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The human aspect in HR

Recent challenges in talent recruitment and retention have prompted many organisations to adopt creative hiring and talent management strategies. With increasing local and global competition for high calibre professionals, the HR industry needs to look beyond the standard cookie cutter method of assessing a candidate’s worth.

There are a few key areas that some of the world’s best employers have identified to be differentiating factors in their HRM practices.

Market rate or professional value?

Many companies fall into the trap of believing that fair compensation is good enough to attract the people they want. Organisations which offer salaries that are market rate according to industry standards will eventually realise that they are going to get exactly what these salaries define – the standard candidate.

With higher levels of education and exposure to the global markets, young executives are no longer willing to settle for anything less than their professional worth. A company that seeks to attract high-calibre professionals should refrain from simply checking potential candidates off a list of pre-determined criteria (for example: work experience and last drawn salary) to ascertain their market worth.

An individual’s professional value extends beyond that list. Hiring managers also consider a candidate’s attitude, personality fit, values, network, contacts, leadership capabilities, personal skills, talents, achievements, strengths, mindset and many other qualities. All of these add up to provide a highly intrinsic value to the organisation’s growth and success.

Companies should be willing to look beyond the cost savings and be more than ready to offer a package that recognises and rewards an individual’s professional and personal value. These organisations are then positioned to win the war, not just for any talent but the war for the best talent.

An employee who feels valued would probably be more passionate about building his long-term career with the company and contributing towards the organisation’s success.

 

A career or a job?

Fortune 500 companies are in that list not only because they enjoy strong financial success, but also for their commitment in nurturing and grooming their staff. Some organisations offer sponsorship programmes for their staff to help them upgrade their education or skills. They even provide mentors whose roles are non-evaluative but merely to provide consultation and a listening ear for its employees. This makes employees feel more engaged and invested in a company. At one of the world’s largest network-equipment providers, virtually all of their employees are shareholders. These organisations believe that people are the bloodline of the company and are hence, committed to developing them on both a personal and professional level.

It is clear that productivity and efficiency levels are affected by how people view their work. An employee who feels valued would probably be more passionate about building his long-term career with the company and contributing towards the organisation’s success. Conversely, someone who sees his job as something he needs to do in order to pay the bills, will simply clock in the hours and await his pay check. For such employees, the company’s goals are not their goals and they hardly have any sense of ownership in what they do.

Manager or leader?

A company’s culture is often driven by its management staff. HR practitioners are realising that executive leadership is key to creating effective organisations with dynamic human capital.

Even in a developed market like Hong Kong, many managers are surprisingly still lacking in leadership qualities. Employees are often marginalised and micro-managed by their supervisors. There are also recurring issues such as superiors playing favourites, bosses humiliating subordinates in front of others, managers interfering with their personal time outside the office and setting impossible deadlines – all of which are common gripes in exit interviews.

To be an organisation recognised by the industry as a provider, employer and investment of choice, a company’s HR department/policy is responsible for ensuring that their managers are equipped with strong people management skills and are trained to lead.

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