by Tammy Hart

McKinsey & Company is a management-consulting firm advising leading companies on issues of strategy, organization, technology, and operations. According to a study conducted by McKinsey, despite the anticipated growth in the general workforce, there will actually be a shortage and a decline in the number of capable managers in the next few years.

The Changing Human Resources Role

There is a lot of attention being focused on the changing role of the Human Resources Manager. The traditional administrative duties, including caring for executive agendas and benefits coordinating, are being delegated to others in order to free up the Human Resources Manager to spend time working with line managers and contributing to employee development, training, motivation, and retention through goal-setting. They are being expected to be leaders in recruiting talent and assisting to achieve action plans. Marcus Buckingham, a leadership management expert, suggests taking a more innovative approach to designing a plan that develops employees’ talents instead of trying to correct their weaknesses.

The Interview

McKinsey and company suggest that you continue to refine your hiring process. They believe that a large problem with the hiring process is the interview itself, which can be based too much on emotions, first impressions, social confidence, assertiveness, verbal skills, and the interaction between the candidate and the interviewer, with not enough emphasis on the candidates’ ability and motivation to do the job. Instead the candidate should be assessed for organizational skills, leadership and emotional intelligence. Carol Hacker offers some great tips from her book Hiring top Performers; including asking for specific examples of things the perspective employee has done at previous jobs that require them to explain “who” “what” “when” “where” “why” and “how”. She also recommends using the 80/20 rule…listen 80% of the time and talk 20%.

Be consistent with performance reviews.

Performance reviews are fundamental tools for employee development, but they are only the starting point that should begin after the first thirty days of employment. They should be scheduled at routine intervals and made a high priority; however they should never take the place of daily communication. It is important to be firm and clear about your expectations but tactful at the same time. Giving honest feedback and holding people accountable increases the employee’s chances for success along with the success of the company. If you have done a great job at leading your team your employees should not be shocked by your feedback in a performance review, and the review process becomes more of a time to establish long term goals.

Retaining your investment

The old stigma about job-hopping being such a terrible thing is starting to decline and it is becoming an increasing trend for managers to switch jobs frequently (partially due to the ease of being able to search jobs using the internet). There is popular saying…”if they come for the money, they will leave for the money.” Your organization has to have something more to offer besides advances in pay and/or promotions, but before you start the recruitment process, take inventory of the valuable employees your organization already has on board and focus on retaining them. A recent survey indicated that talented managers are seeking positions with companies that are well-managed by great leaders, have tuition reimbursement, flexible schedules, and companies that can provide opportunities for growth and development. In many cases the recognition becomes more important than the increase in pay. In the event that high performing managers do leave your organization, it is essential to identify what the cause was in order to reduce future losses. Performing exit interviews and asking for their feedback is a valuable exercise and is a step that is often omitted.

“A great manager is brilliant at spotting the unique differences that separate each person and then capitalizing on them.” Marcus Buckingham,,,