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Talent management at a time where job-hopping is the new normal
Gone are the days when employees would receive a golden watch as a tribute for 25 years of service. Today, many employees seem to change jobs frequently, with a worldwide study by Millennial Branding reporting that 60% of millennials leave their company in less than three years.
These turnover rates have a huge effect on companies. Recruiting and training talent is a costly and time-consuming enterprise. And it will become more difficult in the future. How do you make sure your company comes out on top in this battle for the best people?
Ilze Lamers, talent director at PageGroup, tells us more.
What are some reasons for today’s frequent job switches?
In one word: globalisation. People are less bound to one place than they used to be. Previously, people in bigger countries would look for a job near to their homes. If everything went well, that’s where they would stay. My grandfather, for example, worked for Philips for 41 years.
Nowadays people have more possibilities. Thanks to new communication technologies, they can basically work anywhere in the world. You can Skype with your family and friends from wherever you are. You can be in different countries, enjoying a football game together, while talking about it through your iPads. Talented employees with a good education and the right experience have the world at their feet.
What should companies do to stand out in a globalised labour market?
The approach has to be more personal. For example: I recently attended a presentation of Twitter, where they showed that 25% of the CEOs of the top 250 listed companies are posting about their personal experiences. If I ask candidates, it turns out they are actually following these companies on Twitter. That’s how it works: people don’t look up to job titles anymore, they look up to a person. Therefore a less formal way of communicating works better. Candidates like to read about the human side of a company
A powerpoint presentation of Netflix, in which the company talks about its values and culture was downloaded 5 million times. How important is company culture to attract talent?
Extremely important. It’s not for nothing that Netflix decided to put that presentation online. It’s the perfect way to attract the people that fit well in your company. Those who identify themselves with your values will apply.”
What advice would you give companies that have problems in retaining their best employees?
Finding a good replacement can be expensive. The CEO of internet retailer Zappos, Tony Hsieh, estimated that his own bad hires cost his company well over $100 million.
The relationship between companies and employees has changed: it’s less hierarchical. Instead it became a two way street. Your HR policies have to reflect these cultural changes.
Look, for instance, at the yearly performance reviews. They belong to a different era, when employers would tell their employees once a year what they should improve. At PageGroup we use a different system that’s more collaborative. Together with their managers, employees set goals for themselves. Twice a year they sit together to talk about how it’s going. For the most part they talk about the future. What will be the next steps in their career with us, which skills are important and need to be further developed?
Which companies set the trend in talent management?
Google is one of them. Especially because of the transparent communication with their employees. Every Friday, during lunch time, the CEOs make time to answer questions by the employees. People can join by video conference. This relates to what I’ve said before about the less hierarchical relationship between the employer and employee.”
They were also one of the first to use gamification as a way to assess people competences. When you apply with Google, they will send you a link to a program called KnackUp, which is basically a number of games — like Angry Birds — to test your different skills like strategic thinking, and personality trades. This is a great example of digital learning.
Are companies more aware of the importance of a good talent management policy?
They have to be. The market is changing much faster than in past, so they need to make sure they have the best people with the right competences to face these challenges.
What is the one thing companies need to be aware of when it comes to managing talent?
There are many aspects, but one of the most important ones is to treat your employees as your most important asset. If they are happy, the business will benefit in every way. For instance, we use our employees for recruiting new talent. Many people become interested in working with us, just by word of mouth. There’s no better advertisement for your company than your own employees.