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Managers especially should receive ongoing training regarding best practices for establishing a collaborative and human-resource-centered environment that encourages and acknowledges the contributions of individuals on a regular and meaningful basis. Money is an excellent attraction to a job, but the intrinsic benefits of work well-enjoyed, especially from the unfailing and openly expressed respect and confidence of one's peers and one's superiors, can be far more effective at retaining talent once attracted.
The primary selection method that should be utilized in hiring candidates for the necessary positions, as noted above, will be the conducting of extensive interviews in increasingly more scrutinized rounds. This will determine a great deal about each candidates knowledge and skill level, as well as certain aspects of their personality, desires, and expectations in order to determine their fitness for the company. Psychological analysis is another selection method that should be employed, given the high-stress nature of some of the work and the long hours expected of the company's engineers. Ability to retain composure and ethical behavior under such conditions is best selected for via psychological analysis.
Ensuring that these selections methods were both valid and reliable would be relatively straightforward, if not precisely easy to carry out. In the case of the interview designs, engineers and management already involved on the projects for which additional engineers are sought would work in teams to develop the interviews, ensuring that all concerns for the position were covered at various stages in the interviewing process. Video review of interviews by the teams could also be taken into account during successive rounds of elimination. Psychological analysis could take place utilizing any number of established instruments, administered either by in-house HR personnel or outside specialists hired specifically for the purpose, which are readily available. This would also provide a greater degree of ethical and scientific certainty regarding the results.
The final group of candidates for the available positions should be placed to work with established teams at the company on a provision basis for a number of days, in order to determine the true level of their working knowledge and skills as well as their commitment to and integration with the overall engineering team. Each candidate could thus be judged on the merits of their job performance -- in all its facets -- specifically, rather than on the assumptions and conclusions drawn about them through the interviewing and analysis process. This would also ensure that those candidates who are more likely to stay with the company, as evidenced by the degree of fit they show with the management scheme and engineering team, would be hired.
Actions to Reduce Turnover
In addition to the overall policy changes and hiring practices suggested above, there are two immediate and direct actions that the company could take to reduce turnover rates. First, establishing a clear and industry-competitive system of yearly raises for all engineering employees would help to persuade some individuals from trading in their growing seniority -- and the prospect for faster and better growth in future years -- to start again at another firm. As was also mentioned above, however, monetary rewards cannot be the sole focus of retention efforts. The creation of committees with rotating members from both engineering and management, at all levels of seniority, with the purpose of discussing human resources development and retention strategies, could in and of itself lead to higher retention rates through the simple positive affirmation that the company truly values its employee's contributions and input into the process of growing the firm.
Pumps for All will still face massive competition in the domestic and international markets as smaller and more specialized firms continue to drive innovation in their own niche markets. Hiring and retaining a high caliber of engineers, however, will give the company a continued competitive edge as it develops and markets its own new technologies on ever-broadening horizons. The practices outlined above should accomplish exactly this.
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