“Oh – Sharmila is a such a great professional. Smart, intelligent and so very capable. Much as I would want to, I will not be able to hire as her high salary will upset the equilibrium of my organisation.” Rahul’s dilemma just as it is of so many leaders in mid to large organisations.
The last couple of weeks have been a time of absolutely fantastic learning. Have interacted with a lot of people within and outside the organisation, including some solid industry and management gurus. While the topics have ranged from business to politics to entertainment and what it takes to make it big in the competitive world of today, inevitably the discussions on talent – acquisition, retention and development – have been the most engaging. Something very close to my heart too!
We all recognise talent as the most significant differentiator between good and great organisations. Most of the initiatives see the light of the day only because they are in capable hands. Otherwise they may never even take off. While that is well established, it is also true that a growing economy like ours places a huge premium on quality talent. Tough to locate, not easy to recruit and even more difficult to retain. There are obviously many attributes of a good resource and I am going to focus this post only on recruitment. On how do we solve Rahul’s dilemma.
I am of the firm belief that once you spot a great talent – and a good fit for the organisation – go all out to hire. Do not get bogged down by the issue of compensation parity with the existing employees. Sometimes hire even without a specific role in mind, if possible. This has many benefits :
– as an individual contributor, one good resource delivers far more than 2-3 average resources. The impact is magnified multiple times if it is a leadership position
– their presence generates a certain creative tension that leads to a positive spiral which has the potential of uplifting the performance of the entire team. In a way establishing a performance oriented culture
– sooner than later all disparities of the existing employees, including compenstion ones, get addressed. If handled well, this can energise the entire organisation.
Net net, never compromise while hiring. I have presented a very simplistic view and am aware of the many complexities that leaders have to deal with. Managing aspirations of the existing employees is one such challenge. Not difficult to overcome if communicated with purpose!
They always say – Cost is long forgotten and quality is remembered forever!
This is a vast topic and will be helpful to understand your views.