While hiring new talent is important, also focus on retaining the best—focus on the 5% who deliver their 95%, and areas where they add the most value
By Francis Padamadan
Today it doesn’t matter if you’re working for a start-up or a bigger organisation, what matters is the culture and environment at the workplace. Long story short, it all boils down to the kind of people, since they impact the environment directly. But hiring and retaining the correct mix of people is a challenge for HR professionals, especially when we consider the millennials who shift jobs so easily. More than a third of senior business leaders in Fortune 500 companies have cited talent management as the biggest problem area in their key result areas (KRAs).
This pressure becomes even higher when business performance comes into play. Of course, the better people you have, the better the business performance will be. People underestimate how much productivity efficient workers can add to the business cycle. Sometimes, a one-man team brings more value to the company than a team of five working on the same project. The stacked ranking is, thus, a crucial one, and it needs to be treated with caution to avoid problems with delivery.
Rome was not built in a day, and neither are such relationships. They need time, effort and nurturing, for them to be successful. Many organisations struggle to connect the dots and build the right-fit framework for employees. Aligning employee interests, business needs, performance metrics and work environments is a task in itself. The term ‘war for talent’ is commonly used, as the recession economies add to the competition to get the best employees on board.
This scenario is not going to change anytime soon; it’ll only grow worse, especially for complex jobs that require a deft use of technology along with the employee’s soft skills. We don’t just need to embrace technology today, we need to stay two steps ahead in order to implement tech successfully within existing business practices. Tech and automation is advancing rapidly, and many manual, repetitive jobs are under the threat of being replaced by robots. There’s a need to find a strategy that it is man and machine and not man versus machine, else the results could be catastrophic.
It’s important that business leaders have a solution-oriented outlook when considering the above points. What, then, can HR managers and top-level management do to keep the right mix of tech and talent in their organisations? The first focus area needs to be upskilling. With the help of insights-driven research and a deep dive into the current standing of employees, learning and development initiatives need to be worked upon. These initiatives also need to analyse what will add value to the employee’s skillset not just professionally but also personally.
HR managers also need to consider new ways of hiring and recruiting talent. Gone are the days of word of mouth. People now use social media extensively to tell stories about themselves, and an intelligent use of social media platforms can help HR identify the right people. Connecting the dots becomes simpler when you can analyse what a person is like, much before official interviews. While hiring new talent should definitely be on the charts, retaining the best people is equally important—focus on the 5% who deliver their 95%, and the critical areas where they add the most value. The better you understand the economics of business value, the better results you can reap.
The author is senior director, RPO and BPS, KellyOCG, Asia Pacific. Views are personal