How to resource a rapidly changing industry?

If you’ve read any of my recent industry commentaries you’ll notice a few common threads. Firstly, the resource management and renewables industries are growing rapidly and, secondly, at the same time there is great deal of change, controversy and innovation going on. While I view the change and innovation factors as positive, they do still present some challenges for business.

As public opinion sways in the favour of environmental concerns, it has placed a great deal of pressure on companies operating in the industry to improve their processes and delivery. A recent BBC documentary highlighted that while a lot of British recycling was processed locally, that processing only went as far as sorting and bailing. Instead of completing the recycling process, the bales of recycling were then shipped to other destinations, such as Malaysia. Unfortunately for the UK, this “waste” is now being shipped back to our shores as it’s unwanted in Malaysia.

For most people, this revelation came as a shock. Much of the British public believed that when they placed items into a recycling bin, they were doing what was right for the environment. The Malaysia waste controversy highlights that not all waste processing plants operate ethically and there are some glaring flaws in the recycling industry.

 

How to get it right

Most people will agree that an organisation is only as good as its people and decision makers.  This emphasises the need for discernment when hiring. There are a lot of people with varying degrees of skills and experience who may apply for a vacancy, so how do you establish who could be right for the job?

While instinct or gut feel are often cited as reasons for selecting a particular candidate, one must remember that this is subjective. As humans we are flawed and when we make decisions based on feeling it is often clouded by personal perceptions, beliefs and preferences. Certainly, we all want to work with people who are likeable. But will you still like that person 6 months’ down the line when you discover that they do not have the skills, knowledge or experience they claimed to have?

More importantly, consider the impact on the organisation. Instead of moving forward, projects will either be failing or disrupted. Team morale is likely to be down, not to mention the financial cost. Even if the person is fired, there’s the additional cost in re-recruiting and training up a replacement. Research indicates that the cost for getting it wrong can amount to three times the actual salary paid.  However, depending on the role, the impact on the business in lost revenue or sales targets missed can be much, much higher.

This is why I believe that an objective, evidence based approach to resourcing delivers better returns for business. It cuts through the emotion, personal perceptions and preferences and focusses on asking the most important question: can the candidate actually do the job?

Better due diligence leads to better decisions

Evidence based hiring does not take the humanness out of the hiring process, it simply drills down to the core facts. It starts with asking the right questions: What does great look like in this role? What skills are needed for the role?  What would demonstrate that the candidate has these skills and what methods can be used to verify these skills? Interviewing forms part of the process, but a robust assessment process is what provides the evidence to make informed decisions.

Consider fingerprint technology. One of the reasons it is being widely adopted as a way of identifying individuals is that short of being Jason Bourne or some other secret operative, it’s almost impossible to cheat the system. Each person’s fingerprints are unique and the technology uses multiple points of reference that pull together a unique fingerprint pattern to identity individuals. Evidence based hiring is similar in that it aims to identify multiple reference points and connect the dots to find a candidate that will best match what an organisation really needs.

As the renewables and resource management industries continue to grow, they will need people with diverse skills and expertise. There’s no doubt that many people are very talented and good at what they do, but it’s imperative to find the right person for the right role. We need to connect the dots using robust evidence of previous experience and actual skills.

As global awareness regarding the environmental impacts of humans grows, the resource management and renewables industries are going to be under the spotlight. The industry needs to move forward and create better solutions that address the challenges with, for example, plastic waste. We require talented individuals who can work together to develop joined up solutions. This is why informed recruitment decisions are so important and why our evidence based solutions work.

This topic is something I’m particularly passionate about because the evidence based approach to resourcing underpins everything we do at WasteRecruit. It’s the reason we have an average retention rate of nearly 3 years’ – well above the national average. If you’d like to find out more about it, please feel free to contact the WasteRecruit team on email: admin@wasterecruit.com or Tel: 01252 353 080. We’d love to hear from you.