I’m a big fan of Trader Joe’s. When Mr. Bartender and I lived in South Florida, we had a Trader Joe’s but it wasn’t always convenient to stop there. Now that we live in North Florida, there’s a Trader Joe’s right down the street.
Because we’ve started going to Trader Joe’s more often, I wanted to learn a little more about the company. So, I listened to a short podcast series called “Inside Trader Joe’s”. As of today, there are nine episodes that talk about Trader Joe’s business, products, culture, employees, etc. It’s very interesting – and kinda fun.
But in the sixth episode, they talked about the future of the company and their expansion plans. Trader Joe’s CEO Dan Bane said that they hoped to open 30-35 stores per year. But he made a comment that stuck with me. He said, “We won’t open a store just because we can. We want to open a store that’s run by the right kind of people doing the right kinds of things.”
Simply put, this means that organizational growth (and dare I add business profitability) is contingent upon finding the right people at the right time using reasonable resources. This means that human resources and talent management professionals are front and center in the ability for the organization to meet its operating goals.
We talk all the time about HR having a seat at the table. Guess what? We do. Now we need to deliver.
At this year’s HR Technology Conference, I heard a speaker say that organizations can’t hire their way to growth. (My apologies, I can’t remember who said it.) But the point was that organizations can’t simply hire all the people they need from the outside to grow the business. The labor market right now doesn’t make that possible. There are more job openings than people.
In order to grow the company, it would be necessary to also develop talent from within. In addition to conducting effective external hiring.
If human resources departments aren’t thinking about their talent management strategies, now is the time to start doing that. We have to think beyond just filling requisitions. There needs to be a coordinated effort between recruiting and talent development. Managers need to be given the tools to hire, engage, and retain talent. A single program isn’t going to cut it. It’s going to take a strategy.
And that strategy needs to be long-term. Remember that well cited statistic from Pew Research that says 10,000 people a day are turning retirement age? Well, they aren’t all leaving the day they turn retirement age. But, at some point, they will leave. Which impacts the labor market.
Candidates have choices. Recruiting is getting tougher. Organizations like Trader Joe’s want to grow and expand. But as Dan Bane said, it takes people. Companies will be looking for HR to provide strategic guidance and effective talent management. The future of the company depends on it.
P.S. Speaking of business growth and talent, I’m going to be discussing this very subject with SAP for Small Business during a Facebook Livestream on Monday, December 3, 2018 at 12n Eastern. With me will be Robert Sher, author of the book “Mighty Midsized Companies: How Leaders Overcome 7 Silent Growth Killers” and Sarah Evans, digital correspondent and consultant. Details about the Livestream can be found on the SAP for Small Business Facebook page. Hope you’ll join us!
Door entry graffiti image captured by Sharlyn Lauby while exploring the streets of Havana, Cuba
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