What We Can All Learn From Silicon Valley Talent Management

Google, Yahoo, Twitter – just a few of the big names from Silicon Valley that are revolutionizing not only how the world sees technology, but also how  businesses large and small view talent management.


So if we’re all to look to Silicon Valley and how they manage their employees and develop and implement talent management strategies, we might learn the following lessons:

  1. It’s not necessarily a bad thing to have talent moves fluidly from organization to organization. This is a topic that’s often discussed when we talk about Millennials in today’s workforce—they tend to move from job to job much more than their older counterparts, but that doesn’t necessarily have to be a bad thing for either employees or companies and Silicon Valley is showing us that. In Silicon Valley rather than having a life-long career at one company it’s about fresh ideas, innovation and working on projects versus just trying to stay at one company for decades. It’s not unusual for talent to do quite a bit of moving around and they bring new ideas and offerings to each company they move to. While this may not be ideal for every position within a company, it also doesn’t have to be a downfall to have more movement between employees than what we saw in the past because you can really get a lot of great ideas and keep your company fresh this way.
  2. Failure is okay. In Silicon Valley the environment is really about innovation as we mentioned above, and doing things that have never been done before, along with a reliance on the entrepreneurial spirit. These are concepts that also come with a great deal of failure and Silicon Valley shows us that embracing failure isn’t just acceptable, but it can really be necessary to the process of building a great company and great employees. Employees need to feel like failure isn’t the worst thing in the world, but is instead a necessary stepping stone on the path to something good.
  3. Collaboration is key. Not every company is going to be able to replicate the unique corporate culture we see in Silicon Valley—it just simply may not work in your industry or with your business model, but you can still cherry pick some parts of the common Silicon Valley cultural elements that make them unique places to work. One of these is collaboration. Businesses of all types can learn the importance of employees working amongst one another and also being able to openly share their thoughts and ideas with their bosses. It can lead to some really fascinating and successful new products or changes within a company but it can also help employees feel happier, more appreciated and more engaged.
  4. The importance of seeing beyond the college degree. This is a really big and pivotal thing that Silicon Valley set the tone for and other companies are beginning to see the value of. Just a few years ago a college degree was basically a requirement for most jobs beyond minimum wage employment, but as leaders in Silicon Valley have been showing, a college degree doesn’t necessarily define success or failure in the business world. Instead, employers are embracing the idea of hiring based on vision, personal characteristics and an innovative spirit rather than automatically disqualifying a candidate for not having a degree. As we’re seeing a massive rise in student loan debt among young people in this country, we can expect that fewer young adults may decide to pursue a four-year college degree out of a sense of practicality and as we’ve seen in Silicon Valley this can also cause a shift in hiring and talent management ideas and practices.

What have you seen happening in Silicon Valley that you expect to see gain traction on a larger scale in terms of talent management?

November 26, 2014   Updated :March 20, 2015   collaboration, creativity, innovation, silicon valley, talent management ideas   

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