What I learnt about The Talent War from The Band of Brothers

3 02 2010

Back in the days before Crunch and Credit were in the same sentence, many of us were talking about a War for Talent. In fact I recall going to a conference about it with Gladiators handing out canapés at the Trocadero in London… I digress.

This War for Talent, a term coined by McKinsey in 1997, hinged upon a few pivotal themes, in short:

  • The need for great Talent is important
  • Demand for this Talent outstrips supply
  • The stakes are high
  • Companies are not prepared
  • The war will persist

With the job market starting to show some signs of improvement in specific skill-based areas, it’s clear that there remains a skills-shortage and that the Talent War is back on many businesses radar.

Recently I watched the Band of Brothers. I’m not normally into War programmes so I was surprised at the impact that this 10-part Mini Series had on me and my perceptions of wars. And it’s with this theme in mind, I thought I’d share some of my reflections on what we could learn from “Easy” Company that could easily be transferred to our very own War for Talent.

  • Great training and concern for the wellbeing of others means that you’ve a better chance of survival, even under the most trying of circumstances
  • Every single person has a vital role to play
  • Use all the resources that are available to you
  • From hardship stems remarkable teamwork
  • You need to believe in your leader to do great things
  • Sometimes the impossible is possible
  • You can be too involved in the action. Sometimes you need to step away and get some perspective

Do you have any reflections on this? Do you share my views?  I’d really welcome your feedback and any additions.

You may also like to know that I’m talking about the Talent War amongst other tracks at The Recruitment Unconference later this month. Why not come and discuss your thoughts there?

I’ll leave you with a quote from the series itself:

2nd Lt. George Rice: Looks like you guys are going to be surrounded.
Richard Winters: We’re paratroopers, Lieutenant. We’re supposed to be surrounded”




3 responses

3 02 2010

Interesting article, loved Band of brothers and understand the logic of the piece. I’d also like to shoot some candidates and clients on occasions – even more similarities than you first thought!
In all seriousness, very good point about team work and resources, particularly when the market is so brutal.

3 02 2010

Great series and love the connection you make Michelle. Add to that ’empty uniforms’, those that are occupying space in your business, but adding little if anything….

3 02 2010

nice post,good work

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