Hire `em, and keep `em!
A FEW years ago fed up and totally annoyed at the rate employees were quitting a sinking organisation, the HR department came up with the bright idea of asking the people to sign a contract for a year when they were promoted. Though some desperate souls did just that, many left nevertheless. Could it have been a recruitment failure?
It wasn't just that various departments were left groaning under the workload; there was also the matter of replacing the departing employee, the costs of which were prohibitive.
Organisations have begun to recognise the expense of making bad hiring choices. Apart from time and money spent on travelling, interviewing, relocation etc there is also the additional burden of training the new employee. It is not just the bottom line that is affected; the entire organisation suffers when there is a mismatch between an individual and the organisational needs. One of the common mistakes recruiters make is to hire people for their specific skills rather than hiring the best talent in the market. They forget that skills are trainable; it's a learned competence. Recruitment agencies when they advertise like to talk of the skills they seek in the candidates. There is often no mention of the rather more rare `talent'. Talent is inborn, a natural aptitude; skills are acquired. For instance you can be trained to become a skilled writer but you may not have a talent for writing. It will take you that much more hard work and constant effort.
Hiring the right talent cannot happen just by chance. Few managers have the ability to develop an appropriate plan for selecting the talent they need. It is not that they overlook any weaknesses but rather the wrong things are focused on. HR departments must make sure that they have a hiring scheme in place, have specific criteria for hiring. Finding people who are of right fit and who want to remain will take some upfront planning
There are managers whose selection standards are based on their gut feel. They are also aware that it is not always money that makes people stay. It can be a satisfier but not a motivator. Lack of money may not actually drive away the employees but many employees use this as an excuse because it is a safe answer. How many organisations hire somebody to be in charge of Retention rather than recruitment? Because what matters is not whom you hire but whom you keep.
Organisations can do well to think keenly of how to stem the outflow rather than spend money on elaborate search and recruitment procedures. Ultimately good people with talent will stay. Your `highly skilled' workers will go to any place that offers better remuneration for their skills. Talented employees, when treated well and appreciated for their work and effort will reward you with their loyalty. This is a task cut out for the management have a system that encourages the performers and discourages the non-performers. The management should realise that a person with the wrong skills and aptitude could prove to be more costly than having no person in that post at all.
Engage & manage
Most of the trouble starts when people are hired for a particular job and later shifted to other groups or departments where they don't fit in. The talents and skills for which they were specifically hired may be of no or little use then and is it surprising that they fail abysmally? You can struggle to get the work done but can never perform to your usual standards. The transition from a talented, motivated and hard working employee to an unmotivated `worker' doesn't take too long to happen.
The issue here is simple. Hire the best and put them in places where they can be their best. If you help your people succeed, the company's success will naturally follow.
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