by Shruti Mathur
This article explores two key dilemmas at the forefront of every organization committed to success, growth, and a dynamic and supportive work environment. Predictably, both of these are to do with finding and keeping the right people.
The Recruitment Dilemma: Talent from Within or from Outside
It is a well-known fact that thoughtful hiring is critically important for the wellbeing of an organization. Of the myriad factors considered before a final selection is made, the most controversial, perhaps, is to do with origin – should the employee be hired from within the company or from outside? Employers often resort to a judicious mix of both to maintain a balance in the smooth working of the organization. It is, therefore, necessary to understand the pros and cons of each choice.
Hiring from within the organization works well when:
- An older employee has been diligent and motivated, and shows readiness to assume a larger role;
- The employee understands the finer nuances of the organization’s operations; and
- The employee is liked by her/his peers in the sense that the elevation of rank and role will not upset the smooth functioning or the overall wellbeing of the organization.
Hiring from within is inherently time and resource friendly. Organizations are spared the time, cost and effort involved in identifying and recruiting the right fit, and then helping him/her acclimatize to the company and the new role. Instead, the newly-promoted employee can be hands-on almost immediately. However, the company does not benefit from the fresh ideas, the unique skills and the industry knowledge that a team member from outside typically brings. Also, management might not always give the same free hand to the inside recruit that it might to a professional brought in from outside, which may result in a less-than-satisfactory outcome.
Hiring from outside works better when:
- There is a clear intent to bring in new skills and diverse talents, and broaden networking capabilities;
- A system or function overhaul needs to be introduced, which could require tough decisions; or
- The firm is looking to reinvent itself in some way, by adding a new business line or invigorating an existing function with new competencies.
The Retention Dilemma: Getting the Best to Stay
Finding and holding on to the best talent needs a dedicated approach focused on the following:
Mission: Organizations have missions, and so do individuals. They want to work well and be successful. Aligning an employee’s mission with that of the company’s is imperative. Without direction, there can be a lot of turbulence that can keep people, and their company, from getting ahead.
Compensation: Do you pay as per industry standards? If not, then top talent might just walk away to a better paying job within a few months. Difference in salaries at the higher level of the hierarchy, especially for women, is yawningly wide. An equitable and competitive compensation structure is necessary for the employee’s self-esteem as well as job commitment.
Mentorship: Having recruited well, companies must take a step further by mentoring the talent well – motivating them to try something new, providing regular feedback and offering support and guidance are key elements. This is especially important for top leadership as it not only inspires them to chart higher growth but also enables them to further mentor others within the organization to contribute in an efficient manner.
Empowerment: Employees must feel empowered by the virtue of the work they do. They must feel that they are integral to the company and add credibility to the organization they work for. Giving the employees challenging projects not only engages them, but also makes them feel important.
Promotion: Every appraisal season, there are heart- breaks. Some make it, while others are left without promotions. We urge companies to be mindful of the fact that in India, a promotion is often considered more valuable than a pay rise. Hence, if the employee is eligible to get that coveted jump, do not deprive him/her. For professionals, especially those in top management positions, recognition and respect from the owner or managing director, being part of the core decision-making group, and having the flexibility and the freedom to take important decisions make a world of difference.
Team Bonding: Activities that increase team bonding across all levels of the hierarchy promote comfort and a sense of belonging in an organization. It is often said that people leave managers, not companies. The relationship between a manager and his/her team member is a unique bond that plays a critical role in employee retention.
Work-Life Balance: We live in a 24/7 culture. The ability to stay connected round the clock has greatly enhanced people’s abilities – and their desire – to maintain a better work-life balance. Today’s professional is unwilling to sacrifice valuable family time to remain tied down to a job, and this applies equally to top management. Companies that recognize and accommodate people’s needs for their personal time, whether it be for family, for recreation or for other pursuits, substantially increase their chances of retention.
For more information, please contact Shruti Mathur on [email protected]