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Mind the gap!

Monday, August 27, 2007   

Skills shortages are a threat, but there's a bigger one for employers - and a lot closer to home

I recently sat in a meeting with the CEO of a major law firm and asked him what he thought of its hiring capability?

"First class, second to none".  He responded.

Sat with me was someone who had attended a corporate day with the firm's senior management team a few days earlier, all of whom had apparently described their hiring suppliers as particularly hopeless.

By coincidence, I had recently had dinner with a 'hot' commercial lawyer who had been subject to an approach by the firm in question that very month.  Her views concurred with those of the management team.

The CEO had opened our meeting by stating that hiring and retaining great people was the single most important issue his business faces; thus begging question of how can an otherwise quite brilliant CEO be that detached from the reality of such an important situation?

Whenever I get called into help an organisation develop more effective hiring practice, it's almost always the same initial routine:-

1. They describe their issues

2. I outline what can be done to resolve them

3. I get an exasperated response along the lines of "But we already do all of that"!

As the saying goes, the devil is in the detail.  In the case of hiring practice, the gap between what firms think they're doing and what really needs to be done, represents the single biggest barrier between them realising they need to take action, and doing something that actually works.

But then we come back to the purpose of For The Want Of A Nail.  Because the impacts of hiring practice are not measured, 'something that actually works' can all too easily mean a backside being put on a seat - whatever the protestations of the behavioural profiling community might offer in their defence.

Back to the law firm.  Aside from the aforementioned limitations of their recruitment supplier, in truth, the CEO was right in that they are very hot on identifying an responding to hiring opportunities, to the extent there's just one minor detail creating something of an impasse in their hiring capability.

Considering the firm intended to "invest up to £1million in hiring in an entire new department", you would have thought that even just out of interest the CEO might have returned the call to find out what that 'one minor detail' was for free?

Help to close the gap - join in the debate today.



© Copyright 2007 - please credit where shared or reproduced.


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"How can a CEO be that detached from the reality of such an important situation?"


Nah, we're already using weapons, look!



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