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How to “Hire Right & Retain Long”

“How do we hire right and retain long?” is one question that every employer must have lost sleep over once in a while. Pasha bhai who runs a motorcycle workshop in Old Alwal, Secunderabad, India, worries about his new recruit just as much as the Head of HR for India’s largest bank.Site-Vis-Silhouette

Through this Blog, I would present views from seasoned professionals on what they believe is the right way to talent acquisition and retention. To begin this series, we spoke to Peter Earnshaw, Managing Director-Asia, SilkRoad Technology.


There are three rules that Peter shares with every candidate he has ever met for a job interview or employee who has worked for him:

Rule-1: You will never have “enough funding” to do all that you want.

Rule-2: You will never have access to “enough resources”.

Rule-3: Do not expect to be “loved” by everyone.

Innovation and creativity flourish when people have to think on how to deliver success through the application of ideas, not money.  Think of Gandhi’s budget for delivering independence to India; these 3 rules applied to him and everyone who worked with him yet they paved way for the world’s largest democracy.

Understand the profile
While I love to fill my office too with six languages speaking, Thuraya flaunting geeks who speak like servers, I stick to the basics. I will not hire a superstar where a TVC actor would suffice. I grew up seeing the same faces in our nearby retail outlet but the video store next door has new faces every other day. Reason? Well, they hire musicians as shop floor assistants!

Set realistic expectations
Sometimes I am appalled by the apparent dumbness among new hires”! “The only letter they can write well, I assume, are the SMS texts they send out”! If you have felt this way recently, you need to do a reality check. Judging young hires or candidate by your experience is surreal! Let them be, they have their own learning curve, just like you had when you were their age.

Tangible targets
Sometimes big sounding sales and management jargons carry us off. We leave new hires confused. An example: “Get me data on how many commodity brokers migrated to share broking in the last ten years!” Some people can only process limited quantities of data at one go; help them do a good job by breaking down your umbrella expectations into small bytes.

Your business = Sum total of your people capabilities
Imagine what would happen if all employee of a software development company walk out one day and leave behind world-class super computers and development Software! As a supervisor you have to believe that your business will be only as good as your people let it be. This respect for people and the skill they embody will help your team succeed.

Run a cost benefit analysis
I remember seeing a very important open position advertised in one of the Internet shopping companies for 6 months! I was mighty curious about this since I believed that no company can survive without a person manning that position and six months seemed a wee bit too long. I enquired and here is what I found out: The management was looking for someone from the Microsoft and Google of the world to join them in the position and…guess what! They were planning to pay less than what Aunty Mary pays to her Pizza Delivery Supervisor!
Always do a cost benefit analysis for each position; the age-old adage stands firm… if you pay peanuts you get monkeys. In these post recession-days, monkeys are again becoming costly.

Conditional “No hire & fire” period
Ok, so you have hired someone and followed the best possible assessment available at that point of time… and your alarm bells start ringing on the third day. It can be for any reason, maybe late coming, maybe a poorly written mail, the list is endless. Here is what you should NOT DO… fire him/her within the week. Once an employee is in your system, there has to be a cooling off period. Let the Almond Effect subside, let the new hire get into routine before you go judging him.

Personal benchmarks to be followed.
People who report to you synchronize their actions with you periodically. This is because following what Boss does is the easiest way to keep boss happy and their job safe!Set personal benchmarks in all that you do. If you walk in to office late and expect others to be on time, surprise yourself someday by walking in early and finding an empty office!

Attitude/Passion check
All employees want to do a good job, having said that, organizations are also reflections of our society. You will find every type in here. At any point of time (day 1 or day 1000), you get this eerie feeling that you have someone not all that engaged with the work, floating around, take steps to separate him from other team members. Observe in quarantine, and if your suspicion founds concrete evidence, patch it up before it spreads.

“In another words, “My interest in you is only as high as yours in getting your job done!

SilkRoad technology, inc., is a leading provider of talent management solutions across the globe. The SilkRoad HR suite consists of best in class software for HRIS, Performance Management, Recruiting, Onboarding, Learning and Corporate Communications.

About Peter Earnshaw

Peter Earnshaw

Peter is easily among the best professionals in Talent Management space we have come across. He has over a decade of experience in promoting HR software and HR consulting solutions across the globe. In his own words, (Peter) has been to places in the world where “very few idiots have ever gone… and come back safe!”

Posted in Talent & Skill Development.

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17 Responses

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