Aligning People Strategy With Business Strategy

Aligning People Strategy With Business Strategy

By Traci Scherck, MPA, SPHR, SHRM-SCP

Have you ever found yourself in a crunch where they need to hire someone “yesterday” and end up hiring someone to fill the position without looking at the entire person?  What we often hear is 30 – 60 –90’s day after a person is hired is “Where is the person I interviewed?  The person showing up today is NOT who I thought that I was getting in the interview!”

People strategies are the bridge between an organization’s business strategy and their business results.  This tends to solve the “putting a round peg in a square hole” issue. Meaning, the person you hired is not optimally designed based on their natural behaviors to do the job that the organization needs them to do for a long period of time in your current work environment.  Yet, how do you ensure that you are hiring the right person for the role and organization?

5 Ways to Ensure You Hire the Right Person For the Job:


1) Understand the needed business results this individual must execute on.  Examples may include:

  • Serve 2,500 clients per month, per store with an average total purchase of $350.
  • Generate 50 million in top line revenue annually with a 35% profit margin.
  • Expand services in two new markets resulting in $1 million in increased sales while servicing 500 new clients.

2) Discover the type of strategy that the team your new employee will be on and  is responsible for helping to execute.  Examples of strategies:

  • Create or redefine our company’s brand and perception in the market.
  • Improve our employees’ loyalty and faith in the company.
  • Implement structures or procedures to handle the needs of our growing workforce.
  • Drive growth through increased sales or improved customer retention.
  • Implement new systems or processes.

3) Define the type of team that is needed to execute the current business strategy.  Examples of team types:

  • Executing Teams: A “no-nonsense” team that address conflict logically and swiftly, with a focus on facts, not feelings. They collaborate when required, but otherwise work on tasks individually. Team members value each other’s expertise, time, and information.
  • Anchoring Teams: A cooperative, patient, and dependable team. They welcome input and try to get the whole team involved. Team members are highly in tune with what’s going on within the organization and are less externally focused.
  • Pathfinding Team: This team is relentless. While conflict is frequent, it’s also valued, as people challenge each other to think differently. Team members don’t always coordinate before acting, which can lead to poor cooperation.

4) Define the job to be done and align the key leadership team that will be supervising and or responsible for this role to ensure that everyone is on the same page. This is in addition to a job description which is more about the tasks to be done vs. how the job is done. Examples of job traits:

  • Handling repetitive work without becoming impatient
  • Collecting and analyzing data
  • Selling ideas or other intangibles
  • Consistently carrying out the directions of supervisor
  • Understanding the problems and concerns of others

5) Map out the teams and people needed to execute the business strategy.  Once you have your road map, you can back into what roles you need to fill for and where those people are coming from.  Examples of recruitment strategies:

  • Internal Talent Pathways – hiring a current employee into the role through a promotion, matrix move, or project role.
  • Current Customer – hiring current customers ensures that they already know you, your values and your organizational culture.  These are typically passive job seekers that you have already had a conversation with.
  • External Recruiter – Recruiters are great for hard to fill roles where you want to hire someone from a competitor and that key person is not yet known to you.
  • Post & Pray Candidates – These are active job seekers that are searching on job boards.

As the hiring manager, you are hiring for the whole person, and they need to look at what we like to call The Head, The Heart and The Briefcase of the candidate.

  • The Head is the behavioral drive and cognitive ability of the candidate.
  • The Heart is the individual’s values, passions, interests and shared beliefs.
  • The Briefcase is the knowledge, skills and experience that a candidate brings to the organization.

Do you have a people strategy in place that aligns your business strategy to your business results?  If not, this may be the code to cracking Human Resources in a business context.