Hiring Cheaper Isn't Hiring Better: Why Companied Continue to Get Exactly What They Pay For

By Paul Feeney Managing Director, Sanford Rose Associates - Wayne | October 28, 2008

Sometimes it also seems that bodies are bodies, interchangeable and most wisely obtained at the lowest possible cost for the least amount of effort.

Certainly, anyone who works in today's corporations knows that far too few employees are trying to do far too much work with far too limited resources. At some point in the last century, people were those companies' most important resource - but that was then and this is now, dude. If not ignored or placed on hold by corporate edict, hiring has become a necessary evil as opposed to a golden opportunity.

And with every possible ounce of cost being wrung from corporate budgets, it seems to make sense to hire on the cheap: waste-not, want-not. This has led to the creation of computerized "vendor management systems" for personnel procurement; applicant-tracking software that classifies, files and retrieves r'esum'es electronically; "preferred recruiter" lists based largely on search firms' willingness to discount their services; increased reliance on online job boards, and so on.

While it might be argued that certain kinds of skill-intensive positions can be filled through automated recruiting and assessment, that is hardly the case for positions where factors such as leadership, judgment, persuasiveness, management style and emotional intelligence come into play. There has yet to be seen a r'esum'e that presents its subject as a whole human being - capable of accomplishing some things more than others and destined to reach a certain level of personal achievement.

What happens over time - especially in larger, more "organized" and more bureaucratic organizations - is a gradual dumbing-down of the hiring process. Actions are taken and decisions made on the basis of their efficiency (or, better yet, cost-efficiency). Those responsible for finding and attracting the ideal candidate are denied access to the very individual who most understands the needs and dynamics of the open position - namely, the person to whom the position reports. Candidate interviews are repeatedly rescheduled, and hiring decisions are postponed for months. Adding injury to insult, search firms are asked to work for smaller fees and accept later payment, two dampening factors on a firm's level of commitment, degree of thoroughness and sense of urgency.

It's like the wife who never knew her husband drank until he came home sober one night: life seems normal until a better alternative arrives.

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Coming up in February 2018...

Social Media: Engagement is Key

There are currently 2.3 billion active users of social media networks and savvy hotel operators have incorporated social media into their marketing mix. There are a few Goliath channels on which one must have a presence (Facebook & Twitter) but there are also several newer upstart channels (Instagram, Snapchat &WeChat, for example) that merit consideration. With its 1.86 billion users, Facebook is a dominant platform where operators can drive brand awareness, facilitate bookings, offer incentives and collect sought-after reviews. Twitter's 284 million users generate 500 million tweets per day, and operators can use its platform for lead generation, building loyalty, and guest interaction. Instagram was originally a small photo-sharing site but it has blown up into a massive photo and video channel. The site can be used to post photos of the hotel property, as well as creating Instagram Stories - personal videos that disappear from the channel after 24 hours. In this regard, Instagram and Snapchat are now in direct competition. WeChat is a Chinese company whose aim is to be the App for Everything - instant messaging, social media, shopping and payment services - all in a single platform. In addition to these channels, blogging continues to be a popular method to establish leadership, enhance reputations, and engage with customers in a direct and personal way. The key to effective use of all social media is to find out where your customers are and then, to the fullest extent possible, engage with them on a personal level. This engagement is what creates a personal connection and sustains brand loyalty. The February Hotel Business Review will explore these issues and examine how some hotels are successfully integrating social media into their operations.