How Important Is Hiring and Retaining Great People?

Is Hiring and Retaining Top Talent Important To Your Organization?

On a recent Harvard Business Review Blog Article, titled Good Managers Lead Through a Team, Linda Hill & Kent Lineback spoke about how the ability to manage teams is one of the key pillars of success for managers and executives. This an excellent and well-written article that all managers and executives should read.

I commented on the article since I felt the authors missed the key point about people and teams. It’s not as much the ability to manage them – as it is the issue of hiring and retaining them.

Here were my comments to the authors. What are your thoughts?

 

Excellent post about a key pillar of successful managers and leaders. I'll go one step further. In our executive search practice, we've completed well over 1,000 projects and interviewed over 250,000 managerial and executive candidates over the last 25 years. We've identified that the NUMBER ONE element of success for managers and executives is hiring and retaining a top-notch team.

Even hiring managers and executives with technical weaknesses in their functional niche or specialty out-performed their more technically adept peers due to their stronger teams. It affects career progression, job opportunities, bonus and incentives, and job satisfaction.

Managers and Executives who hired middle-of-the-road minimally qualified candidates, and accepted mediocrity among their team members, had average and mediocre careers – passed over for promotions, denied new opportunities, and failed to earn their full bonus potential.

No other trait or ability appears to come close to the correlation of success for managers and executives and their ability to hire and retain top talent.

Unfortunately, most companies give the concept of hiring top talent and “our people are our most important asset” lip service. Rewards, incentives, goals, objectives, and consequences don't match the propaganda most companies spew out about their people and teams. You can find isolated cases of companies that make hiring and retaining a top priority – but the list is very small. More likely, you'll find a few managers and executives scattered through-out different companies who instinctively “GET IT.”

Why do you think there is such a gap between the generic words about the importance of people and team members vs. the practical application on a day-to-day basis?

 

Share your experience of what happens when managers and executives do a great job of hiring and retaining top talent vs. what happens when weak, average, and mediocre people are hired and “tolerated.”

If you would like to read the full article, click the link below:

Good Managers Lead Through A Team

Barry Deutsch

 

PS: Download a copy of our best-selling book “You’re NOT the Person I Hired” and take our Hiring Process Assessment to determine if your organization is capable of hiring top talent.

Stopping Recruiters From Taking Your People

Q. Our industry is one that is actually growing during this recession.  Some of my people are getting calls from recruiters offering them new positions. We can't afford to lose anyone at this time. Is there any way to keep recruiters away from my people?

The short answer is no. Good recruiters are as good at their job as your best people are at theirs. Recruiting your best people is what they get paid to do. However, they don't offer your best people a new position as you state. They only offer them a potentially better opportunity. Maybe it is better, maybe it isn't. Determining that is what the interviewing process is all about from a candidate's perspective.

You can't stop recruiters from calling your people, but you can make your people recruiter resistant to a large degree. The best way to stop recruiters is by making sure that your best people don't want to leave. I have made thousands of recruiting calls in 30 years as a recruiter. Employees that really enjoy their work,  the company they work for, and respect their boss, generally thank me for calling and then turn down a new opportunity to move forward. Why?

I have discovered that the best way to defend against recruiters is to make sure you continually provide your employees with three things; 1) The opportunity to always be learning. Top talent require this. 2) Belief that they are a making an impact. Top talent don't want to just perform busy work. They want to know that their work is meaningful and impactful. 3) They are growing and becoming better. This requires a boss that they respect and that is willing to take the time to understand their needs. A boss that is willing to challenge them and makes sure year after year that they are better at what they do than the previous years. Most people don't leave a company, they leave their boss.

If you ensure that your employees are learning, impacting your company, and have a boss  they respect, you will also stop recruiters. A byproduct of this is that your company will get a reputation as a great place to work so finding new people will also be easier.

Join the other 10,000 CEOs, key executives, and HR professional who have downloaded a FREE copy of our best-selling book, “You're NOT The Person I Hired.” Just CLICK HERE for your FREE eBook.

