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New Survey on Workforce Restructuring Indicates Change Needs to Start at Home

With many organizations restructuring their workforces to accommodate increasing pressure to “do more with less,” Profiles International conducted a study of nearly 800 business leaders nationwide recently with the goal to identify the primary challenge these organizations face when implementing their restructuring plans.

The company released the findings of its Reorganization & Recovery Survey yesterday – with some very surprising numbers.  Its key finding was that “most executives are unprepared to properly measure the strength of their workforce and affect workforce change.”  In other words, these business seemed know very little about the hiring and candidate selection practices at their own organizations.  Shouldn’t that, um, be kind of…important?

 Among the most surprising findings:

  • 84% of respondents were uncertain whether interviewers get the proper training to probe deeper into a candidate’s sustainability. (That’s not to say that interviewers aren’t getting proper training, but if the business leaders can’t answer that question, well…it doesn’t look promising. Effective interviewing is a developed skill that requires knowing which questions to ask to find candidates not only with the right skill sets, but the right attitude and aptitude.)
  • 82% of respondents were uncertain as to whether their orientation process helps their employees become productive faster. (The whole purpose of an orientation process is to retain new hires, but if there’s no system in place to constantly evaluate them, what’s the point of having an orientation process at all? No wonder research shows that nearly half of all new hires fail within 18 months.)
  • 90% of respondents were uncertain as to whether their organizations had objective evaluation criteria based on known outstanding performers in that job. (No? Really? Then how do you know what you’re looking for?)
  • 76% were unsure of whether they applied a consistent selection process to all candidates. (I’d think of all of the issues evaluated, most business leaders would be on top of this one because inconsistent hiring is a legal problem, along with everything else.)

While this survey focuses on assessing and finding solutions to challenges companies face when restructuring, it seems to me that (if I can paraphrase Reality Bites Cool Hand Luke) the challenges the organizational leaders surveyed really have is a gross failure to communicate. 

Any evaluation these – or any – organizations should be doing should start with how they communicate within their own companies.  A recent study from worldwide consulting firm Watson Wyatt found internal communication to be key to staying competitive.

According to the report, “Companies with the most effective communication programs had a 47 percent higher total return to shareholders from 2002 to 2006, compared with companies that communicate least effectively. Moreover, those companies are four times as likely to report high levels of employee engagement as companies that communicate least effectively.”   

Makes sense to me….After all, if the leaders aren’t aware of what’s going on in their own companies, how can they lead? Or am I missing something?

Mary Lorenz

About Mary Lorenz

Mary is a copywriter for CareerBuilder, specializing in B2B marketing and corporate recruiting best practices and social media. In addition to creating copy for corporate advertising and marketing campaigns, she researches and writes about employee attraction, engagement and retention. Whenever possible, she makes references to pop culture. Sometimes, those references are even relevant. A New Orleans native, Mary now lives in Chicago, right down the street from the best sushi place in the city. It's awesome.
1 comments
Terry Alan Stevens
Terry Alan Stevens

Interesting results. A rather sad commentary on the state of American business, if all 800 were in fact American businesses.

Implementing restructuring plans should have more to do with evaluting the present workforce and its ability to be cross-trained than with new hires and orientation. I will need to read the survey as to its intent.

I don't know whether attention to detail is addressed as an integral part of "effective communication programs", but it should be.

Having said that, I will forward this report, with hopes that I can edit prior to sending, maybe add "es" to business, and throw in "it" between seemed and know. Short of restructuring some sentences, I'll leave it at that and compliment Mary on her work.

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