Lack of proper retention strategies ?hurting SA companies?

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Human capital still wrongly viewed as an expense

The lack of proper retention strategies is damaging SA companies dearly as replacing key staff is disruptive, expensive, time consuming and may even threaten the sustainability of an organization.

Hilton Brown, Chief Executive Officer of Adcorp Talent Resourcing (ATR) who has over 15 years experience in recruitment, including 10 years at London?s leading headhunters says, "In all other areas of an organization, the business looks for a return on investment, yet human capital and people management is still wrongly viewed by many companies in terms of an expense.

"But retaining key staff is massively important in the "war for talent? and good staff should be incentivised through transparent and quantifiable retention strategies.

"And it goes further than this: employers also need to move away from a vanilla approach to rewards to a more flexible approach to satisfy the requirements of key talent.

"This means the "package? that key employees receive should be re-thought to include a number of other value-adding components like a coach or mentor, a commitment to training, formal career pathing as well as flexibility around the frequency and size of performance rewards and incentives.

"In addition, the scope of the role needs to challenge and satisfy the individual over time. The "where to from here?? question needs to be answered by the company continually so employees know they have a clear career arc.'

Brown notes that far too many companies don?t think through the trickle-down impact of losing a great person and hence have no concrete plan to retain stars.

"Many companies simply talk about retention of key staff, but very few are able to convert strategy into initiatives in this area.

"But they really should. Not only is it pricey and time consuming to get another "star?, but recruitment lead time and induction period is likely to have a negative impact on the profitability and performance of the business.'

Brown says that companies continually complain about the cost of recruitment yet astonishingly there is a tendency to simply let go of key individuals.

"To hire the right people, an effective recruitment process is paramount and that goes further that finding someone with a solid reputation.

"Firstly, by conducting competency-based assessments to assess an individual?s ability to do the job and then looking to refine this by understanding which of those individuals would be able to excel taking in account specific organizational factors such as culture, leadership style, size and strategy is fundamental to success.

"Another often overlooked factor is the way the person is inducted into the company and role. This will have a direct impact on their feeling of belonging and sense of participating in a consultative career path.'

Brown also points out that the stress of the role could also impact on tenure so companies should carefully consider that before hiring someone to take on "mission impossible?.