Why do companies struggle with recruiting and retaining talent, and what can be done to improve it?

Recruiting and retaining talent are probably two good examples of how the lack of agility in organizations prevents them from reaching targets that they put for themselves. Organizations are built from people, and therefore they are in a continuous chase after best talent that fits the organization culture. This is one of the many competition on scarce resources between companies. The company that offers more and fast to response will attract better talent.

Companies want to make sure they hire the right talent. Hiring wrong people can cause inefficiencies because of the need to look for new talent after a few months. Sometimes wrong talent can even create damage. Therefore, companies involve many parties in the process of hiring talent. The interview process includes many people from different groups in the organization (managers, peers, internal customers, HR and others). When there is a managerial decision to move forward, there is another process that involves internal and external providers.  

Hiring is a long process that includes many participants. As the process has more diverse and autonomous participants and interlinks between them, it becomes more complex and fragile. Any unexpected action from each participant in the process will slow or break down the process. The result is a delay or wrong message for talented candidates. From the candidate’s point of view, that’s enough to accept another offer. 

Keeping talent is a more complex set of processes than hiring. A new hire will interact with many people in the company. Although one interaction won’t cause him to leave, several problematic interactions, from his point of view, with people can start negative thoughts in his mind. Face-to-face interactions are drops of water compared to the impact of other people’s decisions and actions on any person in an organization. In a nutshell, too many parts can influence a person’s decision to leave a company. 

Comparing to hiring, there are many interwoven processes that include more diverse and autonomous people in an attempt to retain talent. Therefore, the complexity of keeping people is much more complex than recruiting them. To make the gap even more paradoxical, hiring is a common effort of several people. Retaining talent is a task for one person, his manager. 

One way to measure complexity is the feasibility of predicting a future state. In both cases, it’s hard to predict what will be in the future, but predicting the odds of a candidate to be hired is much more likely than predicting how much time he will stay with the company.

There are two main causes of the struggle with recruiting and retaining talent. As you probably already guess complexity or the number of participants in a process and the interlinks between them, is one element that causes the struggle. The other cause is the fact that companies use wrong problem-solving methods to deal with complexity. They are using tools that are created to deal with simplicity and as a result, increasing complexity.

Organizations are not the first to deal with complexity. Many phenomena in nature are complex and therefore science was forced to find different ways to understand complexity. This trend starts after quantum physics and reaches maturity with chaos theory and complex system theory. Galaxies merged those ways together with other concepts and practices into one framework.

Our framework is based on depicting interactions, impacts, and flows between the elements of companies. Based on the data collected, we can find challenges, issues, and opportunities. Depicting interlinks help us to proposed solutions for the future. Galaxies framework uses simulation to validate both the depiction of the current system and the best alternative. 

Getting a clear understanding of interactions, impacts, and flows between all parts of the hiring and retaining processes will not just bring a clear understanding of the process and who is involved and impacted. It will also expose problems in those processes that no one saw because we all used different problem-resolving tools.

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