Download this free assessment of your company's hiring process to see if your company will attract top talent. http://www.impacthiringsolutions.com/index.php/hiring-assessment-scorecard

I welcome  your thoughts and comments.

Brad Remillard

Your Current Team Might NOT be the Right Team

Is your current team that got you to this point the same team that can take you to the next level?

In working with thousands of companies over the last two decades, I’ve discovered a limiting factor for most entrepreneurial-to-middle market companies:

 

The team that got you to one place may not be the team to get you to the next place.

 

A team that is incapable of taking you to where you desire to go – is a team that acts like a glass ceiling – limiting your opportunities, compounding your problems, and preventing you from “breaking through” to the next level (I was watching a Doors documentary the other day and the catch-phrases keep turning over in my mind).

If you have a typical team of 5-7 direct reports, perhaps 2-3 are incapable of delivering the results required to achieve your vision, strategy, or expectations. This pulls the entire team down to a lower level. Since everyone’s work is inter-related, the success of your team is collective – not individualistic.

The result is that you’re now 2-3 years further behind from where you wanted to be at this stage, and your slipping backwards at an increasing rate.

So, why haven’t you done anything about your team’s inability to get you the results you require?

We’ve touched on some of the reasons in a few of my past blog articles, such as:

 

When Did Accepting Mediocre Performance Become the New Normal?

Are You Playing the Game of Let’s Give it Another 30 Days?

Are You Over-Paid?

 

There’s a fundamental problem in recognizing whether or not your team is the right team to get you to the next level.

Most of the time, the CEO, Key Executive, or Manager has not defined for their subordinate the performance or success required in the job. Therefore, unless the subordinate is a complete idiot, you have NO way of discerning: Do I have the right person on  my team?

If you’ve had the opportunity to see Brad or I present our award-winning workshop, “You’re NOT the Person I Hired,” then you know the correct solution can be found in being able to craft a SUCCESS FACTOR SNAPSHOT (SFS) that directly links back to business goals. Without a SFS, you’re like a rudderless ship at sea.

The SFS gives you the roadmap, guideline, and measurement tool to keep individuals and teams on track toward achieving your desired results.

You can download a few SFS examples from our website by clicking here.

Are you prepared to discover whether you’ve got the right people on the bus as Jim Collins terms it in Good to Great? What’s holding you back from preparing Success Factor Snapshots defining expected results for each member of your team?

Barry Deutsch

P.S. You can also put together a draft of your Success Factors for either a new role or an existing position, and we’ll be happy to conduct a complimentary review.

10 Mistakes Companies Make When Hiring Recruiters

This entry is part 1 of 3 in the series 10 Mistake When Hiring A Recruiter

This will be a series in which I discuss what research showed to be the ten biggest mistakes companies make when working with recruiters. This doesn't mean recruiters don't make mistakes. The purpose of the series is to assist companies in getting the most value when selecting or using a recruiter.

I'm regularly asked about using recruiters. Most of time it's because the person asking has had such bad experiences with recruiters. They want to know if they are wasting their money using a recruiter. A very valid point. Recruiters are really just a way of outsourcing the hiring function. It is not much different than most other outsourcing functions, so it is important that companies understand who they are outsourcing to and what the goal is for the outsourcing. Most companies do a lot of due diligence prior to deciding on whether or not to outsource and not on whom to outsource with. I'm constantly amazed at how little due diligence they do when outsourcing to recruiters, considering the fees are generally in the 5 figures.

First, let's understand the different types of third party recruiters. For the most part, recruiters fall into two categories, contingent and retained. Neither type of recruiter is better than the other. They both serve a purpose and there are excellent professionals doing contingent and retained searches.

