Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Turnover is good

I 'borrowed' the headline above from an article by Molly Rowe at HealthLeaders Media. I hope Molly will not be to upset as I want to expand upon, and add my own perspective, to an article Molly wrote early in 2008.

Why would turnover be good? Especially in these difficult times with looming labour shortages forecast. The key is to hire the best people for the job. Those that have the right attitude as well as appropriate workplace qualifications. The key is to hang on to these people, come hell or highwater. Get rid of those with low skill levels and a lack of desire to learn new competencies or processes - they are a deadweight around the neck of efficiency. These people are the ones you want to turnover, fast and soon. In a difficult economy the most difficult people to get rid of are the deadweights. These people do not contribute to your organisation in any meaningful manner - in fact they contribute to its lack of effectiveness. These people stangle your organisation. They mire it in mediocrity. The contribute towards the turnover of good people - the very people you need to retain.

Why do we hire deadweights? There are a number of contributing factors. One is that many managers have poorly developed recruitment competencies. They assume to much, they do not ask relevant questions during interviews. A qualification is not a passport to competency - all a qualification does is get someone into an interview. Managers fail to follow up with properly conducted reference checks. Yes, applicants will always seed their reference list with supportative people. Use this technique. Say to the referee, "this person tells me they were involved in achieving xyz . . ". What are your recollections of this event? Listen for the gap between the applicants version and the referees version. There is no point in discussing with the referee stuff that is contained in the application - dig deeper and search for anomolies. Discovery of an anomoly doesn't automatically make an applicant unsuitable - it simply points you to areas for further discussion and exploration.

My point? Good employee relations begins at the recruitment stage, right at the beginning. Before you even advertise. Know what you want from this person. Understand the type of person you want. (Try involving existing staff in this process). Clearly define the role, expectations, responsibilities and outcomes. More tomorrow, where I will talk about some of the successful strategies we have employed when recruiting on behalf of clients.

Welcome to 2009. I trust all those that join us on our journey had an enjoyable festive season, however you celebrate it and we look forward to travelling onwards throughout the year.

Let The Journey Continue

John Coxon & Associates
Taking You from Frontline Manager to CEO
Email john@johncoxon.com.au
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