Recruiting/Selecting and Retaining – HR thoughts

April 23, 2013

Waiting in Line

With increased competition and tighter labour markets, organizations are under extreme pressure.  The need to hire the right talent to sustain and grow your organization, while controlling costs and increasing profits, create an administrative challenge.  International consulting firm Watson Wyatt quantifies the cost of losing an employee at as much as 200% of that employee’s salary.  In addition, Workplace Resource Learning Centre estimates that a poor hiring decision can cost of $66,000.00 for an employee with a College / University degree.  These costs combined with the standard operational expenses of salary, benefits, and office space reinforce the need for employers to value their talent.

The key factors in successful hiring are to understand what candidates are looking for and the hiring process used.  Attitudes and needs differ according to generational diversity (Boomer’s vs. Gen X’ers), financial status, and required working environments.  A formal, consistent, well-developed hiring process is essential in the race for talent. A traditional interview yields only a 14% accuracy rate, so it’s no small wonder that when surveyed, 90% of people indicate they hate to interview.  If investing the time to learn to develop a formal hiring process for your organization can increase your success rate to 45 or 50%, how much of an advantage will that give you over your competition for talent?


Assuming then, you have implemented a structured hiring process, does that solve your turnover and staffing problem?  You have only just begun.  It is not enough to hire the right people.  The hard part is to keep them.

Most organizations fail to understand the basics of building trust and loyalty in the work environment.  Professionals need to treat their investment in HR programs the way they do capital investments and work out the return on those investments.  Without personal or organizational change or improved productivity and performance, organizations can anticipate a net loss in customer base and a direct impact on the bottom line.  A focus on improved communication and understanding removes the barriers, builds employee trust, and results in improved loyalty.  Ten of the most common mistakes made when hiring and managing staff are outlined below.

  1.  No established job descriptions.  If you don’t know what you’re looking for, the chances of finding them are slim.
  2.  Asking predictable, opinion based questions that provide very little insight about the individual.  Behaviour based interviews increase the level of success by over 20%.
  3.  Being overly impressed by the resume.  Where someone was educated or who they worked for is not as important as what they did.
  4.  Being unprepared.  Not planning the interview or reviewing the individuals’ resume in advance sends a message of disinterest.
  5.  Relying solely on the interview.  The interview is only one component of the hiring process.  Assessments, testing and references provide a more objective view of the candidate’s behaviours, motivations and aptitudes.
  6.  Personal biases.  Personal appearance and social bias should not be used to make assumptions on an individuals ability.
  7.  Orientation.  The sooner a new employee feels part of the team, the greater the desire to be successful in the organization.  Take the time to welcome the employee and familiarize them with the culture of the firm.
  8.  Training.  Every office does the same things differently.  Provide the employee the training they need to function effectively in your environment.
  9.  Professional Development Opportunities.  Provide all employees the opportunity for an on-going learning and growth opportunities.
  10.  Performance Management.  Every member of the team deserves to be part of achieving the goals of the organization and in receiving feedback on their achievements.

The management of human resources must be a key component in any management strategy regardless of the size of the organization.  It is no longer only the responsibility of larger employers.  Documented policies and procedures, consistent and valid processes, formal performance management and staff development plans all must be part of annual business planning.  Only those organizations who implement these strategies now will continue to enjoy growth and financial prosperity in the future.