If you have been near anything which vaguely resembles an internet connection you would be hard pressed to not have heard about Pokemon Go over the last month. A global race has taken the spotlight with trainers travelling by land, air, and sea to be the first to catch all 151 Pokemon and declare themselves as the Pokemon Master of the world. From the moment it was released it has been a global phenomenon and has quickly grown to be an internet sensation and  sitting at over 50 million downloads since its release early July, and is expected to surpass Twitter in the number of active users.

While Pokemon Go has taken augmented reality to a new level, the game features a significant element of practical relevance to the modern workplace, especially when it comes to recruiting and talent management. Here are some of the tips I learnt while I was taking part in my quest to catch ’em all:

Finding the right talent is just the beginning

So congratulations, you finally caught that Pokemon you really wanted. But that is just the beginning- now it needs to be trained to either increase its combat power or evolve into a better Pokemon. On very rare occasions will a Pokemon you catch be prepared to do everything you want it to. Higher level Pokemon will learn better moves and make them more effective when it comes to battling other gyms and it pays off to invest in the process.

A successful organisation will need to have programs in place that understand the purpose of the organisation and how to link it towards developing employees so that they are better aligned with the business objectives, while at the same time catering to their own personal goals. Just like Pokemon, training is an ongoing process that you are never done with as there are always new skills to learn that will make you a better-rounded organisation.

The Best Talent is not always right in front of you

You’re not going to catch all of the Pokemon from sitting on your couch. You might catch a few Zubats or Pidgeys, and if you’re lucky something better might come your way, but if you want to get the best Pokemon you have to go out and explore and interact with your environment to give you a chance of coming across something better. The idea here is that Pokemon will rarely seek you out and the optimal strategy if you want to level up in the game is to go out and hunt until you find the best Pokemon. Additionally, some Pokemon are only available in certain regions. You won’t find a Mr Mime anywhere around here, you’ll have to widen your search to Europe if you want one of those.

Pokemon_Go_screenshotThe same can be said when it comes to recruiting new staff for your business. There are some candidates that you cannot reach from your desk and to reach them you will have to be prepared to go out and be more creative or network. Being able to widen the scope of your search and attract candidates from all over is one of the most important factors when it comes to your talent search. It is especially important for a business to understand the areas where their preferential candidates come from or gather so that they can be tracked down with ease and create talent pools. When the time comes when you have a position to fill, you will know exactly where to look and suitable candidates can be quickly and efficiently moved down the talent pipeline.

Don’t rush the process

That being said, it is no 5
minute job to go out and get that Dragonite that will make you a force to be reckoned with. People have already dedicated hundreds of hours to their Pokemon Quest and will still be missing many rare ones. The game takes a lot of patience, and you have to be prepared to put in the hard yards if you want to come out with a Pokemon with a Combat Power that will make a difference to your team.

Telling the wrong person ‘I choose you’ can be a costly mistake in the long run as while you might be inclined to try and fill the vacancy quickly, rushing the process can leave you in a position you’d regret. Being patient will pay off and will reduce the potential costs that come associated with labour turnover and will help you find someone who is a better fit for your organisation and syncs well with the rest of your team.

Diversity will always win

Having caught 200 Pokemon might seem like a great achievement but what if all of them are Charmanders. Come across a Squirtle, and your entire team is at risk of being wiped out because they lack the diversity to overcome a weakness. When you reach level 5 in the game, you are allowed to choose a team and battle other Pokemon in gyms controlled by other players. Not all Pokemon are created equal and while some will be naturally stronger, the Pokemon’s type is a huge factor in these battles. A good gym will try and stack a variety of different types for their gym to have the best chance to defend against other trainers. As someone battling the gyms, you will also need to have enough diversity in your lineup to be an effective conqueror.

If you’re a recruiter then you’re no stranger to the theories surrounding diversity. Better adaptability, a variety of ideas and potentially a broader range of services available are but a few. Constantly evaluating your existing talent will give you a reasonable idea of any potential shortcomings in your team and will help you to think about diversity when hiring.

Got any more tips that you would like to share with us? Let us know your thoughts!