Staffing Strategies: Can You Find, Recruit, and Retain the Talent You Need? Oct07


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Staffing Strategies: Can You Find, Recruit, and Retain the Talent You Need?

In the recruitment series, we would like to share a paper by James Bowley about the various staffign strategies.

The full article can be found here.

The Cornerstone of Human Capital Management

Strategic human capital management includes pay for performance activities that help bring out the best in people and
identify where top leaders are emerging or where performance challenges or pay imbalances may exist. All of these
initiatives presume organizations to be proficient in first finding and recruiting the talent that’s right for the organization and
thereby worth developing in the first place. However, companies often take months to find and recruit talent for key
vacancies, or worse, hire individuals who poorly fit the positions for which they are hired, thereby squandering valuable
resources. The problem is that hiring errors rarely become apparent for months—a gap which can have severe effects on the
performance of the organization. By increasing their proficiency in sourcing and recruiting talent, companies not only save
time and financial resources, but hone their competitive edge.
Hiring errors rarely become apparent for months—a gap which can have severe effects on the performance of the

To understand why some organizations are less efficient than others in finding and recruiting talent, we observed how these
processes typically work. We learned that, as with other functional areas, talent sourcing and recruiting tend to be isolated
functions within the HR domain. Companies effectively treat each function as a distinct operational silo with minimal levels
of interconnectivity with each other and with other functions, such as compensation planning or succession management
efforts. In most mid-size and larger organizations, for instance, when a vacancy occurs, the manager completes and submits a
job requisition that in-house or external recruiters use as the basis for a candidate search. After hiring, HR generally stores the
detailed information it has gathered about candidates in departmental archives rarely seen by non-HR staff.

This traditional approach, which many companies once considered efficient, has several challenges. Here are a few examples:
▪ Recruiting criteria entered on job requisitions are often inconsistent with the criteria to be used subsequently in
performance reviews.
▪ Systems and processes are designed to target external candidates with no parallel structures for conducting internal
▪ Companies archive pre-hire employee information, making it difficult to access and consider during performance
evaluations, compensation and succession planning, and internal hiring searches.
▪ Because staffing initiatives are difficult or prohibitively expensive to track and analyze, companies rarely attempt
either and thereby lose the substantial value of process feedback.

These challenges make it difficult for organizations to gain full value from the data collected during the recruitment process,
add additional costs, and compromise through sheer scale of effort the overall outcome. With more and more organizations
looking to shift recruiting responsibilities internally to control agency costs, a new method of addressing these challenges
adds significant value.

Optimizing Staffing Performance
The investments companies make in recruiting, training, and retaining human capital can be one of the largest (if not the
largest) expense on their balance sheets. Today, however, most companies have uncertain strategies toward attainment of the
right people for business success and equal challenges in adopting the pay-for-performance strategies needed to develop and
retain them. Consider a company contemplating a corporate acquisition. Its management carefully examines the proposed
transaction against its own company’s future needs, how it will integrate the new enterprise with existing resources, how the
target firm has performed historically, and what costs will be incurred to fully integrate it into the parent organization. For
competitive advantage, organizations should apply the same intensity to recruiting the right people. Candidate and source
information, for example, should be gathered and analyzed against real staffing needs, and the information acquired during
search and recruiting processes should be retained, analyzed, and used to manage human capital more strategically.
The investments companies make in recruiting, training, and retaining human capital can be one of the largest (if not the
largest) expense on their balance sheets.

ACCESSIBILITY WHERE NEEDED: Integrating employee data and other information across the entire HR spectrum
provides organizations with significant advantages that include the following:
▪ Performance reviews are more reflective because supervisors have the historic precedent of relevant pre-hire
information, such as job history, training, awards, and interviewers’ observations.
▪ Compensation planning and management can align initial offers with market data, ranges and pay relation to
other employees who serve in similar roles.
▪ Career Development activities create a path toward immediate success in the job for which the individual is hired
plus creating a path toward future career growth.
▪ In-house recruiting can be more effective because everyone involved in hiring has access to career and
performance information concerning prospective internal candidates, regardless of location or current position.
▪ Succession management is easier because more extensive and current information about each manager and
employee available to planners.

The last point is particularly relevant. Good succession management identifies, in pure business terms, the needs of the
organization and how people map to those needs. Doing succession management correctly means knowing when you have a
candidate capable of filling a role immediately, short-term or long-term. By integrating the succession management process
with recruiting management, organizations can avoid promoting an individual who is next in line from a raw succession
standpoint, but is simply not ready for responsibility. Doing so is bad for the individual and bad for the organization. In these
situations, organizations need the right mix of internal candidates and external applicants to make the best business decision.

How can you make good decisions when in many cases the recruiting and performance data needed to make those decisions
exists only in decentralized files? For example, how can geographically dispersed organizations who may even utilize
different systems and strategies make aligned and integrated decisions? In decentralized processes, this effort is time
consuming and difficult if undertaken at all. And because of effort required, only rarely does pre-hire information become a
permanent part of an individual’s performance record. It is this complexity and the scale of addressing the challenge in
traditional manual intensive methods that often cause organizations to turn to outside recruiting resources for assistance (or
compromise on the outcome of the search). It is never a corporate initiative to cut corners—it happens because people run out of time. Situations like these quickly make clear the substantial additional value of being able to seamlessly access pertinent employee data during any phase of the human capital management process.

