The Trouble with HR: An Insider's Guide to Finding and Keeping the Best People by Johnny C. Taylor, Gary M. Stern |, Hardcover | Barnes & Noble
The Trouble with HR: An Insider's Guide to Finding and Keeping the Best People

The Trouble with HR: An Insider's Guide to Finding and Keeping the Best People

by Johnny C. Taylor, Gary M. Stern

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A 2006 study by IOMA found that companies with effective talent management practices retain employees for longer time periods and outperform industry averages by 22 percent. But most HR departments are still using the same old cookie-cutter approach to finding new hires. This book offers a revolutionary new approach to attracting and hanging onto the best and


A 2006 study by IOMA found that companies with effective talent management practices retain employees for longer time periods and outperform industry averages by 22 percent. But most HR departments are still using the same old cookie-cutter approach to finding new hires. This book offers a revolutionary new approach to attracting and hanging onto the best and brightest talent, providing real-world strategies for:
• identifying and evaluating prospective employees
• deciding who will develop and progress into the management ranks
• fitting the person’s skills to the job
• developing a strategy to groom one’s staff and keep them happy
• and finding ways to reward them properly and keep them engaged

The book explores the latest thinking in employee relations, compensation and benefits, training, on-boarding, and development practices. This is a unique, powerful book no one concerned with finding and retaining the best people should be without.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“Taylor and Stern provide the reader with practical, viable tools that can serve to create and sustain a flexible, integrated, and creative business organization…invaluable for any company, large or small, profit or not-for-profit.” — Graziadio Business Report

Product Details

Publication date:
Product dimensions:
6.30(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.00(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Read an Excerpt

