Hiring and hanging onto the best

Written by
Changeboard Team

18 Aug 2010

18 Aug 2010 • by Changeboard Team

Engaged employees make a difference

The problem may be in any or all of the various stages of identifying the duties and competencies, advertising the vacancy, preparation for interview, the interview itself or the final decision to hire. People make or break an organisation. If you have the wrong person in a job then it will impact your business and your profits.

It doesnt end with hiring either; you have to keep them on board. Engaged employees are the ones who make a difference, so hold on to them. A successful organisation needs a great culture that keeps people motivated and performing to their highest potential. The engaged employee does a great job, you have happy clients as a result and this adds value for your shareholders. A win-win situation.

Passion is the motivation

In March this year it was reported that less than a third of employees say money is a motivation to perform well in their job, according to figures from the National Training Awards and YouGov. The biggest motivator for 43% of staff surveyed was having a passion for their job or company. Young workers, generation Xers and millennials, entering the workplace are motivated by their values and want jobs that align with those values; they place a strong emphasis on finding work thats personally fulfilling.

So competence isnt enough. You need positive and committed individuals who take a role and make it their own. A well written CV and polished interview technique are not great predictors of good job fit, motivation to succeed in the role, or a high performance level over the long term. The ability to recognise the difference between top employees and top candidates is a critical skill and an essential component in any systematic evaluation process.

Forward thinking approach to recruitment

You need a forward thinking approach to employing the right people and letting them develop and you need people with the right experience and attitude. Even if someone doesnt have the right skills on paper, hiring someone with the right attitude and a willingness to learn is often a good bet. Take your time finding the right person for the job and make sure that you know exactly what the job is and how performance will be measured.

In recognition of this as well as job profiling and matching you should think about the person specification. So you can consider character and a willingness to learn new things. If you hire people who are unwilling to learn new roles, you are building inflexibility into your business. If the emphasis is on attitude, commitment, flexibility, learning agility and such traits you are hiring for adaptability and ingenuity not just skills.

Fit the organisation not just the role

Whatever job profiling and matching system you use; your choice of psychometrics; whether you use an agency or head-hunter; the best candidate is the one who fits in to your organisation not just a particular role. The Body Shop is an example of an organisation that employs people who fit the organisational culture and as a result enjoys high levels of job satisfaction among its employees.

Really think about job design as part of your long-term strategic HR objectives. People are motivated by so much more than salary. They want to work with a company whose business ethics and values match their own. They want to feel part of the organisation and to have influence and involvement in its development. Most of all, they want an interesting role where their input and efforts are appreciated.

Create a culture of empowerment

Dont mistake experience and length of service for expertise; theyre not the same thing. Its not just about qualifications, knowledge and skills but attitude to life, the universe and everything. Find people with ability and help them to develop and grow. Look for those who give maximum effort to their career, its not just a job. Look for drive and enthusiasm.

Create a culture of empowerment, where you give your employees autonomy, room to grow, responsibility and accountability for their patch. This makes work meaningful. Invest in them; discuss their career aspirations with them; inspire them. Line manager behaviour directly affects employee engagement and performance. Ensure that managers with a good record of staff retention are rewarded. If line managers have a poor record for retaining staff, then train them to be better managers. Success derives from good leadership.

Be an employer of choice

Employee engagement is key to retaining staff. Managers must concentrate on employing the right people for the organisation in order to maximise the possibility that employees will be satisfied. Engaged employees stay with a company, they make for happy customers and that improves your profits/shareholder value. Am I continuing to learn and grow? is a question that resonates with employees of all ages. The way your organisation helps them answer that question may be your competitive advantage in attracting, developing and retaining tomorrows talent.

It makes good business sense to be seen as an employer with good recruitment and career management practices. If you want to be an employer of choice then plan your recruitment thoroughly to find and keep the best you can get.