Growth hacking is a surging trend when it comes to branding and marketing, with startups especially. But what exactly is “growth hacking?” Let’s start there; growth hacking is a type of marketing which focuses on low-cost and innovative alternatives to traditional marketing. Common examples include social media and viral marketing, as opposed to buying advertisements through traditional media.

Most leaders like to think they have the hiring process wired – define the need, reach out to your network, interview three candidates and hire the best one. Honestly, we wish it could always be that simple; and for some roles, it is. So why do some of these new hires quit, or worse, have to be terminated within one year? Something was missing.

Ever heard of the Rooney Rule? In the National Football League (NFL), the highest level of professional competition in American football, the rule requires teams to interview minority candidates for head coaching and senior football operation jobs. A straightforward concept, makes you wonder how it evolved and if it has positively impacted diversity hiring in the NFL. A more provocative thought – what if a scenario like this existed in Corporate America.

Recruiting is a dance. Hiring the best person for a given role requires two parties, working together to truly determine whether the needs of one can be met by the needs of the other, and vice versa.

Today, everything has changed. Fifteen to twenty years ago, we used to think about connection very differently than we do today. The concept of social media was a topic for daydreams, not reality. The people we knew, “Connections,” were linked to us in some tangible way; family, friends, work, school, or maybe someone you met on vacation. The technology of the day was time-consuming and presented a barrier to connecting; phones, letters, or face-to-face. Then we entered the hyper connection age, and the number of possible connections exploded.

When we step back and view the business landscape, it’s hard to come up with more than a handful of companies that have been around and been profitable for 30, 40, 50 or even a 100 years.  IBM certainly comes to mind.  At times IBM has been an innovation leader and has been able to survive and thrive. Thomas Watson Sr., legendary CEO of IBM is known for many famous quotes that include “It is better to aim at perfection and miss, than to aim at imperfection and hit it.”

Less hype than Samsung’s Galaxy S4, but I guarantee Talent 4.0 will have a more profound impact on its respective constituency. Bigger, faster, stronger – both of these “next generations” mark an irrevocable progression in the competitive marketplace. With Talent 4.0, corporate America encounters a revitalizing perspective as well as a dangerous ultimatum – lead the pack or get trampled underfoot.