Another major advantage of fully-integrated human capital management systems is the comprehensive analytical and
reporting capabilities they provide. Rather than just reporting simple recruiting statistics, they enable HR managers to
compare recruiting data with actual job performance. For example, managers can learn whether employees hired through a
particular source or with certain qualifications under-perform or outperform others—and these reports may be gleaned by
individual or in aggregate fashion to illustrate underlying business trends.
Being able to rapidly find and attract top talent whenever the need arises gives companies a strong competitive advantage.

MAINTAIN CANDIDATE POOLS: Being able to rapidly find and attract top talent whenever the need arises gives
companies a strong competitive advantage. This is especially true for jobs that require skilled, hard-to-find talent, such as
engineers and nurses. Frequently, during a search, individuals surface who are clearly desirable and interested in the
organization, if not quite the right candidate for the current opening. Having an active pool of such candidates can save time
and expense in future searches if companies periodically engage such individuals and inform them when appropriate
opportunities arise. Truly integrated HCM systems facilitate this process and even enable interested hiring managers to
participate at their discretion.

As mentioned above, our opinion is that part of a successful succession management strategy is both uncovering and
identifying and developing internal candidates as well as identifying when openings should be filled by external talent. From
the organization’s standpoint, this helps ensure continuity of business operations and a realistic picture of capacity and bench
strength. From an individual standpoint, this means investments in individual employees—a reason for retention on its own.
More subtle, but just as important, a full picture of succession management means avoiding the promotion that should never
happen—that places him or her in a position too early, one the organization should be looking externally to fill.

Staffing and Strategic Human Capital Management
If organizations plan to manage people in ways that maximize shareholder value and long-term competitive advantage, they
must use all information they acquire about those individuals to maximum advantage. Recently, information technology has
made dramatic advances in the HR field. Companies now have access to highly sophisticated software suites that offer a
broad range of tools to facilitate every aspect of talent management, from sourcing and recruiting to compensation and
succession planning.

Here are a few of the ways we have seen companies apply today’s technologies to manage their human resource investment
more strategically:
▪ Reducing costs through process automation, systems integration, and digital communications capabilities that enable
focusing limited resources on more important needs.
▪ Centralizing control of information and processes so policies and procedures are implemented with greater
consistency and fewer errors.
▪ Providing ready access to a broad range of information by those charged with acquiring, motivating, training, and
retaining human assets, enabling them to perform HR tasks more efficiently and effectively.
▪ Displaying in easy-to-use fashion the results of in-depth analyses that help HR management identify opportunities
for unifying and improving staffing operations and performance throughout the organization.
▪ Using automated and ad hoc reporting tools to alert management to trends and impending problems so they can take
early action and avoid unnecessary costs.
▪ Helping establish compliance through reporting, including information required by Sarbanes Oxley legislation.
▪ Accessing pertinent information from any place at any time enabling employees and managers to perform HRrelated
tasks in a supportive and easy to understand fashion via the web.

In essence, organizations know how they want their strategic recruitment management efforts to work, including alignment
with pay-for-performance initiatives. Emerging technologies, for the first time, provide organizations with both the scale to
address the recruiting challenge itself while at the same time simplifying integration to related data that improves the overall
value of information collected—from the day an individual expresses an interest in a job to when he or she is promoted to a
new job opening within the organization.

Integrating Staffing with Post-Hire Pay-for-Performance Actions
The HR technology market offers employers a diverse range of solutions, including many specifically designed to help better
manage talent sourcing and hiring processes. Many of these applications are excellent tools and are already used by
companies to great advantage. They greatly facilitate resume processing, requisition and applicant tracking, scheduling,
staffing analysis, and much more. These applications have enabled a major step forward in human resource management.
Their one significant drawback is that information tends to remain largely within the discipline of recruiting / staffing,
thereby limiting its usability and long-term value to the organization.

To solve this problem, Authoria and similar vendors have created comprehensive software suites that deliver a broad
spectrum of highly integrated solutions. Authoria Hire Advisor, for example, is an application rich in features designed to
help organizations effectively manage every aspect of the staffing process, from strategic sourcing and screening to recruiting
to building target candidate pools. More importantly, integrated HCM software suites are intended to facilitate the sharing
and transferring of data files across individual software components, thereby eliminating the time, cost, inconsistencies, and
errors associated with transferring files or struggling to reenter them because of application incompatibility. The Authoria
Advisor Series suite enables seamless access to data files from any Authoria application empowering integration not just at a
“data level” but from a practical business standpoint. Organizations, in short, have the capacity through automation to track
an employee’s progress—from applicant to candidate to hire to promotion—helping create a supporting framework along the
way to maximize investment in people. Ultimately, the ability of an enterprise to find, attract, hire and retain high quality
talent, and to do it more effectively and efficiently than its competitors, will be a major determinant of its ability to succeed
and thrive long-term. The sophisticated integrated strategic human capital management tools now available can give
companies a meaningful competitive advantage.