One of the most often misunderstood aspects of fighting wars is the importance of logistics. You can’t fight for long without food, fuel, ammunition, and replacement troops.
In warfighting, logistics are pretty much everything. General Dwight D. Eisenhower put it best, “You will not find it difficult to prove that battles, campaigns, and even wars have been won or lost primarily because of logistics.”
We save the accolades for brilliant tactics and strategy. Tactics and strategies, however, were assured success by boring, old logistics. In WW2, for example, only 3 in 10 US soldiers actually served in a combat role. The rest were truck drivers, deckhands, mechanics, radio operators, and a myriad of other support roles which might have never seen the front line. And yet their contribution decisively won the war.
Ok, so why does this matter in the talent acquisition world?
No CEO ever got accolades for incredible recruiting. Their bonuses are based on their profits which they can quickly pad to look better by cutting costs and laying people off. They have little incentive to improve recruiting processes or repurpose existing personnel rather than lay them off. Such measures might stave off shareholder pressure, but it won’t build a long-term successful business.
In business, we hand out accolades for brilliant marketing, winning sales, and shiny products. We don’t hand out the accolades for hiring the people that make all of the success happen. And yet every winning company recruits well. They know when to recruit and when not to, how to recruit, and how to keep and train up the people they have.
Now that we are in the talent shortage that all the academics predicted would happen (even without COVID), maybe it’s time to re-evaluate how to succeed. Maybe it’s time for CEOs and COOs to start looking at Talent Acquisition, Recruiting, or whatever you call hiring people as the best way to create winning business strategies. Success comes with consistency, and you won’t achieve that without a strong backbone to support the people in your company.