Visit to discover Indian blogs DISCREET ENVISAGEMENT: RIGHT PEOPLE at the RIGHT JOBS???

Friday, April 13, 2012


In last few years of my career, I have had a chance to work with best of the professionals in very conducive organizational set-ups and the learning has been astounding. I have been put on a fast track since the early days of my career and due to having an opportunity to work under very able leaders, my professional journey has been somehow rewarding. 

Having worked in areas of Core Competency Development, Organization Development, Talent Management, Delivery Operations Management in the industry I always had an insight of how the business is conducted.
Lately, I had an opportunity to work in the selective functional area of Talent Management, which covers almost every aspect of Human Resource management and at the same time it is very well coupled with business and strategy.

It’s during my latest stint that I got to learn more about how most of the organizations are actually managing resources. It seems that organizations today are not cognizant of the very principle of "Right Person at the Right Job"

I recall reading a publishing long back during the days of my college, which highlighted the major mistake that the organizations have been committing in ages related to the above principle.

Actually, people who really know recruiting also know that the best way to understand the overall recruiting process is to visualize it as a subset of the common business practices of Supply Chain Management and Customer Relationship Management (CRM).

Recruiting cannot reach its optimal impact, nor can it help drive an organization’s "performance mindset," if it is viewed in isolation. Instead, it must be viewed as an integral part of the entire people/productivity process. It's not enough "just to recruit them," it's equally important to look at the next step, which is to ensure that top performers and new hires are continually placed in the right job. And after a period of time in any job, it's also important to continually redeploy them into other "more appropriate" jobs.

Unfortunately, we now know that two of the most common errors that organizations make are:

1) Putting wrong people on wrong jobs.

2) Keeping them in these jobs for too long.  

By "right person/right job" I don't mean the traditional "skill fit," but rather the underutilization of talent by putting top performers into inconsequential jobs and vice versa.

Here's a list of the 16 most common errors organizations make in how they treat and place their top performers.
A deployment mismatch occurs if the organization..
  • Fails to identify it’s "mission critical" positions, and then fails to focus the energies on these critical positions (10% of all jobs)
  • Fails to identify top performers, and then fails to treat them differently than the average worker
  • Allows a mission critical position to be left open/vacant
  • Allows a mission critical position to be filled with a non-top performer
  • Allows a top performer to remain in a non-mission critical position (generally because they assume that top performers will move on their own)
  • Allows a top performer to have a "mediocre manager" Allows a top performer to be "stuck" in a mission critical position beyond their peak growth period
  • Allows a "bottom performer" to remain on the same team as a top performer
Mistakes most of the organizations commit in terms of Employee Engagement are: 
  • Providing little differentiation (less than 40%) in pay between the top and the average performers
  • Allowing a low percentage of all employees' pay to be at risk (less than 20%), contingent on performance
  • Not knowing specifically what motivates, challenges and frustrates every top performer
  • Not providing every top performer with the resources they need to in order to succeed (great teammates, budget, a plan and learning opportunities)
  • Not providing every top performer with "stretch" goals and enough on-the-job P&L opportunities to prove to themselves and others what they can do
  • Allowing a top performer to get a better offer from another organisation prior to getting a "better" internal offer from their own organisation
  • Failing to continually "challenge" any employee to the limit of their expectations
  • Not measuring and rewarding their managers for doing each of the above things
It is equally important to ensure that the right people are placed in the right positions, so that top performers can optimize their learning and growth. Unfortunately, many managers take a cavalier approach to deploy resources, and as a result, they have top performers working in non-essential jobs.

In addition to impacting their morale and retention, it also affects the organisation’s productivity, as well as its ability to maintain a competitive edge.

If you want your team to be productive, it's essential that you periodically conduct a "human capital audit" to ensure that the right people are placed in the right job!


  1. Great Article!!
    You hit the nail on its head when you say that you need to "continually redeploy" the top talent to "more appropriate" job. IMHO that is one neat way to continuously derive value from your top performer while you keep them challenged enough to look forward to more successes with you.

  2. Good One! I would also like to add "Right people at the Right Jobs at the Right time". I guess even the time has to be right to make things work out.