Executives Show Uncertainty over HR Best Practices

April 1, 2009 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - A survey by a Waco, Texas, HR consulting firm finds widespread uncertainty among executives about how well their organization follows recruiting best practices necessary for survival in an uncertain economy.

Profiles International said its poll was designed to test how well employers are prepared for a “major reorganization and redeployment event.”

“In today’s economy, nearly every organization faces pressure to reduce waste and run at peak efficiency,” the consultant wrote in a report. “For many, this means making difficult personnel decisions to eliminate positions that don’t add sufficient value to the organization and either eliminating or redeploying people in those roles. The climate in the organization becomes tense as these changes take hold, and the stakes are high with little room for error.”

The report is available here .

According to the report, the best practices (and the survey results about whether each applied to the respondent's organization) included:

  • Know how each job supports your organization's key objectives; 76% uncertain, 24% certain. Commented the consultant: "Your organization may be behind the curve if job designs have not changed with your revamped plan of action. If employees are performing their jobs the same old way, they are holding the company back."
  • Consider both internal and external candidates for open positions; 72% uncertain, 28% certain.
  • Use objective evaluation criteria based on known outstanding performers in that job; 90% uncertain, 10% certain. "If you want to ensure that each worker fits the job, measure how top performers in the same position do their jobs," the consultant asserted. "Then apply the same assessment to candidates for the position and see how well they match the top performers."
  • Ensure compensation is competitive, based on current market rates for the job; 80% uncertain, 20% certain. "Paying a salary commensurate to what employees can earn in similar positions is critical to keeping your workforce motivated and attracting top talent," the consultant indicated.
  • Apply a consistent selection process to all candidates; 76% uncertain, 24% certain
  • Include key stakeholders in your employee selection process; 73% uncertain; 27% certain
  • Train your interviewers in your employee selection process; 83% uncertain, 17% certain
  • Give your interviewers guidance to help them probe deeper into a candidate's suitability; 84% uncertain, 16% certain.
  • Conduct comprehensive reference and background checks on job candidates; 66% uncertain, 34% certain.
  • Ensure your orientation process helps redeployed people become productive faster; 82% uncertain, 18% certain.