Hiring good people is easy; Hiring Great people is tough!
As many of you know, I love to read – a lot! I especially love to read books that allow me to gain insights into some of the world’s best companies. I love learning about how they became great, their trials and tribulations and why they continue to kill it and succeed.
Over the past few years, I’ve become fascinated by one of America’s most iconic companies, General Electric (GE). As per Wikipedia, General Electric is a multinational conglomerate corporation headquartered in Fairfield, Connecticut. As of 2015, the company operates through the following segments: Power and Water, Oil and Gas, Energy Management, Aviation, Healthcare, Transportation, and Capital. In 2011, GE ranked among the Fortune 500 as the 26th-largest firm in the U.S. by gross revenue, as well as the 14th most profitable. However, the company is listed the fourth largest in the world among the Forbes Global 2000. Click here to learn more about GE.
My fascination lies with former Chairman and CEO, Jack Welch. Jack was chairman and CEO between 1981 and 2001. Under Welch’s leadership, GE increased their market value from $12 billion to $280 billion, a 4000 percent increase. As we all know, success is not only measured in dollars, so I took a deeper dive into Jack’s world.
After reading many of Jack’s books and listening to his countless keynotes, one thing above all stuck out to me – his passion for people! “People are everything,” Jack says in his book Winning: The Ultimate Business How-To Book. Your company is nothing, absolutely nothing without the great people who show up everyday. Personally, I feel that winning in business is similar to winning in sports; the team with the best players wins!
Sounds easy right? Hiring good people is easy but hiring great people is tough.
Why you ask? Hiring the wrong people can result in a catastrophe. The negative effects are endless and include lost sales and revenue, poor productivity and the worst – a poisoned company culture!
A recent survey conducted by Right Management found that a bad hire can cost an organization anywhere from one to five times the employee’s annual salary. The numbers do not take into account the additional costs of recruitment time and fees, advertising costs, onboarding, training and the real cost of what I call, the Culture Vampires who kill morale.
Clearly, people make or break an organization, so much so that Jack believes, “Without a doubt, the head of HR should be the second most important person in any organization.” This quote by Jack is my personal favorite and one that I hold true in my heart!
At Roma Moulding, we’re no different and people are indeed our greatest asset. Truth be told, our customers interact with many of our people day in and day out. From our Sales to Customer Care, Credit to Operations, our teams are what makes our company great.
Yes we make some of the world’s greatest products, yes we have industry leading quality and yes we go to market very differently, but one thing that stands above all is our awesome, wickedly talented people!
If you agree that people are an organization’s greatest asset and you want HR to play a bigger role in your organization, start by doing these five easy things:
- Change the HR title to something more fun and dynamic:
Since when does anyone refer to someone else as a human resource? Over the years I’ve spoken to many HR professionals who had some great titles and others who wish they did. Here are some I’d recommend: VP of Happiness Relations, VP of Talent and Culture, People Matters Team and my favorite, Chief Talent Officer!
- Have HR report directly to the CEO:
Half of a CEO’s role is to be a great talent scout along with ensuring the people are happy and progressing in their roles. Your HR leader and the CEO should be like Batman and Robin or better yet, like Abbott and Costello.
- Avoid the Benefits and Administration trap:
Ensure your HR leader has the appropriate support. Too often HR leaders get saddled with issues such as benefits, vacation time, employee disputes and insurance policies. Although these duties are important, I believe that HR should be used to gauge the pulse of your team often, grow leaders and ensure the happiness index is high.
- Find an HR leader who is obsessed with Culture and People:
This is easier said than done. However, they are out there! Culture is the soul of your organization. Find people who align with your organization’s core values and who genuinely care about people … you will never lose if you do!
- Invest in their Growth and Development:
The world is quickly changing and so are the people and processes within your organization. Invest in workshops, summits and seminars to ensure you keep your teams current and abreast of new trends, tools and processes! If you think it’s expensive to do so, try not investing and see how much that will cost you in the end.
Someday, I hope to be able to meet Jack in person to tell him what an incredible impact he’s made on my life and on the lives of the outstanding people I have the privilege of leading.
What are doing to ensure that you avoid a bad hire? How do you attract, retain and inspire GREAT talent?
- Winning: The Ultimate Business How-To Book by Jack Welch.
- Jack: Straight from the Gut by Jack Welch.
- Video: A Conversation with Jack Welch