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Is Top Talent Your Scarcest Resource?

Top talent has traditionally been the scarcest resource in the professional service industry. However, top talent seems currently abundantly available. First, due to increased mobility, top talent can be recruited from the market if you are willing to pay for it. Second, ever more professionals are being educated, leading to an oversupply of, for example, lawyers and some types of clinical specialists. How is your organization adjusting to this new reality?

When top talent is scarce

When it’s scarce, the more top talent you can recruit, the more customers you can serve, and the higher your revenue becomes. In this scenario it pays to recruit whenever and wherever you can to ensure your future revenue pipeline.surplus In addition, you treat your top talent well, motivating them to perform and stay. As a result, these top performers receive high salaries and comfortable benefit packages, while workflows are optimized so they can perform at their maximum level.

In short, the whole organization is structured around these top talented professionals who contribute the most, are scarce, and can leave you at any moment.

When is top talent no longer scarce?

When is top talent no longer scarce? Well, when top talent becomes a tradable commodity or an investment, that is, recruitable whenever it’s convenient for the organization. If there is a surplus of work, your investment in these high performing individuals will pay off, but what if work is no longer in surplus? Then these top performers probably become top cost-drivers, as personnel are typically the largest cost item in the budget of a professional service organization.

  • As an aside, “leaders” are top talent who are both high performers and willing to invest in the organization by building a community. These leaders will always be scarce, mostly because they will be loyal to the organization that they helped establish and not available on the recruitment marketplace.

What are the implications for your organization?

If top talent is no longer a scarce resource, your organization performs sub-optimally if it continues to be organized around them.

So the first question to ask is, what is your new scarcest resource? Is it:

  • Capital, because revenues have gone down, while costs have remained the same?
  • Leaders, because they have the ability to build a pipeline of new leaders, avoiding the need to bring in top talent from the outside at a high cost?
  • Time, because due to cost-cutting more has to be done with fewer people?

Whatever your scarcest resource is, make sure your organization is optimizing its usage. Doing this may require a major shift in your business model. Organizing4Innovation can help you turn this shift into a business model innovation opportunity.

The alternative

The alternative is to make your top talent becomes “scarce” again, which will raise revenues. The way to make that happen is by increasing the demand for their expertise through innovation. Let your top talent create demand by offering a new service or developing new business opportunities. This is a great way for them to show their true value, both to the organization and to the customers you serve.

Interested in learning more about how to use your top talent to drive innovation or how to benefit from business model innovation? Contact Organizing4Innovation at info “at” organizing4innovation “dot” com, or visit our website for more information:



Some related readings:

About a surplus of talent in the legal market: here

About a surplus of talent in the health care market: here