist in making or breaking someone in those jobs or with those companies. Culturally, there needs to be a fit. A recruiter having intimate relationships with both the hiring company and the candidate can create a more harmonious match right from the start.
A recent blog by Glen Cathey examined how lean principles and just-in-time concepts from the manufacturing supply chain can and should be applied to the human capital supply chain. It struck me that the "leaning out" of unnecessary steps or waste, regardless of what is being supplied -- products, services, or people -- is not just applicable to the manufacturing world where I came from, but also the recruiting world into which I’m diving.
I’m looking forward to the opportunity to continue to be a part of the electronics supply chain by offering insights and links to the human capital supply chain.