Monday, October 11, 2010

Recruiting For Keeps

I just finished a session with a European association of Human Resource professionals who are struggling with their recruitment efforts. The common complaint is that "there are no good people to hire". Actually, the truth is that there are PLENTY of good people out there. The real challenge is that they already have jobs working elsewhere. (After all, why would a legitimate good quality employee be out of a job...really? If you create a great culture, they will come to you!)

While many people asked questions about how to get more people to fill vacancies, the real root problem is two-fold:

1. Not keeping existing "right fit" talent
2. Not selecting new "right fit" talent

Employee retention is a chronic challenge for most organizations. Taking care of the people you have is a full-time job. Maintenance is not my strength, but I've always made sure that I engaged an internal support system to ensure people felt supported and cared for. Open communication, rewards & recognition, personal development, and mutual respect are just some of the tools you can use to create a culture that remains dynamic and attractive. When people are involved, they can create the kind of workplace that jazzes them most - every day. Involvement is directly correlated to engagement, buy-in, and ownership. When people are in an environment where they can connect with their passion and really make a difference every day, they will actually fight rather than leave.

As for not selecting "right fit" talent, this is usually the result of either not knowing how to articulate the non-negotiables of your unique culture (values, vision, standards, personality, etc.), or a lack of discipline in holding out for a right fit - instead hiring any warm body to fill the position short-term. Regarding this last issue, I've found that the team will bear the wait longer if they a) understand the value of holding out for a good fit colleague, b) are confident that the person selecting the new colleague has the same criteria as they do for "right fit", and c) the person selecting the new hire is working as hard as they are covering the additional responsibilities.)

When you hire the right people and maintain the relationship, it will continue to grow and stay healthy...just like any dynamic relationship. (Feel free to test this in your personal relationships too!)

And, yes, YOU can influence your recruitment process.

Think about it. But more importantly, do something about!