How to grow your own talented people

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Regardless of the region or sector companies are struggling to find the people
they need to succeed. How is that possible in a country filled with millions of
unemployed people?


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Regardless of the region or sector companies are struggling to find the
people they need to succeed. How is that possible in a country filled with millions
of
unemployed people?
Stefan Lauber, the Managing Director of i-Fundi, blames the current fast food
approach to Human Resource Management as the root cause of the problem.

"When companies recruit, they are looking for ready made people.
Candidates are expected to have a proven track record in a position that was
very similar to one that is currently advertised. There is little time to prepare
anyone. New staff is needed now, someone may just have resigned or a
company may need new employees to fulfil a new order.'
With no time to develop new talent for open positions, there is little else
that companies can do but to recruit from the same limited pool of candidates.
Company A will poach staff from Company B, only to lose someone else to a
competing company. In the long term, this is a zero sum game, everyone loses,
he said.

It is estimated that the costs of recruiting and training an entry level person
in a call centre can easily be R 20 000, not counting lost productivity and
opportunities. Companies can easily pay twice as much for senior positions not
to mention the time it takes to replace senior staff.

Of course businesses try to beat their competitors in the war of talent.
Amongst the strategies that companies use, are better pay and the creation of
attractive value propositions.
What must companies consider to make their offer stand out? Research
shows that potential employees are looking for growth - in terms of learning,
being able to apply their skills and the opportunity to advance their career.
Benefits and compensation are obviously important and so is work-life balance.

Millennials also like an employer that has values with which they can
identify.
Paying more than the competition is however not necessarily going to work. If
others follow suit it will simply raise the labour costs for the whole industry.

In order for companies to succeed Lauber believes they must design clear
career paths that are matched by a corresponding ladder of learning and
remuneration structure. " All too often such plans do not exist and if they do,
they are not consistently communicated or implemented. In other words these
plans gather dust and fail to either attract or retain staff.'

In order for these plans to work, a company?s senior management needs to
lead the charge. " At African Bank, every new employee entering the call centre
is on a learnership. From there, outstanding performers, are enrolled on a
supervisor qualification. All along, the company?s leadership is visible. This year
alone, the CEO personally handed out over 200 certificates, taking a company
picture with each of the graduates.'
That solves another problem. There is a saying that employees do not leave
companies but that they leave bad managers. Having well trained supervisors,
reduces attrition and improves performance.
But where will a company find the time and budget to train inexperienced
hires and develop new supervisors? Workforce planners need to work hand in
hand with recruiters and trainers. Rarely are they part of the same team.
Typically the latter are only brought in at the last moment to react to a staffing
crisis. At this point, it will be too late to implement a proactive, lasting solution.

Companies do have funding for such programmes although they are not
aware of it. The first place to find that funding is in the salary budget. New hires
are willing to work for less. The second place where they will find savings is in
the on-boarding budget. As attrition drops, recruitment and training costs
decrease. And finally companies need to take advantage of government
incentives, amongst them are the new Employment Tax Incentive, Learnership
Tax Breaks and various SETA grants.

"Companies can easily save up to R 50 000 per annum per person by
bringing in new talent' Lauber concludes. "All it takes is for companies to
become more proactive'
For more information visit the
href="http://www.ifundi.co.za/?FromSkillsPortal"
target="_new">I-Fundi website
What do you think?
Are you being overlooked for senior positions in your company?

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