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Recruitment in the cement industry: retaining top talent

World Cement,

As recruiters specifically focusing on cement manufacturing for over 40 years, Cemcon International, Inc, USA, has heard just about every reason behind a candidate’s decision to look for a career change. As most of these candidates will accept lateral career moves, why was this opportunity not available with their current employer? Outlined below are some questions that can be asked to establish why a company might face problems holding on to top talent.

  1. Are you conducting an exit interview? Is this interview a check-the-box type of conversation or do you have someone from Corporate or a different location actually asking these questions? Think about using a third party to find out why an employee decides to leave. In our experience, compensation is rarely the principle reason why employees change company, even though this may be the first reason they will give. In reality, it is often a management/supervision issue that initiated thoughts about leaving.
  2. Do you follow up with real feedback and take steps to implement measures based on what you learnt from the exit interview?
  3. Has your management team implemented ‘management by wandering around’ (MBWA)? Do you and your team walk around the facility often and talk to employees? Do you have conversations with them that are personal, do you know about the key events happening in their lives and what is important to them?
  4. How do you engage your employees? Have you measured employee engagement? Do you/your team come across as someone who genuinely cares about your employees? Did you give feedback and added the appropriate KPI’s on management performance review plans so that the necessary steps can be taken to increase engagement?
  5. Do you have a true succession plan?
  6. Do you have a suggestion/open door policy?
  7. Are you hiring top talent to begin with? A good resource for this is Topgrading by Brad Smart. We recommend trying to implement the interview process for determining ‘A’ players vs ‘C’ players, although it should be noted that this can be tough in practice.
  8. Do you have career development planning sessions with your employees? You could think about utilising a third party for this service.
  9. And, finally, do you really care about your employees? Today’s employees (and this has always been the case) like to be included, heard and to be part of a collaborative environment – regardless of the industry, culture or country in which they work. To be treated with respect, dignity and as if they are the most important asset on the company’s books is key for most employees.

We hope that these suggestions have given you food for thought and provided talking points for your team. Although it is not easy to create a collaborative, inclusive working environment, the rewards are vast. In the end, the bottom line will be positive, you will always have top talent to consider and a reputation as an organisation that fosters “good will” that customers will take notice of.

Written by Robin Harpe, Cemcon International, Inc., USA.

Part 1 of this article – ‘Recruitment in the cement industry: attracting new talent’ – is available to read here.

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