Don't drive your best people away

IT recruiting and management practices can use a boost.

If an organization's most important resource is its people, why don't we spend the same kind of time and energy communicating with them as we do with customers? It's an interesting question, and particularly important when talent is in high demand, writes Jonathan Feldman, CIO of Asheville, N.C. To find and retain skilled staff in this hiring environment, recruiting and management practices need some quality control.

"Here's a recruiting notice I saw the other day from someone at a company doing some informal recruiting: 'I am sending this email to everyone on our email address list, hoping that someone may know somebody who would be interested in these positions.' How's that for precision?" Feldman writes at InformationWeek. "Describing one of those positions, the individual wrote: 'This is a person who will be replacing the person who is in the position right now. He has ALS (Lou Gehrig's Disease), so [we] need someone to come in and learn the ropes before he dies.'"

And it's hard for enterprises to keep talented people if they have poor management. "I coach and mentor a highly talented and diverse group of up-and-coming IT pros, and the No. 1 issue that drives them away from their current jobs isn't low pay, tough work or a dysfunctional 'organization.' It's their well-meaning but ineffective bosses," Feldman says.

What to do?

"Adopt 360-degree manager evaluations. Put some resources, perhaps outside the organization, into a neutral ombudsman charged with listening to and acting on employee complaints," Feldman suggests. "Executives need to make themselves more available to employees and start to teach (and learn about) what constitutes good and bad hiring and management behavior."

For more:
- see Jonathan Feldman's column at InformationWeek

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