Pune, India

“HOW TO” have Right People at Right Jobs?

“HOW TO” have Right People at Right Jobs?

In the last few years of my career, I have worked with the best of the professionals in very conducive organizational set-ups and the learning has been astounding. I have been on a fast track since the early days of my career, and due to the opportunities to work with very able leaders, my professional journey has been somehow rewarding.

Working in core business areas during my career (OD, Talent Management, Operations, Finance, Systems) – helped me build a practical understanding of the business principles.

It was during my stint as Head of Talent Management for a top multi-national corporation that I learned about how most of the organizations are managing resources. Ironically, the observations from those times hold true even to this day.
Just as back then, even today, the corporations are not cognizant of the very principle of “Right Person at the Right Job” – at least it does not reflect in the way they operate.

I recall reading a post long back while was still in college, which highlighted the major mistake that the organizations have been committing since ages related to the above principle. This thought brings me to share my thoughts on this topic.

Apparently, people who know recruiting also know that the best way to understand the overall recruiting process is to visualize it as a subset of the standard business practices of Supply Chain Management and Customer Relationship Management (CRM).
Recruiting cannot reach its optimal impact, nor can it help drive an organization’s “performance mindset,” if viewed in isolation. Instead, it must be considered to be an integral part of the entire people/productivity process.

It’s not enough “just to recruit them,” but it’s equally important to look at the next step, which is to ensure that top performers and new hires are put in the right jobs. And after a period of time in any job, it’s also important to continually redeploy them into other “more appropriate” jobs.

Unfortunately, we now know that two of the most common errors that organizations make are:

1) Putting wrong people in wrong jobs.
2) Keeping them in those jobs for too long.

By “Right Person/Right Job” I don’t mean the traditional “Skill Fit,” but instead am bringing about the issue of underutilization of talent by putting top performers into inconsequential jobs and vice versa.

Here’s a list of the 16 most common errors made while placing their top performers:

A deployment mismatch occurs if the organizations:

  1. Fails to identify it’s “mission critical” positions, and then fails to focus the energies on these critical positions (10% of all jobs)
  2. Fails to identify top performers, and then fails to treat them differently than the average worker
  3. Allows a mission-critical position to be left open/vacant
  4. Allows a mission-critical position to be filled with an average performer
  5. Allows a top performer to remain in a non-mission critical position (generally, because they assume that top
  6. performers will move on their own)
  7. Allows a top performer to have a “mediocre manager” Allows a top performer to be “stuck” in a mission-critical position beyond their peak growth period
  8. Allows a “bottom performer” to remain on the same team as a top performer

Mistakes most of the organizations commit regarding Employee Engagement are:

  1. Providing little differentiation (less than 40%) in pay between the top and the average performers
  2. Allowing a low percentage of all employees’ pay to be at risk (less than 20%), contingent on performance
  3. Lack of awareness about the factors that motivate, challenge and frustrate every top performer
  4. Not providing every top performer with the resources they need to succeed (great teammates, budget, a plan and learning opportunities)
  5. Not providing every top performer with “stretch” goals and enough on-the-job P&L opportunities to prove to themselves and others what they can do
  6. Allowing a top performer to get a better offer from another organization before getting a “better” internal offer from the current organization
  7. Failing to continually “challenge” any employee to the limit of their expectations
  8. Not measuring and rewarding their managers for doing each of the above things

It is equally necessary to ensure that the right people are placed in the right positions so that the top performers can optimize their learning and growth.

Unfortunately, many managers take a cavalier approach to deploy resources, and as a result, they have top performers working in non-essential jobs.

In addition to impacting their morale and retention, it also affects the organization’s productivity, as well as its ability to maintain a competitive edge.

If you want your team to be productive, it’s essential that you periodically conduct a “Human Capital Audit” to ensure that the right people are placed in the right job!

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Comments: 3

  1. Manav Lalotra says:

    Thanks for the note sir and I totally agree with you. Good leadership is centered around people development, which in turn helps the organization achieve its goals.

  2. Ross Swan says:

    Totally spot on with your article Manav, its good leadership when you are continually focussed on developing people into the roles that add the most value for all stakeholders

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