Even Apple has to think about HR solutions
Apple recently announced that its Senior Vice President for hardware engineering, Bob Mansfield, is retiring. This is one of the executives that, along with Steve Jobs, has been responsible for keeping Apple on its ascendant path.
On one hand, I can’t really blame Mansfield for retiring. He’s incredibly rich. He’s sold stock valued at close to $100 million in the past few years and still has options worth almost that much. Why work?
On the other hand, Mansfield’s departure leaves Apple with a big void to fill in a key area of its business.
It remains to be seen if the move will take a bite out of Apple’s business (pun intended). But it’s a good example of how HR solutions, as they relate to staffing and recruiting, enable your company to create programs that help fill key positions quickly and sometimes unexpectedly.
To be clear, I’m not just talking about succession planning. I’m sure there is someone ready and eager to take Mansfield’s place. But what if that person is not ready? Or what if the person doesn’t work out? Or what if Apple changes strategies that require different talent in this position? (According to Fortune, Dan Riccio, Apple’s vice president of iPad hardware engineering, is lined up to take over for Mansfield.)
You sometimes hear about CEOs that don’t work out after a couple of years at the helm, but you don’t often hear about the mid-level managers or other key executives that are fired or leave the company after only a short time. These situations can just be as devastating to an organization’s culture as failures at the top. When failures do occur at the top, it’s probably the mid-level executives who can keep the company going. Without them, the company is likely doomed.
Your HR solutions and staffing solutions should include strategies that allow you to quickly ramp up and ramp down recruiting. And even though I’ve been talking about Apple, this also applies to smaller companies or key parts of larger companies, such as your IT department.
Here’s another way of thinking about it: Think of a big project or department as a mini-company. Where are you going to find the right talent — especially for the upper levels of your organization — to get the project done?
Your ability to respond when the project is green-lighted or when a key customer has a specific need will likely be determined by the staff you have on your team. If an employee leaves unexpectedly or you need to hire more help quickly, a lack of talent will directly impact your ability to respond and grow.
HR solutions, including recruitment process outsourcing (RPO), or even flexible staffing options, such as temporary workers and independent contractors, can be helpful if you have the right program in place (preferably before you need it).
In the end, Apple will probably be OK. But it’s a good idea to make sure you consider your HR solutions options in staffing and recruiting before a lack of good talent takes a bite out of your business. (Yes, I did it again.)