February 16, 2024
If you think your operation is the “big leagues”, what are you doing to develop your “farm team?” American readers know all about our baseball teams supporting several levels of “clubs” where younger players go to develop their skills. The rest of the world has experience with their “football” clubs maintaining an “academy” with the same purpose. Consistently successful organizations “build from within” and avoid the expense of going to the free agent market [transfer window for soccer fans]. How many of you know the people in charge at your local high school/technical college/university? Have you ever asked them what you can do to assist them in their mission of preparing students for successful professional lives? If the answer to both those questions is “no”, you should not be surprised that the perfect applicants are not flocking to your human resources office. Supporting the “feeder system” does not have to be costly or time consuming. You might also find that there is an immediate payback for your current team members who “volunteer” to conduct tours, speak to classes, or mentor students. Doing good feels good and can help people grow into more responsible positions on the team. Regular readers will remember my long espoused support for internship programs. If you have a big list of projects that need to be completed “someday”, why not get some energetic helpers to start on them this summer? Need to get schooled in the latest computer software? There are college kids adept at those programs who would love the chance to demonstrate their ability in a real world context. This summer looks to be a particularly tough time for interns due to the corona-19 virus interrupting face-to-face instruction. Hopefully, university placement offices will remain open so applicants can connect with opportunities. If you are interested in starting an internship program, there is plenty of guidance online. I still hear from some of our interns from years past; many credit their time working with us for getting them their first “real job” after graduation. Short of them becoming stars for your team, there is no better feeling than knowing you helped someone off to a good start.