Sue Arkle believes that many of the problems faced by employers arise from a lack of understanding of how people naturally behave. She considers the implications of being in the wrong job.
Who feels they are in the right job?
We asked this question recently and 1569 people responded. We were surprised to find that 58.38% said they were in the wrong job! This is quite a worrying statistic when you consider the cost of getting it wrong.
So what are the implications?
The cost of recruitment can be high.
In 2013 Businesses spent £26.5 billion with recruitment agencies. The chances are that a few more billion were spent by companies dealing with their recruitment directly. A very expensive mistake if over 50% of the time we are hiring the wrong people.
What does it mean to employers?
Out of ten people in a team there will be six who think they are in the wrong job. What is the impact of that? If people feel that there is something else they would be more suited to, then it’s very difficult to get the best from them. In essence you are looking at lower productivity and performance than might otherwise be possible. Productivity affects profitability and competitiveness, so it’s a downward spiral. You are also likely to experience low engagement, high absenteeism and high staff turnover. In short, poor recruitment goes straight to the bottom line.
What does it mean to individual employees?
Unfortunately there are no winners in this scenario. We don’t thrive and prosper and we can struggle to give even an adequate performance, let alone an exceptional one. We don’t get promoted or headhunted. And of course it can be very stressful when we aren’t fulfilled at work. On a day to day basis we are likely to be frustrated and bored.
What can we do about it?
Employers need to look at the candidates they are attracting and their selection process. Do they know the type of person they want? We are not just a set of skills but a set of attitudes as well. How well do recruiters understand the type of personality they are looking for? Who is more likely to integrate into the team or organisation? How can you tell from a CV whether a candidate is likely to rub others up the wrong way or not? I know from personal experience that a candidate is able to “mask” certain personality traits until after they have started work.
Candidates need to stop applying for the wrong jobs. How many of us apply for every job going and take whatever we can get, or accept a promotion because someone else thinks we can do it? They need to take control of their careers and pursue something they really want to do. It takes as much effort to apply for the wrong job as it does to land a job they will love. We spend so much of our lives at work and I think we owe it to ourselves to do all we can to get it right.
Sue is the MD of Find the Right People. Her mission is to help business enjoy greater success by using the one asset they all have in common – their people.
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