CHAPTER ONE GUIDE TO CHOOSING THE RIGHT PEOPLE: THE TEN MAJOR HIRING MISTAKES AND WHAT TO DO ABOUT THEM Anticipating your client’s changing needs. Adapting to a global environment. Thinking outside the box. You could make a case these skills are necessary to keep your company one step ahead of competitors. But there is one major skill that most experts overlook that may be the ultimate decider of how your business or organization does in the coming years: hiring the right people. Arguably, if you don’t hire the right people—and retain them— you won’t be able to devise new products, meet customer needs, and sustain the business. Most CEOs and business leaders spend ample time on their marketing plans and financial projections. Most often they leave hiring up to the business managers who devote the same energy and research to recruiting the right staff as they do ordering paper clips. Recruiting new staff is often considered an afterthought, something to attend to after the “primary” tasks get done. Many hiring executives view human resources and the HR function as an impediment, a department responsible for filing paperwork away in steel cabinets, forcing performance appraisals on them, and adding little value. Rather than serving as a support staff and adding value for recruiting and hiring, HR is often ignored. The Trouble with HR: An Insider’s Guide to Finding and Keeping the Best Talent makes the case that organizations must take a new approach to managing their human resources because, in an increasingly competitive and global economy, the key to future success and growth is simple: Hire the right people and retain them. Too many organizations hire for the minute and never think about long-term retention. For some reason, for-profit and notfor- profit entities, as well as government agencies, continue to believe that it makes sense to be reactive as opposed to proactive when it comes to managing what they all claim to be “our most important asset.” Business, nonprofit, and government leaders alike must understand why hiring the right people, and being able to retain them, is so critical to the bottom-line performance of their organizations. Consider the following: 1. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that in 2012, a mere three years away, there will be 165 million jobs but only 162 million people to fill them. Holding on to your talented staff will become increasingly significant as baby boomers retire and the difficulty replacing them intensifies. 2. The article “Making Talent a Strategy Priority,” in the January 2008 issue of The McKinsey Quarterly, written by Matthew Guthfride, Asmus B. Komm, and Emily Lawson, attests to the role that hiring the right people and retaining them plays in a company’s future. “Vying for 2 THE TROUBLE WITH HR top talent in an intensively competitive global marketplace” will become a major strategic initiative for most companies, according to the authors. Organizations will have to begin to see and use human capital “in a focused, deliberate, and proactive way to optimize the workforce.” The article makes clear that most companies are currently ill equipped to take advantage of their human capital and that companies that do better at retaining employees will have an easier time competing for global talent than the organizations that ignore turnover: “Measure turnover, understand its causes, and design programs to control it to reduce vacancy costs— both financial and productivity—to avoid its devastating affect on business.” 3. In an October 2005 Harvard Business Review article, “Growing Talent as If Your Business Depended on It,” the authors, Jeffrey M. Cohn, Rakesh Khurana, and Laura Reeves, cite a survey of twenty CEOs who said that having the right talent in the right roles was paramount to their companies’ success and that a talent management program was important for developing effective leaders. Sadly, however, nearly half of those very CEOs admitted that they had no succession plans or retention strategies for vice presidents and above—the most critical group of employees on their bench. The Retention Imperative Retention is not something organizations can choose to do if they want to be viable, successful entities in the future. The organizations that can hold onto their staff, develop them into leaders, move them up the organization, create a steady flow of talent, and not spend the bulk of their time on replacing talent will WIN. And since winning is the name of the game, there must be a retention imperative. And we need leaders to create an environment where staff is recognized, development becomes a natural part of business, and staff wants to stay. At the companies where turnover predominates and making people a priority is given only lip service, productivity falters. Not only that, but line managers spend more of their time on recruitment and hiring and less time devoted to their business and revenue growth. Developing a Whole New Outlook on Hiring and Retaining Though two of us, Johnny C. Taylor, Jr and Gary M. Stern, collaborated on this book, we’re going to draw on the experiences of Taylor, who has been a general counsel, an HR director, and CEO of, a new Internet site and community. Hence we’re going to write it in first person from Taylor’s viewpoint, though the two of us wrote the book. So I’m often asked what’s more important—hiring or retention? And like any good lawyer, I say both. The fact of the matter is that they are equally important. It is classic tomfoolery to focus on retaining employees who should have never made it into your organization in the first place. If you hire the wrong people and then hold onto them, your organization will fail. And if you hire the right people and can’t hold onto them, your organization will suffer just as much. Hence, a strong hiring strategy is a prerequisite to a successful employee retention strategy. Hiring the best people requires a whole new hiring approach. Until recently, the common practice, whether in Fortune 500 multinationals, small and midsize businesses, not-for-profits, or government agencies, was for most hiring to be done on a stopgap, emergency, “filling the vacancy” basis. Someone left for a better job, and the company ratcheted up efforts to hire a replacement. In a knowledge economy, when millions of baby boomers are retiring each year, the quick-fix hiring effort no longer works. Instead, as this book suggests, there is a better way, an entirely different and very deliberate approach to recruiting and retaining people over the life cycle of an employee’s stay at the organization. The approach keeps everyone involved. That way, when you need someone to step in to fill a vacancy, you already know the strengths of your internal employees and who can advance into managerial or leadership positions. In a sense, organizations have to operate more like sports teams. Every football team knows that it has a forty-man squad, a “taxi” squad with five additional players, and is constantly searching for qualified talent to fill positions in case of injuries. Football teams recognize that the best talent wins games and those players are constantly in and out of games due to injuries, trades, or deteriorating skills. Too many businesses, on the other hand, have adopted the “ostrich” approach—keeping their head in the sand and ignoring hiring decisions until the emergency happens. When most people think of hiring and retaining staff, they think first of Fortune 500 and other major corporations. But nearly everything that we focus on in this book—creating a long-term hiring strategy, identifying talent, interviewing based on a detailed job description, fitting the job with the candidate, hiring for the future—is as true for the military, nonprofit organizations, and small businesses as for large public corporations. Because most nonprofits and small businesses cannot offer stock options and have some restrictions on bonuses compared to public companies, these organizations must focus on making the job appealing, providing more autonomy, giving staff more challenges, and compensating for the lack of financial incentives.

Meet the Author

Johnny C. Taylor Jr. (Charlotte, NC) was chairman of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), is a keynote speaker on HR issues, and serves as CEO of Rushmore Drive, a new IAC/InterActive Corp. website.

Gary M. Stern (New York, NY) co-authored Minority Rules and has written for Investor’s Business Daily and The Wall Street Journal.

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