HR Trendsetter: Ben Casnocha, Co-Author, The Alliance: Managing Talent In the Networked Age

Ben Casnocha believes that today’s workforce more closely resembles entrepreneurs than the “lifers” of yesteryear—and that, to recruit and manage them, you need a whole new talent framework. He collaborated with LinkedIn chairman Reid Hoffman and entrepreneur Chris Yeh to write The Alliance: Managing Talent in the Networked Age (Harvard Business Review Press, July), which explores talent mobility trends.

Casnocha, who is based in San Francisco, regularly delivers speeches on business topics—including at SHRM’s 2013 Strategy Conference—and has written for NPR’s “Marketplace,” Newsweek and the U.S. State Department. He’s authored two other business books and maintains a blog. He was previously Hoffman’s chief of staff at LinkedIn. —Christina Folz

The “Tour of Duty”
In the context of work, this is a commitment by employer and employee to a mission of finite duration that transforms both the employee’s career and the company’s trajectory.

His Advice
We can’t restore the old model of lifetime employment, but we can build a new loyalty. You must move from a transactional to a relational approach. Think of employment as a mutually beneficial deal, with explicit terms, between independent players.

How He’s Making a Difference
You can’t measure all that matters. When a manager tells me that she was able to engage a formerly disengaged employee by having open and honest conversations about their career—as we advise in The Alliance—I find that very satisfying.