Business Times Column

by Marcus

Increasing Productivity and Talent Retention

It is the intention of wise business owners to increase the productivity of their team and to retain top talent. However, many find themselves stumped as to how to actually accomplish this. The most powerful and effective place to start is at the beginning.

When you hire a new team member, they start out strong. In time, and without attention to ongoing training and effective management their productivity can fall off and they will likely move on or need replacing. This will leave you having to go through the lengthy, time consuming and expensive process of attracting, hiring and training someone new.

Extensive studies have estimated the cost of turnover to range from several thousand dollars to upwards of 150% to 200% of one’s annual salary. The “costs” are high and include not only lost revenue, loss of productivity and training expenses, but also the time, money, energy, stress and frustration of hiring someone new. When you add up all of these factors and spread them across the entire time your business has been operating, it is easy to see that your bottom line takes a significant hit, and will continue to do so until you make a change in your hiring process.

The average company hires new talent through a standard process of placing advertisements, accepting applications and resumes, interviewing “qualified” candidates, asking a few routine questions, and then hiring based on who feels like the best fit for the job. However, without in depth analysis and a real understanding of the position itself – it’s high payoff activities – and the type of person that would best fit it, the success ratio falls off quickly.

Through the statistically accurate and proven process of “Job Benchmarking”, errors in the hiring process all but disappear and biases are eliminated. The first phase involves meeting with the Subject Matter Experts – one to five team members that have a direct connection or experience with the position to be filled – to clearly define the position and identify its Key Accountabilities. We do this from the perspective of the job itself: If the job could talk what activities would it tell us it needs done on a consistent basis to be performed at a high level and who would it hire to do them.

During the next phase of this highly effective process, I work closely with the Subject Matter Experts to rank individual Key Accountabilities in order of importance and time requirements. Then, I guide them through the completion of the job assessment where they indicate their preferences in regards to the competencies, motivators, values and behaviors the person hired will need in order to perform at a the highest possible level.

Once the Job Benchmark is finalized, the next step is to identify the most qualified candidates and have each one complete a simple online assessment. Based on these results, a Comparison Report is then created that compares each candidate to the identified parameters created in the Job Benchmark. This sophisticated tool provides clear-cut, non-biased information revealing the person who is best suited for the job.

During the final phase of the process, with solid hiring information in hand, we interview the top candidate using behavioral-based methods and explain the Key Accountabilities of the position. This procedure clearly defines the position and manages the expectations of the new hire. After the person is hired, I can also work with them for successful on-boarding and further development of their behaviors and competencies for optimal job performance.

The benefits of Job Benchmarking for hiring new talent are numerous and powerful. Studies have shown that, done correctly, productivity improves by 30% and retention increases by 50%. Productivity rises because the person’s behaviors and competencies align well with what the job is calling for. Retention increases because their personal motivators match what the necessary motivators for the job are. In other words, there is symmetry between the job and the new hire.

The rewards of Job Benchmarking to the company, its team members and customers are inescapable. As biases are removed, and clarity and alignment are created, the door to successful hiring appears. If you are experiencing low productivity and expensive turnover, contact me today so that we can work together to change your business reality.

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This article was written for and published in collaboration with The Business Times newspaper.


Marcus Straub

Author Marcus Straub

Marcus Straub is Founder and CEO of Life Is Great!™ (LIG) Coaching and Consulting, Inc. based in Grand Junction, Colorado.

Serving individuals of all ages and companies of all sizes, in locations across the country and around the world, Marcus specializes in the development of customized programs tailored to meet the unique goals of each individual client. Purposefully created to guide those involved toward unprecedented personal, professional, and organizational growth, Marcus has become well-known for his straightforward approach and systematic techniques.