HCI Blog

Is it possible to completely plan your career?

A career plan is usually thought out to be in the form of any other type of plan which has a starting point, a goal and the steps to be taken in order to reach the goal. But it is not uncommon that this plan will not be followed exactly as it was drafted.

Many executives start out their careers not knowing where they might end up. As said by Robert Pozen: “There was no grand plan; I backed into my career one step at a time. In the years after I graduated from law school, I had no idea that I would ultimately become the president of a financial services giant. I held positions as a law professor, a senior official at the Securities and Exchange Commission, and a partner in a law firm.”

In other words, it is hardly possible to control the trajectory of your career, mainly because many factors exist which are beyond your control. Rather than focusing on the steps of your planning, try to ascertain the right mind set to develop a successful approach to your work habits.

Gain Transferable Knowledge

Transferable knowledge is simply knowledge which can be used in more than one area of work. This is the initial set of skills and abilities which you typically acquire in college and then work to develop and refine.

With time, you will begin to notice that you might favor or be better at a given area instead of another. For example, you focus on courses which involve a hefty load of math and then follow into studying physics and engineering. In years to come, you could then opt for computer programming, which has a large participation within engineering.  This will give you a wider array of choices in the future.

Also, working abroad will help you develop this type of knowledge. The cultural interactions and the different was cultures approach work will assist you in refining your transferable knowledge.

The same goes to working in different types of organizations during your career, such as a non-profit organization or governmental institutions.

Grow Your Network

Networking is perhaps one of the factors which will most strongly influence the outcome of your career path in the future. Despite all the knowledge you have acquired throughout time, you are not hired by a company, but by someone in it who chose you to work there. As the saying goes: “Organizations don’t hire people. People hire people”.

Make your best to become well known within the circles of your area of work. You might attend conferences and seminars, but the best choice is to have long time colleagues within the same line of work, in special those who you have known for a long time.

In summary: “To prepare for whatever surprises lie ahead, try to make choices today that will maximize your options in the future. Gain transferable expertise — in the classroom or at work — and form close bonds with your peers and colleagues.”

Based on: Harvard Business Review

Simple ways to reduce employee turnover


In a previous blog post, we talked about how talent retention has become a central piece to company strategy.

It is no longer acceptable to simply let talent leave your company. The cost of a turnover can exceed well over that of the annual salary of the worker which you have lost.

Here are some tips to reduce the turnover rate in your company:

  • Make sure you hire the best possible candidate right from the beginning. A wide variety of tools are available in the field of psychometrics and personality which can be used to analysis to ensure that you choose the right candidate for the position you are filling.


  • Offer an attractive compensation. Also, routinely review the compensation policy within your company. This is a strong component which will help you to retain talent.


  • Make a flexible work schedule if your line of work allows such a thing. This is more common in IT and internet companies and is known for increasing productivity and avoiding the generation of the tension which comes along with a traditional work environment.


  • Encourage employees to socialize. The creation of social bonds makes the workplace more comfortable and positive.


  • Recognize the good work of your employees. Give rewards and bonuses to those who deserve. This will also motivate other employees to do their best to be recognized as well as give incentive to track their productivity.

Based on: WSJ

Top ten reasons why managers dislike hiring processes

10. Time consuming. Managers feel the traditional hiring process takes up too much of their time. The steps usually taken are sometimes seen as unnecessary.


9. Urgency. It is common for managers to require someone with a specific profile for a task which has already begun and is underway. As a result, they will not have the time (or focus) to gather all the information necessary to make the best possible decision for hiring the person which best fits their needs.


8. Too much to choose from. Despite specifying the exact profile of the person you are looking for, you will often receive the CVs of unqualified individuals.


7. Labor Laws. Sometimes labor laws can be quite unclear and even make hiring difficult, depending on your country.


6. Hiring processes are designed by HR, not managers. Managers might have a hard time understanding all the steps necessary, as it is not their area of expertise.


5. The lack of honesty of some applicants. Some applicants may not be totally honest about their qualifications. Some special psychometric tests may help you to find the truth about some aspects of an applicant.


4. References won’t lay out the cards. Managers might traditionally rely on references, but for legal reasons, the referrers might abstain from saying anything about the applicant.