1) Contingent recruiters get paid when the company hires a candidate the recruiter presented. Since there is no cost to the company unless they hire a candidate, companies often use more than one recruiting firm for the same position. The recruiter knows that this creates competition among the recruiters. This may sound like a good thing, but there are drawbacks. For instance, contingent recruiters know the first recruiter to get a candidate's resume in the hands of the company is the recruiter of record and therefore the one that gets the fee. In today's world, with email, there may only be a few seconds that determines which recruiter will get the fee. As a result, contingent recruiters tend to be very time based. As a recruiter who worked on contingency for 13 years, I can tell you from personal experience that there is nothing worse than finding out you didn't think a candidate was right so you didn't send the resume or that another recruiter got a candidate's resume there before you so they get the fee. Contingency isn't always about finding the best candidate. It is often about finding a hireable candidate first. Since not all companies hire the best, sometimes average talent wins the recruiter the fee.

Also with contingent recruiters, the company takes on much more of the responsibility for the hire. Meaning, often companies only view contingent recruiters as a means to source candidates and not as a trusted adviser in the hiring process.

2) Retained recruiters are just that, they are retained by the company to fill a specific position. Like a lawyer or an accountant, the company pays a percentage of the fee up front for the recruiter's services. Since the company is paying money in advance they rarely engage more than one recruiter to do the search. Retained recruiters should be a trusted adviser to the company. The recruiter should be an integral part of the hiring process. They should be involved in every step along the way, advising the company as needed to ensure the company's hiring process is effective. Since time isn't a concern, this type of recruiter should spend a lot of time learning about the company, meeting everyone in the interviewing process, understanding the company's culture, and obtaining a deep understanding of the company's business. The recruiter should bring in resources, provide interviewing coaching, bring the proper screening tools into the process, and make sure that the company is fully aware of all issues, from compensation requirements of the candidate to concerns the candidate might have that would prevent them from accepting an offer. They should meet personally with every candidate in order to build trust with the candidate. The recruiter takes a greater responsibility to make sure that the deal comes together. If the deal doesn't come together it shouldn't be because of some surprise issue at the end of the process. A good retained recruiter will make sure all of the issues have been addressed and if there are issues that can't be overcome then there is no sense in continuing the process hoping it will all work out and wasting a lot of the company's time.

Since the retained recruiter isn't competing with other recruiters time isn't the main driver. A retained recruiter has the time to thoroughly vet the candidate. If they aren't right, then there is no need to send in the resume. Better to continue the search to find the best candidate.

As I said earlier, both types of recruiters serve a purpose and both have great professionals that are willing to help you. Deciding which one best fits your needs often depends on the position you want filled (contingent generally work on lower level to mid-manager level positions, retained work on upper level director to the “C” suite), how closely you want to work with the recruiter, what services you want the recruiter to provide, and the level of trust you have in the recruiter's ability.

Regardless of which type you use, two things should never happen with a professional recruiter; the hiring manager will never think, “You're NOT the person I hired.” and the candidate should never think, “This is NOT the position I accepted” or “You're NOT the boss that hired me.”

The next article will be on mistakes #10 All recruiters know how to recruit top talent; #9 You must have a national firm to do an effective search and #8 All recruiters have a consultative approach. I will go into detail why these are common mistakes that lead to picking the wrong recruiter.

Want some tips on attracting top talent? Download the chapter from our book, You're NOT The Person I Hired, on sourcing. CLICK HERE to download this chapter.

Want to assess your hiring process? Download our FREE 8-Point Hiring Methodology Assessment Scorecard. How does your company rank on these critical points? CLICK HERE to download.

I welcome your thoughts and feedback. If you liked this article and found it helpful, please forward it to others.

Brad Remillard

3 Guarantees To Recruiter-Proof Your Best Talent

As recruiters for more than 30 years, my partner Barry Deutsch and I have intuitively known why every now and then a potential candidate we try to recruit says to us, “Thanks for the call, but I really like my position.”  Until last year though, we have never actually validated those reasons. Last year I decided to start keeping a list of the reasons these candidates indicate they are so happy. Usually, we just say, “OK” and make another call. Last year I probed a little further. I started asking , “Why” or “What makes your position so enjoyable that you won't consider something else?”

