A success of a company is not only a result of incredible manufacturing capability and great location. Many times, HR strategy becomes the reason for company to stand strong and grow big to rule the world. Apple is one example of such company. Great talents and unusual talent management approaches are considered as the most important reasons why Apple could be the leader in consumer electronics.
Actually, Apple does not open up with company’s HR strategy. It is not hard to understand why company tries to hide their secret because competition is fierce. However, some people were tried hard to analyze HR strategy at Apple. They interviewed HR leaders and talked with former workers to find it out.
Recruiting is something that become they key of success. Apple requires all candidates to be hard worker, committed to the company, and get every precise detail perfect. Many times, Apple recruits high-quality workers from other firms. Some people call it pirate raiding.
Apple is known as a different company in many ways. Instead of promising work and life balance, Apple is emphasizing hard work for all workers. Instead of promising career progression, Apple concept is for employees to own their career. Career path is not fully supported by Apple. Employees must seek information about other jobs in different units themselves.
Apple makes things so different in talent management. Instead of providing training and development program, Apple make the employees do it themselves. Trainings are available but Apple does not give or create learning plan for the employees. Apple reinforces the employees to have strong self-reliant and develop their skills on their own.
When others use development program as part of retention strategy, Apple does the opposite. The important retention factor of Apple is economic reward. Employees will get stock grants periodically if they could contribute something big to the company. They call it an opportunity for wealth creation that you will have a nice retirement if you can reach your own individual accomplishment.
Agility is believed as the most important key in Apple success. As the world can easily see Apple agility to shift from a computer company into music industry and then rules smartphone industry, agility in talent is the real key behind it. Instead of making the employees focus on one thing and improve themselves on the subject, the company reinforces employees to prepare themselves from next big thing.
It is not that employees could not focus on a project but after one project is successful, they must prepare themselves to do something new. The new project could be something completely different from the previous project. Workers must prepare themselves to learn and retool in very short time. The preparation is not only physical but also mental and work of brain, for sure.
How the team works is another unique approach from Apple. Instead of creating a strong team to work on something, Apple assigns several teams to work on one project. All teams are competing to create something new that full of innovation. The work of each team would be reviewed and one best would be chosen.
To force freethinking that creating innovation at the end of the design, Apple make all design teams to have two meeting every week. The first meeting is something common with discussion of small refinements and the second is go crazy meeting. Go crazy meeting have been gaining attention of many people in the world, because Apple let anyone to brainstorms and speak about anything crosses their mind. Nothing is impossible in go crazy meeting.
At a glance, Apple seems to be the worst place to work. Apple’s approach toward employees is considered arrogant. Apple only pushes employees to the limit without helping them to reach the limit. It seems that Apple is only short-time job solution while you need to seek another job if you want to have better career.
However, the strategy seems work well for both company and workers. From the very beginning, workers know that they could not expect warm family inside the company. They know that they must become something special to survive. Therefore, without training and development program, workers already learn, train, and develop themselves. Yet, they do not regret it because they know that they will receive amazing return if they could give something incredible for the company.
New challenge after a project is another key point of attraction. It could make people have new spirit and surely will not experience boring. Employees are always pro-active and curious about what will happen tomorrow. They always prepare themselves to learn something new that makes life so exciting.
With such strategy, Apple should not offer training and learning program because the employees will seek it themselves. Apple should not create development program because the employees will develop themselves. This is how Apple trains their employees to be creative and innovative.