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Productivity Increases When People & Jobs Matched Well

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Unlocking productivity and even maintaining the existing levels is a challenge that requires businesses to continuously change and recalibrate their operational strategies. The latest research indicates that a good match between the skills people have and the job they are assigned to do, is a significant contributor to overall productivity in the workplace. We call this 'adaptability' and we have now been able to measure its value in the workplace. Markets in which employees can evolve and adapt their skills to the opportunities available to them, have the advantage of unlocking a higher level of productivity.

A new report 'Adapt to Survive'commissioned by LinkedIn and conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) measuresthe ability of labour markets to adapt to evolving skills demands. It shows that the factors most important for adaptability are the willingness of employees to embrace new skills and the ability of employers to find talent with the right skills. Interestingly, countries where employees are more adaptable and where people and jobs are well matched, have consistently witnessed higher rates of economic growth.

India ranked tenth out of 11 countries surveyed in terms of an overall adaptability score. The study revealed that poor talent alignment is costing Indian companies as much as Rs 50800 crore in lost productivity annually. Therefore there is much we can do as a country to ensure we are fostering adaptable talent. Talent managers need to introspect and change the way they are hiring talent to make sure that adaptability is an important consideration.

I have three suggestions that can help your company find the ideal candidate in a cost effective and timely manner and leverage the concept of adaptability more effectively.

Nurture and Reward Adaptability: Most often,recruiterslook outside their company to meet their hiring requirements. More often than not, they overlook the employees within the organization who may be the ideal fit for a position they want to fill.

HR managers should also design learning and development modules and retention and reward processes to further encourage employees to develop newer skills. Traditional pay and performance review processes do not typically reward employees for being adaptable.Use of talent analytics to identify the skills gap will further enable them to train and hire strategically.

An adaptable workforce enables businesses to capitalize on new opportunities in a fast-changing market. Therefore making lateral moves enticing can unlock huge opportunities.

Improve Hiring Efforts:  The 'Adapt to Survive' report shows a strong correlation between use of online professional networks in a country and its adaptability score. For instance, Netherlands, the most adaptable country among the 11 countries surveyed uses online professional networks to its fullest potential.  In India, 41% recruiters cite these networks as a top source of key quality hires. The findings also show that employers with a strong presence online, attract better talent and have a fairly lower rate of attrition.

Empower employees:  Once a company has found the right employees, how their full potential is mobilized is the next step.  Empowering employees and letting them take charge of their career is a process that requires timely commitment from the employer as well as the employee. Both parties should be open to discussing professional goals and working through the process of achieving these. To help employees become truly successful, recruiters need to collaborate on a shared vision of career success and take intelligent risks on opportunities that may not have been traditionally considered.

It is now clear that the link between adaptability and productivity has a positive effect on the financial success of individual companies and on the economy as a whole.

The authir is director of talent solutions at LinkedIn India