Oft repeated liturgies in American hiring—corporate and otherwise:
- Recruit & hire with intensity
- Hope they can figure things out
- Watch them depart
- Return to step 1
Stratus HR suggests that for blue and entry-level-white collar employees, 30 to 40 hours per hire is expended on the basic stuff like candidate search and interview. Add in out-processing for departing employees, job descriptions, selection coordination and training – the hours grow ever larger.
And there’s more: Organizations spend thousands of dollars in aptitude and psych evals, secondary interviews and onboarding. All this to “get” the best candidate.
But here’s the point of the story: The norm after the obligatory day or two of onboarding is to move on to the next issue, abandoning a new hire to fend generally for themselves. Good leadership recoils at this kind of squandered opportunity, and the inevitable rework from abandoned-employee turnover. Smart employees walk off on this kind of waste thinking “They don’t care, why should I? I’m outta here.”
Most of the job turnover and retention failure today come from career isolation and its twin brother, career burnout. These are mentoring failures, a lack of the “why” in what we do every day, and why it all matters and why we ought not fall into despair over our view of things. The isolated and uncoached lack purpose. And mentoring is the key to purpose, one individual pouring in to another individual.
A manager is a leader when a manager is face to face mentoring one of their people—or ensuring their person has a mentor, a purpose and the mission of their work daily in hand.
Conversely, a leader is a manager when they fail to live lives, on a near-daily-routine, with and building up their people, connecting their people to others who have “been there” and can coach, guide and enhance.
A few touchstones in mentoring well:
- The most precious commodity for your up-and-coming workforce of Gen Z’s is a mentor’s time.
- And right behind time, is interest. “Do you get me?”
- Inquire instead of direct. Make me think.
- Show me why this will make me better
- Don’t give up after a week: make this a year
- Require your mentee to “pass it on” and encourage them to make that happen
Hiring is NOT a mass-production event, not “remote” control and it is not a digital event. It is human beings, given time, given purpose and mission by mentors who know the ropes, talk the ropes, building up the next generation of mentors to climb the ropes and pass it all on.