We have turnover, people don’t stay more than a couple of years, we have productivity issues, etc. etc. These are just some of the usual complaints we hear from clients. A new hire is a chance to improve, a chance to learn from mistakes, but when you look at what most organization do, you start to understand why these problems arise. Companies are lazy when they hire. There I said it. Most jobs are just rinse and repeats.
The Perfect Candidate Fallacy
I have lost count of the times a company asks me for the perfect candidate… the person that has done every part of the job before, has the exact education and can walk in and do 90% of the entire job scope on day one. On the face of it, what is wrong with that? Well, where is the excitement? Where is the progression? Where is the innovation? Sure, they have a better place to do the same job, but that novelty wears off and the only thing they can change to get the excitement back is the employer. No wonder tenure is decreasing and progression through changing employers multiple time is now the main way for people to get ahead in their careers.
Ontario has been graded as a ‘D’ by the Conference Board for employee productivity. When you consider that Ontario based organizations are spending 40% less on training and development than they were 10 years ago, things become clearer. We no longer truly invest in the development of people, we no longer focus on progression and development within our organizations. We have gotten lazy and look for the easiest and fastest solution, without really fixing the problem. Granted, economic pressures and increased global competition have put a strain on margins, but if we could just engage and develop our workforce, imagine the possibilities. We could make succession planning more than just a buzzword – we could make it a reality for most companies!
Develop a Recruitment Strategy
It all starts with careful recruitment. Consider the must haves, the fit, ability of that person to identify with the values and vision of the organization. Think about the risk factors that a lack of certain expertise presents and make them a hard line in the sand a person must reach. However, design the job so someone is stepping up, learning, progressing and developing. Their fresh perspective and energy will challenge you, challenge the way you have done things and bring new ideas to the table. Think outside your traditional profile and diversify.
Then once you have them, commit to their success, support them through effective onboarding, coaching and developmental milestones. None of this is new, it is common sense, but something that seems to be forgotten more times than not. People are usually the difference between good and great, make sure you give your people a better chance of greatness – otherwise someone else will!