Saturday, December 6, 2008

Take this Recruitment and Retention Test. – By Minto Roy

Take this Recruitment and Retention Test. – By Minto Roy President of Careers Today Canada and Founding Partner, RevGen

First off, let's be honest.

The employment market is in incredible change. Mixed messages surround companies and jobseekers that make both sides of the hiring desk extremely confused and uncertain.

Just a few months ago newspapers screamed of 1000's of jobs going unfilled. The labour-market was red-hot. Now these same news mediums feature movie-trailer-panic-ridden headlines about the doom of our economy and report thousands of lay-offs.
Jobseekers became very accustomed to having the choice of multiple employers vying for their services. They developed a casual arrogance that comes from being “chased” and never having to “chase”. But that same jobseekers must now realize that no one is chasing them, no-one is waiting around the corner to offer them a great new job.

Folks, the world has changed.

General Motors is threatening bankruptcy, we have an African-American President and my monthly gas payments are more than my monthly car payments.
There are still tremendous opportunities in this marketplace. However, jobseekers must now learn how to effectively and competitively market themselves to land a great new career. But, a warning to employers who have started to feel too comfortable about this employment market-swing. This is now, a more vital time for your company to develop a tactical strategy to recruit and retain talent.
Many companies have in-fact downsized. Thousands of professionals across Canada are searching for new jobs. However, companies have been careful to retain their most talented staff and let go employees that were expendable or did not perform.
Employers looking to hire talent must now weed through hundreds of more unqualified applicants to find the right candidate and the right fit. Without a recruitment plan, resources or expertise, managers may find that they may spend more time hiring the wrong person. During the red-hot labour, the worst thing was simply, that you could not find anyone! Remember, that hiring the wrong person is far more expensive and destructive to your company than hiring no-one

So with the realization on how important a hiring and retention strategy is, take this test to determine how well prepared your company is to find and keep the best talent. Answer each question honestly and remember that most employers state that there number one asset is their people. Yet when asked to outline their market-competitive strategy to recruit and retain the best people, many avoid the question or simply have no response.

Each question is based on a scale from 1 to 10, ten being the highest.
At the bottom of this article I will give you the average score out of 40, from hundreds of managers that I have interviewed from my 15 years of working with companies helping them recruit and retain talent.

Question 1:

During business hours what is the percentage of time do you or your managers allocate to assessing, sourcing and engaging talent for your company’s competitive growth?
I have found that most small to medium size business owners work 50-70 hours a week. They are frantically distracted with operations, employee issues, payables, receivables, selling, marketing, sweeping the floors, signing the checks, PAPERWORK! The time left to look at resumes is often relegated to after-hours or weekends. Hours when energy levels are at their lowest or are being shared with family obligations.
Jobseekers should note that there is probably a lot of resume screening during kid’s soccer and hockey games.
But seriously, if great people are truly the most important asset to your company, why then do most managers given them the least energetic, non- focused hours for screening and consideration?

Question 2:

How deep and well developed are your sources to find talent?
I am not speaking about posting a job on Craig’s list and waiting for hundreds of resume submissions. I am referring to a consistent strategy develop a deep bullpen of talent through corporate networking. A consistent plan to meet talented professionals and take interest in their career objectives, recognizing matches to your corporate objectives. Remember, the talent that you want is probably working. They have no need to look at posting boards and are uncomfortable sending confidential resumes to general emails.
So how well developed is your talent bullpen?

Question 3:

How strong are your interview and engagement skills?
Remember when you are interviewing, that talented professionals are probably meeting with multiple companies. Most employers however, have very limited professional interview training and lack a sincere engagement strategy to understand what motivates and how to motive talented jobseekers. Most entrepreneurs have tremendous passion and work ethic but lack communication skills to sell the vision of their job opportunity within a competitive marketplace.

Question 4

How well developed are your retention strategies: employee training and development, succession planning, recognition and rewards, life-balance, mentorship programs, etc…?
After meeting thousands of jobseekers, I have come to realize that their number one reason for seeking a new career is as a result of a lack of communication between themselves and managers. It is not enough simply to hire talent. It is equally as important to retain, develop and ensure that your employees understand how their career objectives relate to the company’s objectives. Remember, people don’t leave companies, people leave managers who lack the time to development and recognize their employees.

What was your total score out of 40?

These questions were not designed to be easy. Most entrepreneurs and managers realize after this test that they simply don't have a great strategy in place. I have had hundreds of managers take this test. Managers from multi-national corporations to start-up companies consistently have scored about 15 out of 40.
A failing grade.
What might surprise you is that the higher up the corporate ladder that I have surveyed the lower the score. I believe corporate leaders answer these questions truly believing that their competitive edge in business is in-fact their people. They are very tough on their self assessment and are always looking to improve. They are fully aware that the war for top talent is constant, regardless of the economy!
Admitting where they are weak and getting the help they need to find a solution is why they are vested with great responsibility. This strategy will work for success in life, not just with corporate recruitment.
I will follow-up this article next month with some concrete ideas on how your business can attract, secure and retain the most talented professionals. There is no magic pill coming, these ideas will require; research, diligence, practice, consistency but they will work.

I welcome you to try the ideas and give me feedback.
After all, it’s only the most important part of your business.

Minto Roy
RevGen / Careers Today Canada /