Over the past couple years, we’ve been talking about employee engagement, war for talent, and retention. These issues are important and businesses need to pay attention. But there’s one more issue that I want to point out. It’s connected to all three of these issues.
It has to do with management knowledge and skills.
Peter Cappelli mentioned it recently in an article for Human Resource Executive Online titled “Betting on Retention”. He writes:
“It’s been about 15 years since the last significantly tight labor market when concerns about retention really got intense. That is a lifetime in most companies, and there is a good chance few people there remember what it was like. Even fewer who were around them remember what works to improve retention.”
Think about your management team. How many of them have experience working in a competitive industry? Have they experienced the “war for talent” economy? Do they know what it takes to compete for talent? And do they have the skills to be successful at it? If the answer is no, then ask yourself, “Is the company prepared to put plans in place to fix it?”
Some organizations are going to respond to this challenge by hiring managers, with the necessary skills, from the outside. And that’s fine. There are advantages to outside recruiting, particularly new hires bringing a fresh set of eyes to the organization. But there are also disadvantages: it can cost more, take longer, and alienate employees who think they should be considered for the job. Obviously, that only exacerbates the problem. This doesn’t even address what happens if the company can’t find qualified managers.
Companies cannot view their recruiting and development needs as two separate silos. In creating a recruiting strategy, there needs to be a deliberate conversation about which jobs make the most sense to recruit from the outside and which ones should be developed from within. This gets added to the discussion about the jobs that should be filled with regular, full-time staff and the ones that can be accomplished with contingent workers.
The good news for companies is that they have many options when it comes to finding the talent they need. The question becomes, are they going to take advantage of the right opportunity. Smart organizations are building the recruiting and training functions to compete for talent.
Image courtesy of Sharlyn Lauby