Improve hiring and retention with the conscious capitalism approach

Jun 29, 2023

The concept of “conscious capitalism” is not just for large companies — it has applications for businesses of every size and can be particularly impactful when it comes to hiring and retention.

For those not familiar with “conscious capitalism,” it is the subject of the book “Conscious Capitalism: Liberating the Heroic Spirit of Business,” by John Mackey, co-CEO of Whole Foods Market, and Raj Sisodia, a former marketing professor at Bentley University. The authors describe conscious capitalism as “an evolving paradigm for business that simultaneously creates multiple kinds of value and well-being for all stakeholders: financial, intellectual, physical, ecological, social, cultural, emotional, ethical, and even spiritual.”

Companies that subscribe to the philosophy of conscious capitalism take great care when hiring. As authors Mackey and Sisodia put it: “It’s much harder today to remedy hiring mistakes than it used to be, so companies should invest a great deal of time and effort to make sure they hire people who are a good fit with the organization — those who believe in the purpose of the business and resonate with its values and culture.”

With this in mind, how can you hire people who are a good fit for your organization? Here are some examples of companies that have found their own, effective hiring processes to determine the right fit.

■ At Whole Foods Market, every new hire joins a specific team for a 30- to 90-day probationary period. The entire team then votes to grant team member status with a two-thirds majority.

■ At The Container Store, candidates are evaluated on good judgment and sound integrity and are interviewed by eight people.

■ Amazon focuses on its Leadership Principles, such as Customer Obsession, and involves a panel of personnel in evaluations.

■ Menlo Innovations holds mass auditions several times a year. Applicants work in pairs, with the goal of making their partner look good because Menlo’s staff collaborates in pairs on a single task. Applicants are evaluated on authentic collaboration, confidence, and humility.

Look at your internal processes to ensure there is internal alignment with what you want out of each position. Everyone involved — from recruiters to hiring managers to your CEO — should all be in sync. Finding your “way” is key. When you take the time to hire the right people from the get-go, they’ll more easily assimilate into your team, and your team will more quickly become optimal.

Your process should also reinforce the idea that each person you hire is a vital member of the team. As a result, you should have very inspired team members who want to stay. The overarching goal reaches beyond just making good hires; you want to cultivate higher-functioning, self-managing teams that are both empowered and collaborative.

In addition to building inspired teams that mesh with your organization, good hires also can save you money. A CareerBuilder survey showed that the average cost of one bad hire is nearly $15,000 and the average cost of losing a good hire is nearly $30,000.

“Hurry-up-hiring” can be counterproductive and expensive. Fast yet ineffective hiring can result in dismissals, which can be painful for everyone involved.

Take your time when hiring. Do your due diligence and take a deep dive beyond simple skill sets. Don’t succumb to the pressure of hiring for need and hire too quickly. ●

Mark D’Agostino is President of ConnectedHR

You can read the article on Smart Business 

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