Issue No. 9 - February/March 2003
Equipping Yourself to Win the War for Talent
by Steve Larkins
In the Information Age, it is easy to forget that without people of quality, no organisation can achieve its potential regardless of the investment it makes in systems and technology.
Competition for talented people is unrelenting – it is a war. To attract, recruit and retain the best people requires a planned, strategic approach. While many organisations can and do attempt to execute this process without external assistance, the fact is that the process is resource intensive, requires specific expertise and diverts the attention of numbers of staff both in terms of time and space.
The most serious penalty is the cost of a wrong decision. The initial cost of employing someone is generally estimated at somewhere between 1.5 and 2 times their salary. If the decision proves to be a poor one, there are two likely results – damage to the company or the cost of separation. Disruption, staff time and other resources, lost productivity, the angst of replacement and learning curve issues all compound to impose serious penalty.
There are any number of recruitment and human resource organisations available to assist. Unfortunately, recruitment services organisations have a poor reputation. High levels of staff turnover (the “churn and burn” phenomena), a lack of experience among the staff, a focus on invoicing the client rather than on the quality of the outcome are all experiences that the clients of less than reputable providers have experience of.
The recruitment process is only one part of the process. Space precludes a more detailed examination of retention and development strategies, so we will focus on the initial phases of the War for Talent in this discussion.
Effective recruitment = appropriate Sourcing strategies + rigorous Assessment.
The start-point for effective recruitment is a total understanding of the organisation, its cultural environment, the expectations of the people associated with...