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How Do You Hire?

The argument is not about the budget, the argument is about what type of performance companies settle for. 

I often hear, "Your biggest cost is your employees." That's right! Using the same principle, should you hire average people in roles that require experts, your people will be your biggest cost I guarantee you that. But let's not look at experts only, I would pay an extra $500 a month to an admin clerk who I know won't mess up, can work autonomously, has common sense, and gets things done. In one word; competent. 

But organisations don't care about any of these, they care about, "You must be here for 8 hours and do what we tell you whether it makes sense or not" so they get people who love or need to be told what to do. Unfortunately, they bring nothing that moves organisations forward and that is invited by the way they budget. These companies do not understand and/or value competence and expertise. 

They are like clients, who ask 50 questions over a $100 service, "Ok, so tell me exactly, what do I get for this $100?" They don't want that service, they don't understand how that could help them nor do they care. On the other hand, clients who want to fix their issues, understand and value expertise and competence and don't question the price. They say, "Here is the $50K you ask, fix my problem" or "Hire this guy even if he costs a little bit more because I trust him to get things done which allows me to focus on the job I am hired for and take the business forward." 

Companies talk about high-performing and quality teams but they immediately contradict themselves with their pay structure. You cannot have high-performing or highly competent people with average salaries. Performance is business result that comes from competence. Competent people want to be paid based on what they deliver and not based on the hours they spend at work. It is about time we started valuing competence and reflected that in pay structures. 

Organisations must understand that they pay for people's skills, knowledge, experience, creativity, and expertise. 

This is how we should be building salary structures; base salary and extra after each of these components topping it up with a bonus when the result is delivered. The current comp & benefit structures don't encourage any of these. It offers base salaries that encourage mediocrity which is time spent at work and that's exactly what they get; an average level of competence that produces average performance within a specific time. It is kind of an "It will do" or "Value for money" approach. Value for money yes because you get what you pay for, but is it value for the business? Maybe not so much!

I fully subscribe to the notion that "Your people are your biggest expense" just like I live by my gran's saying "Save your money on food and you will be spending all that saving on medicine and doctors." So, save your money on competence and you will be spending all that saving on consultants who will need to come in to fix your business because the people you brought in with savings in mind, will mess it up and on other interventions to address all their incompetence or lose your business. 

You cannot have your cake and eat it just like you cannot have Tesco's Finest for the price of the Tesco Value items. 

Exciting news! My second book, "Blind Leading the Disengaged - From Kindergarten to Employee Experience," is dropping in April! It's a treasure trove of solutions and cool ideas to shake up your people management game. But before we get there, let's chat about where we're at now—The Corporate Kindergarten, as I spilt the beans in my first book. Check it out, and let's transform your workplace from a daycare to an awesome employee experience hub!:

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