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How understanding the ‘skill will matrix’ can help startups manage talents  – YF Talent CEO

Talent sourcing for organisations is a big deal, as it is crucial for how employees will execute the visions of such an organisation.

If gotten right, the appropriate talent will take organisations to the next level. However, if gotten wrong, this could spell doom for the future of the company.

Instead of this, YF Talent Partners provides organisations with end-to-end HR transformation, leadership, and culture advisory services and constantly helps the organisation to find solutions to their business challenges.

The company collaborates with organisations to make sure they get the right talents, reward the right talents and also help with performance management, learning and development. 

Getting the right talents: During Nairametrics’ recently held Half Hour programme, Yemi Faseun, the CEO of YF Talent Partners, shared how the startup partners with organisations to look for talents and match them with their employees from the point of entry to the point of exit.

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Explaining how to identify the right talents, he said that organizations are built around systems, processes, structures and people. From a structure and system perspective, there is a job description and expected deliverables for every role.

The ultimate goal, therefore, is to find the perfect fit for every role that will fulfil the job descriptions and also deliver on the expected performance indicators for the role. However, doing this takes a lot of effort, beyond the computer-based test or a one-hour interview. And it requires the line manager to work with human resources. 

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Yemi noted that talent-sourcing companies do not always get it right. In such cases, the startup must be ready to mould recruiters into the taste of the organisations they find themselves.

  • “In this case, we put them on six-month probation and the individual is not working out in one or two months. The first thing shouldn’t be about exiting them, it should be about what we can do to develop them because they are individuals who are diamonds in the rocks and they just need a hand holding, somebody to polish them and bring out the best in them.”

The skill will matrix: Referencing the skill will matrix, he explained that some individuals have a high will and low skill while some have low skill and high will. How organizations manage such talents will depend on their ability to understand individual talents and help move them from the first quadrant to another where they’re able to ultimately deliver for their respective organization.

  • “Today’s job environment has changed the expected leadership competencies to be able to manage talent because if you don’t manage them, they’ve got options,” he said.

Talent sourcing competition: He added that talent sourcing competition has become the norm because employees have more opportunities to even work for foreign companies.

  • “The opportunities are boundless because of the advent of technology and the things that talents can do to make money and if employees still don’t find it, they will move out. People think that it’s all about the economic situation or political insecurity around the country. I acknowledge all of that, but I promise you that also corporate Nigeria has a lot of things to do in terms of helping us keep talent. If we have the right sort of leadership in the right positions within the corporate space, maybe 10 to 20 per cent of those who are migrating might just stay in Nigeria.”

Importance of soft skills: He spoke on the importance of soft skills such as emotional intelligence, stress management, time management, etc. According to him, though these skills were not prioritised in the past, organisations are giving them more focus nowadays, especially when recruiting for management roles. Possessing such skills helps managers and team lead to lead better without toxicity. 

  • “Those are soft skills that were that deemphasized in the past. In the new world, they have become very important because it is not just the fact that you want to be able to deliver results, but we are all trying to reduce toxicity in workplaces today. We’re all trying to improve psychological safety around corporate Nigeria. And if people do not have what you call soft skills (I call it hard skills), then organisations will constantly be in a state of flux and reflux,” he said.

Need for good work culture: Yemi explained that in the last two to three years since the advent of the pandemic, people have realized that there is more to life than just the 8 to 5 work shift, getting a paycheck and going on. He said people have realized the need to have balance integration harmony in their lives. And the only way to achieve this is through great work culture, otherwise, employees will constantly be looking for an environment where they can thrive, not just survive.

  • “The younger generation especially is not looking for just paychecks, they’re looking for psychological safety. They’re looking for meaning more than just money. They’re looking for sanity more than just salary. They’re looking for a purpose more than just promotion, and if they don’t get all of that, we say that they are shifting, We say that they are impatient, but the point is, let’s keep the environment psychologically safe for them from a great culture perspective, and perhaps we will see them stay more and contribute more to the organization.
  • “When individuals who are not getting the right sort of leadership and great culture. When they’re tired of the environment and they don’t have a choice, they will quite quit.”


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