HR Trends - Watch them grow

The cost associated with hiring and training a new employee can be noticeably higher than filling that vacancy by promoting staff within the organisation
By Ananya Mukherjee

Depending on the intricacies involved, it’s not unusual for a new employee to take several weeks or even months to fully learn and align himself to the company culture and become a productive member of a team. In contrast, an employee who has been in the talent pipeline knows exactly where he must begin or what is expected from him as soon as he assumes a new position within the same organisation.

More and more employers now realise that it is time to amend their promotional policies and adopt one that accelerates growth of talent within the organisation. Not only does it help in creating a more engaged and motivated workforce, who are the business’ best brand ambassadors for attracting further talent, it also provides measurable monetary returns by reducing expensive tangible and intangible turnover costs.

If you look at the basis of this trend, you will understand that as rapidly growing economies fuel the demand for talent, companies have to incorporate
human capital development and retention as integral to their corporate strategy just as product and market development. With family-owned businesses forming the back bone of Southeast Asia’s more developed markets such as Singapore, Thailand and the Philippines, this trend is even more accentuated. Consider this; only about 40% of such businesses continue into the second generation, and far fewer – only 13% – survive to last into the third. “We continually meet leaders of family-owned businesses who are confronting the need to handle succession planning in a way that draws the best talent from within the family and from an external management talent pool as well. A key challenge for these familyowned businesses is to grow their businesses in new directions that continue to provide challenge and headroom for the personal development of their talent,” Lionel Soh, director, Southeast Asia, Actis shares.

Having a distinct, meritocratic talent management programme that identifies talent early and puts appropriate development programmes in place to charter a good career plan is a great way to start. Many companies have already begun using tools that help talent identify positions within the company and fill in these vacancies from within. OCBC Bank is one such example. Many other organisations have technological support whereby employees can keep upgrading their CVs, record their achievements and keep the management posted on the eligibility criteria for new positions within the organisation. The first preference is always given to an insider in these cases.

Cost effective and strategic, a culture that supports promotion from within is thus a win-win situation for the employer and the employee and ensures long-term commitment from both the parties.

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