• Performance is the number one measure of recruitment success
  • New staff under pressure to make greatest impact in their first year
  • Employers target recruits who make good decisions, bring creativity and build good relationships with bosses and peers

New professional and managerial level employees face a make-or-break ‘race for impact’ as businesses demand more from staff during the tough economic climate, according to a global study from recruitment solutions company, Futurestep.

The good performance of a new employee at this level is three times more valuable than retention. And three quarters (76 per cent) of those surveyed now measure the impact of new recruits within their first 12 months.

The inaugural Futurestep Global Talent Impact Study 2012: Understanding the Race for Impact surveyed over 1,500 HR professionals across five continents*, and examined their views of the impact of professional and managerial talent and how they measure it.

Only five per cent of respondents believe that an employee at this level has the greatest positive impact after three years, reinforcing the short term focus of businesses.

Futurestep found that the most successful new professional and managerial hires demonstrate three ‘golden keys to success’:
1. Decision quality – Makes accurate and good decisions
2. Action oriented – Is quick to take initiative
3. Customer focus – Is dedicated to meeting customers’ needs and expectations

But businesses’ focus on the short term means many organizations risk overlooking the valuable contributions this employee group makes over the longer term. Despite three quarters of them measuring performance in the first year, over a third of these (36 per cent) admit that employees make the greatest impact after year one when they are actively contributing to the team and understand their organization’s culture and the over-arching business environment.

Byrne Mulrooney, Chief Executive Officer, Futurestep said: “The study highlights a risk that employers may lose interest in new staff after twelve months, overlooking the fact that if they continue to develop and measure the impact of talented individuals, they can contribute to the long term strategic success of the business.

“Fundamentally it’s about understanding how to unlock this potential beyond the honeymoon period. It’s crucial that businesses not only identify the competencies required to make an impact from day one but also cultivate the skills that will continue to deliver benefits in the medium to long term. Businesses that adopt a more future-focused approach to measuring the impact of talent will be best placed to grow and prosper.”

To be successful in the long term, new hires need to:

  • Show decision quality in year one – making good choices and importantly not making bad ones (18 per cent viewed this as the most important skill if you are to make an impact in the first six months)
  • Have good relationships with peers and your boss. This becomes more important in the medium term with 26 per cent of respondents viewing poor relationships with bosses and 37 per cent regarding peer relationships as reasons for limiting career progression
  • Be able to motivate others (32 per cent viewed this as having the greatest impact on the team) and demonstrate integrity and trust (20 per cent said this was most likely to positively impact peers and stakeholders)

Mr Mulrooney added: “To maximise the impact you make on the business you need well thought out decisions, great ideas and the ability to build good relationships with bosses and peers – these are the golden keys to success.”

He concluded: “The big challenge for organizations is to successfully spot these attributes in candidates and help them develop to their full potential beyond the first year. The research also suggests our industry is too often focused on the immediate performance of individuals as the main indicator of a successful recruitment process. Instead, we need to work together to develop and adopt more holistic approach to understanding of the value of HR in the long term and in driving business growth.”