Your organization is growing—what a wonderful thing!  Needs are changing, more employees are needed, and you are continually re-focusing to keep the vision clear.  What exciting times.

However, be sure not to get tunnel vision about where you are going and what you really have as resources.

Suppose you are engaging in a new marketing campaign. You need everything from script writers to artists to web masters.  You have an existing web masters and writer. You determine that you need an artist.  So you go outside your organization looking for just the artist you need. This can be expensive when you add up the expenses to recruit, hire and train that new employee.  Meanwhile in the IT department wiling away her time is an aspiring artist just waiting for an opportunity like this.

What was the true cost of not looking within?

Try this one on.  There are two fulfillment companies with their own warehouses and delivery fleet.  Thanks to growing online ordering the companies they contract with for deliveries are expanding.  Both companies need drivers.  Company A goes outside to recruit a local driver with a CDL license.  Time and money later they finally secure a driver to train and engage in the company culture—more time and money spent.  Company B puts a notice out first inside the company.  As luck would have it there is a young father in the warehouse with a CDL license who had been turning down opportunities because he could not find a local driving position.

Who made out better here?  Admittedly the second scenario requires a bit of luck, however the answer is always “no” if you never ask.   The first scenario is very close to one I experienced in an international company I once worked for.

Do you know the hidden talents of your employees?  Have you ever asked?  I suggest you put together an employee talent survey just to know who is on the bus, even if they don’t have a seat at the moment.  That seat might be developing for them as you develop the company.

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