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  • Hascombes

Recruit? Or retrain to retain?

Updated: Jan 23, 2021

Hascombes Business Consultants Insights

10-20%. The typical fee of a recruiter. On top of that there’s VAT, hours spent in interview, then the disruption to the business and individuals working within it when trying to get somebody up to speed having just hired them. Both employer and employee fret over the coming months about whether they have made the right decision and sometimes the effort has been in vain. New candidates leave for a variety of reasons, some avoidable, some less so but the recruitment process can be far more costly in time and resource than people realise.

When you have a team member that isn’t being as productive and effective as they should be, some managers will immediately turn to a recruiter and consider the problem to be the person and not the company. So often this is incorrect. Leaving aside the emotive reasons for keeping people employed ask yourself ; 'what have I done to get the individual working at their best?'

Starting at the beginning - The interview promises...

We regularly read the following sentences in recruitment ads:

‘Full training will be provided’

‘Industry leading training and development’

‘Career development and progression’

On and on it goes. The same tripe spooned out ad after ad – is any of it true? How often to you really provide meaningful training or coaching? How effective was it? Was it right for the individual or a blanket seminar on a business function or process?

You don’t need a full-time training and development team, there are many different options to look at, and they don’t all cost the earth either. The key is getting to know the individual and understanding what their specific development areas are. Provide the right remedy and the transformation can be instantaneous. Giving candidates the impression there is training and progression and then not following through is never a good idea - it is also not fair to expect brilliance if you are not helping and guiding individuals in getting there.

Train the trainer

Ok, you agree that training is a good idea but who is going to deliver it and are they trained enough to do it? A constant gripe we hear from employees is that their manager hasn’t got a clue or doesn’t really know what they are doing. Too often people are promoted for the wrong reasons and the critical skills needed to effectively lead a team are lacking. Giving somebody a title is not enough to make them effective leaders nor does it mean people will listen to them. If they are the exemplars to learn from, they need to know what to deliver and how to deliver it. Train all levels of your business, not just those at the bottom of the ladder.

Get to know your people

In busy offices or large departments it is often difficult to grab any meaningful time with your colleagues or people but make some. Set aside some dedicated time to spend with your people and get to know them. Understand what they want from life, not just work, but establish their goals and desires, help them develop as individuals and achieve what they are setting out to. It is terribly old fashioned to think of ‘salespeople’ as all the same. Sure, they may have similar interests in doing a specific job but that might be the only shared interest they do have.

A great way of doing this is through a mentoring programme. Check out our mental health services for more info.

Offer a different role

Everyday businesses are pouring talent out their door by firing individuals who might not be suited to the particular job they were employed to do but who could be brilliant given the right opportunity and role that fits them. But why don't you retrain apposed to recruit?

As a senior manager I have previously moved people from departments and into others that were far better suited to their skills and interests. Sure it required some additional time and effort but it was better for the individual, the company and indeed me, to retain and retrain then to have let them go. I recall one such move I made and whilst the employee was somewhat upset at first, they went on to do extremely well in a different department.

You don't need to be a guru

There are many different strategies and ideas to improve the performance of your people and business, many of these you can implement yourself quickly and without any additional support. It will take time and thought however, and it is best not to rush them. The results can be instant and long lasting. What's stopping you?

For more information on the above or if you wish to get in touch with us, please do so at or leave a comment below.

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