3. New application process, same questions. Applicants which have gone through a few selection processes will be experienced in knowing what to answer and how to answer your questions.


2. Using only their gut feeling as a selection criterion. Despite a candidate showing to be the best possible fit, they might discard such a person in favor of another applicant towards which they have a strong gut feeling to be the best choice.


1.Elevated costs for hiring. This is probably the main reason to why managers dislike hiring processes. Despite it being expensive, making a mistake might incur in double the costs! This is why using specialized outsourcing can be the most effective and safe choice.

Based on: TLNT

Employee retention as a new business strategy focus

Since the financial crisis of 2008 in the United States and most recently the fiscal crisis in the European Union, companies have begun to give great importance to employee retention due to the large value involved in employee turnovers. A few years back, this was not as essential to the strategic planning of companies as it is today. Why exactly then has such an item become a priority on the agenda of most companies?

Cost of losing an employee

Studies show that the cost of losing an employee ranges from tens of thousands of dollars to almost twice the value of their annual salary. Overall, other factors compose this cost, such as:

  • Cost of hiring a new person (advertising, interviewing, screening, hiring)
  • Cost of onboarding a new person (training, management time)
  • Lost productivity (a new person may take 1-2 years to reach the productivity of an existing person)
  • Lost engagement (other employees who see high turnover disengage and lose productivity)
  • Customer service and errors (new employees take longer and are often less adept at solving problems). In healthcare this may result in much higher error rates, illness, and other very expensive costs (which are not seen by HR)
  • Training cost (over 2-3 years you likely invest 10-20% of an employee’s salary or more in training, that is gone)
  • Cultural impact (whenever someone leaves others take time to ask “why?”).


The aspect of maintaining a solid company culture is reflected by employee retention. If a long time worker leaves, the company will suffer much more than a financial setback. The once intact engagement and motivation which that employee represented to others will be shaken.

Economic value of an employee over time

The following graph demonstrates how an employee develops in terms of value within an organization. The task of a Human Resources department is to facilitate the employee’s evolution upwards in this curve, as desmonstrated below.


Many tools are available to make employees accelerate this development some of which include training, seminars and specially coaching.

Developing your customized talent strategies for retention

The younger generation of employees has a different vision of what is the “perfect job” compared to that of previous generations. Even though some desires are similar, the younger generation has the characteristic of being much faster paced and wanting a more dynamic and free work environment. Therefore, some things should be considered when creating such strategy, tailored to suit your company’s needs:

  • Financial compensation may not be as critical as you think. Remember that giving a higher pay will never compensate a poor work environment.
  • Evaluate everyone within your organization. Get to know their strong and weak points. Coaching will then take care of working on what they need to get better at!
  • Make sure you offer opportunities for career advancement. This factor is especially important for millennials, which typically seek a fast paced and ever-changing job.
  • Offer a work environment which makes workers want to thrive and do more than they are required. Without an appropriate and stimulating environment, your employees will tend to become tired of the job they do.

Based on: Linkedin

Five ways to develop workplace ethics

Every company requires employees to maintain high ethical standards when on the job. These standards will reflect directly on how the company performs and how it is perceived by the outside world. Therefore, high ethical standards is not only demanded by high ranking individuals within the corporate hierarchy; it must permeate through the entire company.

Yet, sometimes ethics must be reinforced and developed, being perfected through practice. Here are a few ways in which it can be developed:

Intergal conduct

This aspect is the binding force which reflects the true moral character an individual has. Employees who have integrity as a driving force will typically be trusted by others, be it clients, coworkers or superiors.


This is a measure of how an employee responds to the tasks he is attributed within an organization. Every employee is responsible for their own performance and, at the same time, for that of their department and their company. Therefore, every employee must maintain focus on their tasks.

Quality of work

Sad but true, some employees do just the bare minimum necessary of what their job requires them to do. This may eventually result in a lack of attention to the quality of the work they perform. A level of commitment to excellence must exist, so that the work executed goes beyond what is the bare minimum required


This is a strong factor which is reflected by the quality of an employees work. A certain level of routine and self-control is necessary to perform above and beyond what is required.


In whichever job you may find yourself in, teamwork will often be required of you. Teamwork is where all of each employees work ethics and standards combine to create a positive result. Those with a higher sense of work ethics will thrive and also set an example to others.

Based on: Chron