A funny thing happened on the way to school last week. My son, a high school senior, was getting ready for an awards event. Before leaving he asked me to tie his tie for him. Putting a tie on is something I’ve done almost every morning for more than twenty years. You think I could do it in my sleep by now. But I couldn’t! First I tried to do tie it standing in front of him while it was around his neck. That was strange; I’d never done it before from that perspective. Then I tried to tie one around my neck, over my own tie, while standing in front of his mirror. For some reason that was even stranger. It took me almost fifteen minutes before I could get it tied. For years I put on my tie in the same room, at the same time, in the same mirror, the same way for so long. Now I was out of my element, in a new environment, and I couldn’t do it. The entire process was on auto-pilot and when something new came along the process broke down.
The same thing can happen if your job analysis process is on auto-pilot. When a job evaluation has been done the same way for so long it becomes ineffective. Companies that want to attract top talent must transcend the tradition of writing job descriptions. Today’s talent will not come to your company when the human resources process for job evaluation is a cut and paste operation. The HR job description from four years ago is not the same as a true performance based job analysis.
The process of job analysis consists of several steps (see my related post The Pros & Cons of Job Analysis). If you think your job analysis process is on auto-pilot, take a fresh approach. Start with your HR job description. This will have all of elements of what a person needs to have to do the job. But the job analysis process goes well beyond writing job descriptions. The next step is to understand what a person must do to be successful. This can be different from the HR job description. Would you rather have a person who has done the job successfully in the past or someone who has all the job description requirements? Most Strategic Employers would take the former, even if person didn’t have all the requirements in the HR job description.
Take your job analysis process off of auto-pilot. Begin the process of job analysis with what someone does to be successful, not what they need to have.
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If you were to audit your recruiting process would it consistently deliver top talent?
Finding top talent is not easy and it’s getting harder. Just because the recession is lasting longer than originally predicted doesn’t mean your next superstar is waiting for your newspaper recruitment ad. Recruiting strategies are as important today as they have ever been. Recruiting right the first time is how to retain employees. Today no business can afford to lose its top talent.
To find, and keep, top talent, business leaders must have an effective recruiting strategy. In my recruitment process outsourcing business I find few companies with effective recruiting strategies. Effective meaning a recruiting process that is tailored to their specific talent needs. Every organization, large or small, has to adopt a recruiting strategy that will pull the best people into their organization. This is not the old “post and pray” method of recruiting.
So what can you do about your recruitment strategy in the next ten minutes that will dramatically improve your results? It is not new recruitment software. It is not the next bestseller about how to retain employees. Very simple; quit trying to hire people and start attracting them! A popular recruiting strategy is to cut and paste your job description into an online posting. This might be effective if you want to generate a lot of resumes, but it has little to do with attracting top talent. Top talent wants to know how a job will challenge them, what they will learn, who they will work with, and how they can contribute.
Look at your current job postings. Would they really attract the best? If not, take the next ten minutes and change your recruitment strategy.
When I finished my active duty service with the Navy I took a job as a sales representative. The company sent me to a training session with a world renowned sales trainer. During one session he asked us to list the first word that came to mind when we heard the term “salesperson”. We all listed words like “pushy”, “obnoxious”, and “slick”. He told us that if those are the words 95% of the pubic used to describe salespeople we should become the exact opposite and we’d be successful. For me that strategy worked very well.
Employers can apply this lesson after they read the article linked below. Not only does the article list the most hated jobs, it also provides great insight as to what employees hate most about a job. It’s not what you might think!
Today it is the company with the best talent that beats the competition and increases profits. Employers don’t want their top talent hating their jobs. Read the article then be sure your company is doing the opposite!
10 Most Hated Jobs
Give employees a career instead of a job
“That’s just not fair!”
Whether it is true or not, this is not something you want employees to say. Often is beyond a company’s power to control how employees feel. However, company’s can avoid creating situations that might cause an employee to think or say this. Companies DO have a great deal of control in which they hire and promote.
In my executive search business we often hear from executives who feel this way. Either they have been passed over for a promotion or they have seen others passed over multiple times. Sometimes their company never considered an insider for an open position. Whatever the reason, these people feel like a commodity instead of a valued contributor. If this kind of perception starts to permeate the workforce the company is doomed – especially now that top talent is harder to find.
There are many reasons why a company would go outside to hire top talent; they don’t have a qualified person internally, they want fresh perspectives, they want competitor intelligence, etc… Hiring outside is expensive, time intensive, and dangerous (see steps 1 & 2)! Often it can be avoided if companies have a career development culture instead of an open seat culture.
Hiring from your current employees only works if you diligently practice Step 3. It also means a huge ROI on your labor expense. When employees believe they have the opportunity to grow and advance they don’t spend time looking elsewhere. When they enjoy a company development program they have greater confidence to take on more responsibility. Employees will take their performance more seriously and pursue self-development agendas. Giving an employee a career is a long-term investment strategy, one that every company must follow.
This is the final installment of the four steps to building a high performance team. Putting these steps into practice will have tremendous impact on company profitability and competitive edge. Don’t wait until your competition has all the top talent, beat them to the best people now!