Putting Right People in Right Jobs
“People are our greatest asset” – is this really true?
Almost every manager utters or believes this cliche. This line is used to show staff that we really care and value them; that they make a meaningful difference to our company. I enjoy asking CEO’s, business owners, HR managers or top managers this question: “If you were leaving to start your own company, how many of your people would you take along with you?” Almost always, it is but a percentage of the total – usually 50%, 60% and sometimes 20%.
“People are our greatest asset” is a short-sighted and erroneous platitude.
Business and management guru, Jim Collins gets it right in his book Good to Great, “People are not your greatest asset; the right people are!”
- “67% of employed people are in jobs which they are not happy”
- “66% of your hiring decisions will prove wrong in the first 12 months, and these will be the people who will stay” – Peter Drucker, the great management guru
- “Most managers make up their minds – whether to hire or not hire a candidate in the first 4.3 minutes of an interview, and spend the rest of their time justifying their decision.”
- “70% of a manager’s time is spent dealing with people-related problems”
- Look at the past: CV, education, qualifications, background check, criminal record – get the facts!
- Look at the present: Good interviewing skills, prepare in advance, ask good questions, listen, be fair, remove ‘internal noise and prejudices” (halo effect, stereotyping, preconceived notions etc), think of the company’s interests
- Look at the future: This is the step that most companies skip. The past and the present is much like an iceberg: “what you see is not what you get”. Successful companies use job fit profiling tools to help make important hiring decisions, which helps managers with key information that they would never know otherwise.
Profiling tools serve the following objectives:
- To confirm and verify information of the right short listed candidates
- To reveal behavioural, cognitive and occupational interest traits; as well as other relevant information
- To predict job fit
According to a study by the Corporate Leadership Council, hiring the wrong executive can cost an organization as much as three times their annual salary. The Gallup Organization has noted that the cost of poor hiring decisions may even be much higher than previously estimated. Some researchers have calculated the cost of a bad hire can be as high as twenty four times the position’s base salary.
If the ‘right people are your greatest asset”, then conversely ‘the wrong people are your greatest liability”
Jim Collins suggests that an important role of leaders is to:
- Get the right people on the bus
- Get the wrong people off the bus
- Get the right people on the right seats on the bus
- And, the bus will take you somewhere great.
Putting right people in the right jobs needs is part of the winning culture of successful companies.
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