Ask any CEO about their biggest concerns, and they will say the skills gap or talent shortage are at the top of the list. If you Google “Top CEO Issues,” you will see millions of results. Click on any of the articles in your search result, and you will find references to the “talent gap,” “hiring”, “workforce development”, or “recruitment.” Finding the right people has and will always be a top concern for any company seeking to grow.
As Jim Collins writes in his book Good to Great, you must figure out who you need on your team and who you don’t: “…leaders of companies that go from good to great start not with “where” but with “who.” They start by getting the right people on the bus, the wrong people off the bus, and the right people in the right seats.”
But how do you get the “right” people? It starts with skills selection and talent assessments. Stopping to set up a hiring plan is the perfect opportunity to determine the profile of “who” you need to hire as part of your strategy to take your company to the next level.
Create a winning talent assessment formula based on what skills and traits a person needs to become a successful employee – this is usually derived from workplace analytics. Your HR team or personnel department should have useful information from exit interviews, employee performance files (group and individual), tenure, turnover, retention rates, salaries, and job satisfaction scores. Analyze and use this data to determine the qualifications of the “who” you are looking. For instance, does the right person need a four-year degree or years of experience or any other highly sought after job requirement?
As a part of your hiring plan, task your team with creating a talent sourcing or search strategy to find the right person. Your selection plan may lead you to job fairs, headhunters, executive search firms, college campuses, social media, professional conferences, industry events, referrals, talent management systems or online job boards. The method you chose should be determined by recruitment data, such as time-to-fill, cost-to-fill, the amount of time a job is posted, and the quality of applicants per source.
Attracting and acquiring talent can be the most challenging step in the hiring plan; however, if you understand the profile of the “who,” then you can design a package that will attract qualified candidates.
Compensation will always be significant; however, studies and research show that perks and benefits can trump compensation. So, be sure to have a competitive salary with top of line benefits, and you will be able to land top talent. Most employees will stay with their current employer if they have flexible benefits (e.g., working from home, more leave and vacation time, flex schedules, autonomy, and low healthcare costs. Be creative with your benefits packages and offer perks, including deferred compensation, employment for spouses, student loan payments, car payments, credit card payments, and daycare expenses.
Empowering your employees goes a long way in fighting turnover. Employees who are empowered and valued are more likely to stick around than those who have little control over their work or feel as if their work does not make a difference. Your hiring plan should, include plans for future workforce development, and outline ways to empower your team to work together. It should develop a personality profile of the best hire and use historical data to design the skills assessment tools and talent sourcing roadmaps. The team should also produce benefits packages that will attract top talent. These packages should include initiatives that will positively impact retention, such as onboarding and career pathing (see the recent eSkill article, “How to Use Skills Testing To Develop Your Workforce.”)
Earlier we mentioned, “getting the right people on the bus” in your organization. We also mentioned getting the wrong people out. One of the toughest aspects of human resources is terminations. No one looks forward to terminating or separating employees from the company, but it is a necessary part of the job. Finding the right “who” often leads to uncovering “who isn’t”.
Each quarter is a good time to re-evaluate your current talent and plan your strategy for recruiting new employees during the year.
Learn more about how you can use skills testing as a critical success component of your hiring plan.