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HR: 9 Steps Guideline - Hire to Keep Your People
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If we ask any professional person who works in a leadership, P&L management or strategic HR role for the most pressing problems in their work, the answer often focuses on two key points: how to hire the right people in the first place, and then how to keep them. In fact, the more employees we keep, the less hiring problems we will have in the future, as we benefit from the 'stability snowball' effect. As a recruiter of more than 15 years, I have learned to see the concepts of hiring and retention holistically, i.e: not as two independent processes, but rather as one. So here we share with you our 9 RMG golden rules of hiring to keep:

1. Ownership: Usually there will be several rounds of interviews before you offer someone a position. You get opinions from each interviewer and you often deal with the challenge of multiple time zones and complicated agendas. The resulting problem is that nobody seems to ‘own’ the hiring process. No one person takes responsibility for the new hire. This may result in losing good candidates, and a poorly perceived hiring process. SOLUTION: the hiring-manager owns the process and makes the decision. Do you take team input and feedback? Yes. Is it a team-decision? No, because the problem with 'team-decisions' is that nobody is ever quite sure who's made it.

2. Money just can't be the reason (ever): Make sure someone does not join you just for more money. Salary is the simplest way to attract your people away from you if that’s the only reason people join you in the first place. Successful employment relationships evolve when the values, goals and beliefs of the employer and employee are shared. In fact the decision to take a new job is rarely just about the money. However it often does seem that way, and it is important to get to the heart of the matter: what's really important to your potential new team-member about their career? ACTION: Find out what really drives your new hire, and if, after thorough professional evaluation you conclude it's just about the money, don't move forward, because you'll regret it if you do.

3. Pay them enough: We've dealt with why money shouldn't be the only reason to hire, but it also can’t be the reason to put someone off. If the market’s paying 25k a month, then it probably makes sense to pay 26k if you like the person. Put simply, if you find someone is willing to join you for good reasons, then pay them well. Don't (allow anyone to) play games with the candidate because it will make you look bad: a candidate who expects 35k per month, who is offered 28k a month after 4 rounds of interviews, will not flatter your hiring process on Weibo!

4. A definite salary scale:
You need to set it up and then stick to it. Do not make any exceptions – keep a good internal equity. Any special treatment will break your system and the balance of the whole team. In other words you need to have a salary structure that is flexible enough to attract the right people, but is structured enough to reward the different grades in your organisation. Good candidates who genuinely want to join you will understand that exceptions can't be made.

5. The Total package:
The perceived value of your total package is very important. Set up other incentives which are not purely cash based: overseas trips (the top RMG performers are off to Thailand in July!), extra holidays, recognition systems (for good work), prizes/vouchers, team-building nights, etc will all encourage your people as well as being clear indications of commitment and investment in staff. You  should also provide training and contribute towards a pleasant working environment.

6. Time and attention:
When new people join, the manager should spend time with them and pay attention to them. The manager’s time means a lot to a new recruit. People will perform better when they see people notice them when they are new to your company. Too often, when candidates leave their new jobs quickly, they report that there was no induction process, or that they felt like they were getting in the way, or that no-one told them what to do. See your time with your new hire as a direct investment in the success of them and your company. This is particularly true of candidates in the first 5 years of their working life.

7. Calculate hiring costs: What is the financial cost of hiring a new staff member? How much does the time taken cost? Are there external recruitment costs? What is the total cost of a new hire not working out. What are the costs to your company’s reputation and employment brand? Once you count the full cost in financial terms, it will help show you the importance of a well thought-out hiring process and help you place extra attention on details that previously did not receive enough importance. Viewing the hiring and induction process from this perspective will also help you to think more creatively.

8. Be aware of non-verbal communication in both the hiring & induction process:
People’s eyes won’t lie to you! When you talk with your candidates or your existing team, do look at their eyes and be aware of their body language. Those signals tell you much more than the words (much much more!!). Are they happy/unhappy? Satisfied/dissatisfied? Open or hiding? Wise managers trust both their own instincts and the non-verbal signals from their people. It is said that only 7% of a communication's importance is attributable to the actual words.

9. Trust your instincts: Human beings make decisions instinctively (and emotionally) and then search for the facts to justify them. Whether or not you believe this to be true, it is certainly worth keeping in mind that your feelings do provide a great compass to guide you towards, for example, a need for further information. Trust them.

By Robert Parkinson, CEO & Founder, RMG Selection

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