You will have to read to bottom of the article to find out  the most interesting and yet obvious aspect of the informal survey.

First some background. Since most of our executive search practice tends to be at relatively senior levels, most of the comments are not from entry level or manager level people. Although having recruited at these levels for many years, I believe the same reasons apply at all levels, including labor, hourly and administration, or non-exempt as well as exempt employees.

I have prioritized these as best I can, however, I doubt that there is that much difference between the rankings, with the first one as the exception. I also firmly believe that the happiest, and therefore the candidates virtually impossible to recruit away, have all three of these in their position.

1) A boss they can respect is far and away the biggest reason for a potential candidate turning down our recruitment efforts. They never use the word respect, that is our word. Respecting their boss is not the same as liking their boss. I'm not suggesting they don't like their boss, just that you shouldn't interchange the two. Although the majority do have some sort of personal relationship with their boss, many tell us their boss is hard to work with, demanding, too direct or blunt, not a people person, and other words similar to these. So what is respect? It means that their boss takes an interest in them and their career. It is more than just approving of their work. Their boss ensures that they are continually challenged (see Success Factors below), they often referred to their boss as a mentor,  they are growing and becoming better, their job doesn't fit easily into a predetermined job description, they know each other on a personal level, and their boss actually seems to care about them and their career succeeding to put it simply. They are not taken for granted. Their position isn't one of we are doing you a favor letting you work here. Rather both receive value from the relationship.

Their fear in leaving is that they know that few bosses are this way and they don't want to risk leaving a good to great boss. They are not just there to do a job, they are a person that wants to feel good about their job when they get up everyday to go to work and their boss contributes to this.

Do the people you manage feel this way about you or the managers in your company?

2) The candidates are learning and growing. They see positive change in themselves and their careers as they look back on each year. This is why Success Factors are so important. This is the tool by which they measure their growth. A Success Factor includes time based  measurable goals, often stretch goals for the person to achieve. Top talent and your best people like challenges and want to be stretched. It gives them a sense of fulfillment when they achieve the goals coupled with a sense of purpose. Achieving the Success Factors is often the excitement that gets them up each morning and coming to work. It also demonstrates their boss's interest in them. Success Factors send a clear signal that as their boss your role is to help them improve and find purpose in their job. This isn't just a job where you come to work to do the same routine duties and tasks everyday and then go home. Average to below average talent want this. Top talent will grow and become something better by working for this boss.

Do your people have measurable Success Factors? Every position in an organization from the CEO to the janitor should have measurable Success Factors.

3) They are making an impact. This doesn't have to be a significant life changing impact. Any impact is better than just doing a job. We believe it is this impact that makes them really enjoy their job. Everything else contributes to the enjoyment of their job, but feeling like one is positively impacting the business makes an employee feel like they are part of the team. It gives them purpose in the job. They are now directly linked to the company's success and  its profits. They take great  pride in this. They know that regardless of how small a role they played, they did play a role. When the CEO stands up and thanks the employees for the successful year, they feel the CEO is personally thanking them.

Are your people impacting your organization? Do they feel a sense of purpose that their job is important and contributes to the success of the organization?

Here is the most interesting and yet obvious thing that came out of this informal survey. We validated why certain employees enjoy their job and even a recruiter can't pull them out. Inadvertently, we also validated that these same reasons apply as to why someone  wants to leave an organization. When these things aren't present, the employee is likely to start looking for something better. A position that includes all three rarely has turnover.

You can take an easy assessment of your hiring process with our free Hiring Methodology 8-Point Scorecard. Find the strengths and weaknesses of your hiring process. CLICK HERE to download.

If you struggle with finding people, you can download the chapter from our best-selling book “You're NOT The Person I Hired” on sourcing top talent. It is free and one of our most downloaded items. Simply CLICK HERE to get your free chapter.

I welcome your thoughts and comments. If you liked this article please pass it along to others and post it on LinkedIn or Facebook.

Brad Remillard