Blog Archives

Unravelling the Spaghetti Matriciana (aka the crazy labour market)

Three steps to hiring the best talent and at the right price.

Confused? It’s not just you. Right now the whole labour market is like a bowl of starchy spaghetti and you need to be super dextrous to unravel the threads to sate your appetite. You want the talent, but you and countless others can’t afford the premium. In this blog, we’re setting out the three fundamental steps to beating the competition in order to hire the talent you need. We suggest you don’t even try and make sense of the macro data – we’ve been listening to the economists too and none of them has nutted out the strange equation of the current Australian labour market.

Step 1.

Understand the value of high performing and high potential talent.

These two categories of employees are gold. Make sure you identify what you are looking for in a new hire – do you want this person to perform in the same capacity for ever after, or step up in the future? High performers are shown to deliver up to 4x the productivity of your lower average performers, but will your organisation be able to create the culture for a repeat of that high performance, or to bring out the high potential in an almost there candidate? Sort this out so you know what gap you’re filling.

  Low Potential High Potential
High Performers Regularly exceed benchmarks
Lack skills to perform at a higher level
Set standard of behavioural excellence
Model leadership and cultural values
Low Performers Little-to-no aptitude
Repeatedly fail to deliver
Have above-average aptitude
Show inconsistent performance

Step 2.

As we’re back in the war for talent, have a co-ordinated hiring (attack) strategy agreed and set.

Take it from the troops on the ground – too many hiring organisations are losing out on good talent because of one simple fact – disorganised, muddled hiring processes. Hope and winging it will not land you high performing talent. Time delays, poorly prepared interviewers, managers who don’t understand the current labour market, and poor engagement will set you back in the bunker time and time again while the good talent is signed up to your competition. Take extra time up front to prepare your approach and timeline. If you’re the Commander, bring your internal Officers in on your approach early, and then make military-style moves.

Step 3.

The salary package you have on offer is important but for some organisations, top quartile compensation isn’t an option. What to do? Our advice is have the remuneration and benefits conversations early on – it saves time, money and heart-ache when late on in a negotiation it’s a deal breaker. And again, salary is only one part of the equation – make sure you’ve identified all the attractive benefits of working with your organisation – some of which you may take for granted, but which are great attractors. What else do you offer? Extra paid leave days, a good workplace and amenities, tailored professional development, culture and values alignment, wellness benefits, clear career paths, flexibly work schedule, recognition and rewards etc. Write them down and share with enthusiasm.

Bring them in and they will build!

What is your world @work?

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Who you hire today, determines what is possible tomorrow!

Slade Group through its sister company TRANSEARCH International Australia, recently brought Dr John O. Burdett to Melbourne for a series of seminars on topics such as “How to measure culture”, “Tomorrow will be different – Will you?”, and “Why hiring the best candidate may be the biggest recruitment mistake you will ever make”.

On the last topic John says there are 3 undeniable truths about executive hiring – they are:

  1. The continuing lack of top talent is a major impediment to business growth.
  2. Far too few of those who make key selection decisions have been fully trained (or trained at all) in the hiring process.
  3. If you don’t know what you are looking for – only an optimist standing on stilts would believe that they might actually find it.

Considering the business risk involved – some recruitment decisions amount to betting the business – this is no small matter. Even if the hiring decision doesn’t amount to “betting the business” 20x annual salary is a good benchmark for the cost of getting it wrong.

Seven statements that (if any are true) strongly suggest that you need to revisit your approach to talent acquisition.

  1. Although we have a general sense of the culture we are moving towards, a more disciplined approach, e.g., a systematic assessment of where we are and where we need to be, is not something we have access to.
  2. Role-specific leadership competencies do not figure prominently in our hiring process.
  3. We have a job description and develop a specification for the position, but rarely do we build a robust scorecard.
  4. Few of those who make hiring decisions have been trained in conducting the evidence-based interview.
  5. We recognise the importance of the team but, for the most part, lack the tools to unbundle what sort of team we are hiring into.
  6. Rather than validate statements made during the interview, the reference check simply follows up on referees provided by the candidate.
  7. We invest time and effort in executive integration. What we lack is an integration workbook allowing leaders, who are new to the business, to take ownership of their own integration.

Who you hire today, determines what is possible tomorrow!

If you would like to discuss any of the above with me – please give me a call on 03 9235 5100 or email me at gslade@sladegroup.com.au.

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