training is the new hiring

Training is the new hiring. Labor market scarcity is evident by now, unfortunately. A natural reflex is to lower the criteria (among other initiatives). We’ll hire people and train them on the job, so they can grow to become the full-fledged employee required for the job.

Train for what?

A new type of IV treatment, not yet taught in nursing school, has to be explained on the actual job. Controlling a cluster of instrument panels in the port has to be preceded by training. But what about the non-technical skills, the soft-skills?

Without understanding the base skillset, regarding soft-skills, of a new employee, only 50% of the spectrum is taken into account.

Map soft-skills on the talent – and job side to bridge the gap. Gaps between the soft-skills of today and those required for the job tomorrow.

kings of companies

In the land (and era) characterized by labor market shortage, the company that retains and engages their talent the best, will prevail.

The original quote — in the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king — is credited to Desiderius Erasmus’s Adagia around the year 1500. Half a millennium later, the principle remains underrated.

While all your competitors focus on the ultra-short-term, hiring whoever applies, the companies who have a long-term strategy, will reign supreme. Those companies take bi-directional professional expectations into account to build a career perspective.

All hail to the kings of companies.

two types

There are two types of HR professionals.

Those that admit to copy-pasting vacancies for a specific function, only to change the company’s name.

Those that don’t admit they copy-paste vacancies and change the company name.

Everyone is looking for a true team player who wants to perform in a dynamic environment. What does that even mean precisely?

Tailor your job offer to a market of one.

Be specific.

hire for

What’s the thing that the majority in HR seems to agree on yet the minority is actually doing? Hire for attitude train for skills.

If the majority of employers would indeed hire for attitude, why is everyone copy-pasting the same generic, crappy vacancy descriptions?

Apparently, the whole world needs dynamic team players for every job.

Identify and communicate specific attitudes derived from the actual job. Time for HR to live up to their end of the bargain.

clue in the game

My brother-in-law helps manufacture rubber in the port of Antwerp. His HR department literally sits in an ivory, sorry, glass tower. Alongside an R&D department, some managers and executives. The workers, on the other hand, are in the plant, which is a different building altogether. HR doesn’t have the slightest clue of what’s happening down there.

The good thing is, they’re very well aware. That’s why HR uses proverbial antennas and satellites. Just to create an understanding of what’s going on. Also, for hiring purposes, they must consult with team leaders from manufacturing because they wouldn’t know how to begin to express what the job entails precisely to future candidates.

Situations like these are, by no means, an exception. Every day, HR is involved in hiring and interviewing candidates for a job that they know nothing about. When HR isn’t involved with a particular job, how can they provide legitimate advice?

Create a thorough understanding of the actual job-content and team roles for a specific job. In other words, feel what it’s really like to work that job on a daily basis.

in reverse

There isn’t one particular place in human resources processes where companies should focus on employee engagement. That’s a long way of saying, focus on employee engagement in every single step of the way.

There is, however, a natural order. Reverse that is.

Suppose people are leaving faster than you can hire them. In that case, there really is no point in focusing heavily on employee engagement at the start of the funnel, is there? Only to see them pack up and go a couple of months later?

Start mapping employee engagement with the people who are already there. Map employee engagement efforts in a retention process, and work your way back to recruitment.