Talent attraction and retention in the digital age

What I learned about recruitment and retention by speaking to CEOs around the world

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Comment by Tim Spagnola on September 2, 2011 at 10:56am
great insights as always Greg......
Comment by Valentino Martinez on September 2, 2011 at 12:00pm


If your recruitment assessment conversations are with “CEOs around the world”, with the exception of micro-managers and very, very small companies, you’re not getting the best feedback on what’s happening in the staffing trenches.  CEOs are so far removed from general hiring decisions, and in fact, some are blatantly responsible for some of the worst hires in the company.

Like it or not if you cannot go directly to the hiring manager—go to HR—the last bastion for working with, or dealing with, the people who actually pull the trigger on hiring decisions…and that is the hiring manager(s).

You can have the best laid plans; the best budget outlay; and the best ATS and frontend recruiting teams on the planet—but if they who make your hiring decisions are out of sync with the quality mission—you’re sunk for as long as it takes you to clean up behind bad staffing decisions (which includes internal promotions and transfers as well).  And in many bad hiring decisions--the problem is not readily discovered.  Some really questionable hires can survive all the way to retirement.

And I get the need for identifying, attracting, landing and retaining “digital people” (or whatever the changing label happens to be)…But isn’t that the perennial leading edge mission we’ve been looking to do since the first wheel was fashioned and the "wheel maker" came after the "fire-starter"?  I think everyone gets that--the challenge is to make sure the hiring manager does.

Comment by Greg Savage on September 2, 2011 at 6:19pm

Thanks Valentino

My  comments are not focussed on "hiring decisions" at all. 'Who' to hire. You are right, that is the domain of the Line Manager and HR. I am talking about corporate strategy. I am referring to allocation of resources. I am talking about whether a company actually HAS HR people, for example, or not. And that IS the domain of the CEO, most of whom I find are NOT unaware of what is 'happening in the trenches', as you say. You could not be more wrong on that point. The "unaware" CEOs have long been fired themselves.

As for talking to CEOs "round the world". You are right to be sceptical. Not a single CEO in the US have I met. I have however been on more than 60 clients meetings at this level in the last 8 months. They included companies in these countries. Australia, China, New Zealand, Singapore, Japan, Hong Kong, Malaysia, UK and France. So my opinions maybe wrong as you suggest, but they are not ill-informed. Best, Greg


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