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Hiring based on potential will result in long-term employee success and satisfaction

11/07/14

Hiring may be on the increase, but it seems many hiring clients are still failing to go about it in a way that ensures the people they take on today will still be there in three years.

With the economy on the up, unemployment has been plummeting and companies have been busy recruiting in large numbers. But while many firms have been recruiting more, how good has that process been?

The answer, it would appear, is not very well. Experts in the recruitment sector have noted the rise in hiring has not been matched by any change in the way people are being brought into a workplace. Quite simply, there persists a bias towards putting square pegs in square holes.

Stuck in the past

Martin Ackermann, the senior director for talent acquisition at clinical researchers Parexel, called this approach "just not good enough."

Speaking to Executive Grapevine, he said the reactive nature of recruiters is a problem and a major sea change is required.

He said: "Because business is changing so fast, just filling places because the hiring manager wants a certain type of skills set isn't good enough anymore - because then people will leave after two years because their job changed."

Instead, he suggested, people need to be pro-active in recruitment, looking to the future by considering the potential candidates have to embrace a shifting environment.

"There needs to be a more strategic view to hire people who are capable of dealing with change. That way they will stick with the company who will develop them." 

Move up or move out

If any proof were needed that Mr Ackermann is right, a recent survey by CareerBuilder found 45 per cent of people unhappy with their advancement opportunities with their current employer will leave. 

CareerBuilder's vice president of human resources Rosemary Haefner commented: "Not recognizing what’s important to employees can translate into more job dissatisfaction, lower productivity, and higher voluntary turnover."

Instead, she stated, employees need to feel valued, which means not just good pay, but a chance to make a meaningful" contribution, as well as a good work-life balance.

Look to the long term

To some observers, a focus on the long term makes obvious sense. After all, as the economy recovers there is a consensus at the top of politics and business that long-term decisions - such as major investment in infrastructure, re-balancing the economy and developing international trading relationships - are essential to ensure the sustainability of growth.

A similar long-term view can be taken of recruitment. After all, hiring a group of people who then leave a couple of years down the line is itself a form of boom-and-bust. All the investment in training and the knowledge of the company and its markets is lost when staff walk out of the door.

The way forward

“With increased competition for talent in the market now fiercer than ever, money and lifestyle benefits are not enough to get the best candidates on board. These people need to be genuinely stimulated in roles offering them both a platform to develop from but also to challenge their current capabilities, thus gaining greater engagement from a learning and development perspective” said Principal Consultant Nick Connor. 

In addition, employers will need to look at the job on offer and consider the following questions: are we offering the right opportunity, not just remuneration and working benefits? How innovative are we? Are we keeping on top of the latest trends? It’s surprising how many professionals we see moving due to a lack of innovation and slow adoption of changing trends. 

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