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  • Writer's pictureMeyrick Consulting

Mind the gap between intentions and practice

The road to hell is paved with good intentions

At the beginning of February many people are appraising their efficacy of their new year’s resolutions. Sadly, many of us will give up or never even start thinking that 2021 will be the year! Yet good intentions can be extraordinarily costly in business terms when they are not followed through.

An example of the gap between intentions and practice came to mind when I was discussing recruitment with a colleague last week

A few years back I managed to place a very high profile position in a Global PLC. It was quite a coup as the candidate left an extraordinarily good job in a key British company to take up the position. The role was actually VP of Sustainability. I should be reporting how he has transformed the business but I'm sad to say he resigned after just twelve months. Photo: Natha Dumlao

Talking through his decision he told me that the profound issue was the fact that although sustainability was, and very much is, a hot topic there was absolutely no buy-in from the board. This made his position untenable and the only direction to go in was through an open door. This is very bad news and disappointing for everyone involved.

Do what you say you'll do

You might say that perhaps it was down to personality or character, however ESG (Environmental, social and corporate governance) is a way of actually doing business. It is a philosophy and measures the three factors that affect the societal impact and sustainability within a company or business. These criteria are seminal in determining the future financial performance of companies and more. Therefore, you would think these philosophies would run through any global plc like Brighton Rock. Often it is not the case.

Why else should it matter?

As a recruiter we work extraordinarily hard to uncover the very best talent that helps businesses to achieve their goals, maintain their competitive edge by development and innovation. The cost of a VP role is anything from £150 000+. As specialist recruiters for specialist roles our fee is reflected in the painstaking care we take over our search. So, think about the cost of losing key appointments to a business. Our candidate spent twelve months in the role. The first three will have been spent getting to know the company, meeting internal stakeholders and working on impactful strategies. There is also the cost of finding the person with an exact match of skills. There is the onboarding process and the time taken to shortlist, interview and decision making. For this particular client the replacement cost became inconsequential as we off a candidate replacement guarantee meaning that if a candidate should leave within 12 months we will find a replacement candidate without an additional charge

Photo: Jenean Newcomb

Not only is there a financial cost but also a reputational one too

Would that candidate speak well of the company? Would he recommend applying for a job there? Platforms like Glassdoor pull no punches when it comes to company reviews. Quality candidates are very hard to find. Our searches are granular and much effort goes into discovery an outreach.Failing to find the most appropriate staff to allow a business to progress is frustrating and wastes time, money and opportunities. Retaining employees is often even harder than hiring them. Photo: Helen Lopes

In the ‘war for talent’ employees’ expectations are probably more important than they have ever been

Company values are important and these need to be part of the everyday practice and not just written in the company brochure. Therefore, if you manage to attract top talent into your company then you really do need a thoughtful and honest strategy to retain them.

Part of my role in the recruitment process is to act as an ambassador on behalf of my clients

In the current climate certain candidates are sometime reluctant to actually consider making a move from their existing employer. This is the case even if the offer to join another business could provide them with enhanced career prospects and increased remuneration. Think about it, if you have been with a business for 10 years, you will have established credibility within the organisation, have built an internal network and have a certain element of security. Therefore, why put all this at risk to join another organisation where you will have to build from scratch. Part of my role in the recruitment process is to act as an ambassador on behalf of my clients to promote their business and opportunity through a process of gentle coercion to convince potential candidates that the opportunity to take their career to another level really does exist.

Sometimes the best candidates for the job is not actually looking

In the US as around 33%+/- are actively looking for new employment their employers are spending round $1.1 billion annually looking to replace staff that have left. This said sometimes the best candidates for the job is not actually looking and need to be tracked down and enticed by a role. Therefore, my final question is: can you really afford not to look after your expensive hires?

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