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Thread: Why the best go on to greener pastures

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    Cyburbian btrage's avatar
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    Why the best go on to greener pastures

    I need to stop hiring the best candidates. They all just end up moving on.

    Moderator note:
    Maister: split from RTDNTOTO8
    Last edited by Maister; 22 Apr 2013 at 1:24 PM.
    "I'm very important. I have many leather-bound books and my apartment smells of rich mahogany"

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    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by btrage View post
    I need to stop hiring the best candidates. They all just end up moving on.
    Dude, hire me! I spend much of my time having personal issues that get in the way of work requiring supervisor intervention, and have major fights with my coworkers every couple weeks. You could keep me on staff for years!
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

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    OH....IO Hink's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by btrage View post
    I need to stop hiring the best candidates. They all just end up moving on.
    I think this is where the public sector loses out. We can't spend more to keep the talent. We are asked to do more with less, which in turn forces talent to move on. At some point people want to be paid for the work they do.

    With that said, I dislike Managers who don't actively try to keep talent. The argument that you just want to get someone on the upswing and hold on as long as you can, is weak sauce. Pay people for the work they do....

    Sorry btrage, that one hits close to home
    A common mistake people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools. -Douglas Adams

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    Cyburbian imaplanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Hink View post
    I think this is where the public sector loses out. We can't spend more to keep the talent. We are asked to do more with less, which in turn forces talent to move on. At some point people want to be paid for the work they do.

    With that said, I dislike Managers who don't actively try to keep talent. The argument that you just want to get someone on the upswing and hold on as long as you can, is weak sauce. Pay people for the work they do....

    Sorry btrage, that one hits close to home
    My current boss has outright said he thinks me and another planner are fully qualified for the a position that opened up but that he prefers to hire from outside because then he only has to fill that position instead of going through the hiring process twice. Not that he thinks outside people are more qualified, just that he doesn't want to go through the hriing process twice when he can just diss us and hire outside and hire only once. Apparently this is an accepted management principle.
    Children in the back seat can cause accidents - and vice versa.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian beach_bum's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by imaplanner View post
    My current boss has outright said he thinks me and another planner are fully qualified for the a position that opened up but that he prefers to hire from outside because then he only has to fill that position instead of going through the hiring process twice. Not that he thinks outside people are more qualified, just that he doesn't want to go through the hriing process twice when he can just diss us and hire outside and hire only once. Apparently this is an accepted management principle.
    That's pretty messed up! Not a way to keep obvious talent
    "Never invest in any idea you can't illustrate with a crayon." ~Peter Lynch

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    Cyburbian imaplanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by beach_bum View post
    That's pretty messed up! Not a way to keep obvious talent
    Right huh! That was my response to his comment. That as much as people may like the organization, it will encourage the talent to seek employment elsewhere. Hard to believe someone wouldn't realize that - especially to outight make such a comment.
    Children in the back seat can cause accidents - and vice versa.

  7. #7
    moderator in moderation Suburb Repairman's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Raf View post
    A director's position opened up here in the area. I have zero management experience but confident. I am sure they why not apply will come up, but seriously it takes a lot of energy to do job apps
    You should apply if you think you are capable of doing the job. Just be ready to explain how you've prepared yourself for a management position, what type of manager you think you are, any weaknesses you may have & how you'll address them, etc.

    The only way to get management experience is to become one, so why not this job?

    "Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."

    - Herman Göring at the Nuremburg trials (thoughts on democracy)

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    Cyburbian dvdneal's avatar
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    How is it people get to a management position and still think dumb ass thoughts like hiring from the outside because I'm to lazy to hire from within. It's too bad you can't teach good management. Oh wait, I believe there's a whole industry that does that. On a side thread, maybe that's something HR could cover.
    I don't pretend to understand Brannigan's Law. I merely enforce it.

  9. #9
    Cyburbian dw914er's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by imaplanner View post
    Right huh! That was my response to his comment. That as much as people may like the organization, it will encourage the talent to seek employment elsewhere. Hard to believe someone wouldn't realize that - especially to outight make such a comment.
    A former director of mine had a similar approach, although I think the aforementioned director also wanted to take advantage of the abundance of overqualified candidates that were impacted by the recession*. However, more than half of our particular department, myself included, found other jobs, so I am not sure how effective the strategy was. Though the staff in other departments (which are under the same director) have stayed, but just complain ad nauseum.

    It is a shame though, because I actually enjoyed working there, as well as the people I was with, and the projects I was typically given.


    *Technically I think it was the CM that wanted to use this approach.
    Last edited by dw914er; 22 Apr 2013 at 1:32 PM.
    And that concludes staff’s presentation...

  10. #10
    Cyburbian Plus Whose Yur Planner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Hink View post
    I think this is where the public sector loses out. We can't spend more to keep the talent. We are asked to do more with less, which in turn forces talent to move on. At some point people want to be paid for the work they do.

    With that said, I dislike Managers who don't actively try to keep talent. The argument that you just want to get someone on the upswing and hold on as long as you can, is weak sauce. Pay people for the work they do....

    Sorry btrage, that one hits close to home
    In one place I worked, they knew they couldn't get enough money to keep qualified people, so they expected and planned for high turn over. They resigned themselves to being a training outfit for other planning departments.
    When did I go from Luke Skywalker to Obi-Wan Kenobi?

  11. #11
    Cyburbian Plus Salmissra's avatar
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    I worked one place that thought that keeping good talent meant just paying more. They never addressed the crappy hours, bad working conditions, poor morale and lack of management support/direction. Good employees will leave when the conditions are bad, even when offered more money - so also look internally to see if the reason isn't just compensation.

    I think smaller munis/counties can retain good employees, but it takes work on both sides of the table. You should still hire the best person, because if something happens, you want the best people filling in/covering for you, or filling in other areas as needed.
    "We do not need any other Tutankhamun's tomb with all its treasures. We need context. We need understanding. We need knowledge of historical events to tie them together. We don't know much. Of course we know a lot, but it is context that's missing, not treasures." - Werner Herzog, in Archaeology, March/April 2011

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    Super Moderator kjel's avatar
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    It's frequently not about the money. I learned that as a restaurant manager.

    A good working environment that is flexible, challenging, and recognizes effort can make up for pay or lack of promotional opportunity.

    I could easily make more money somewhere else, but I have an outstanding boss, a good benefit package, learning and training is encouraged, and most of our work is recognized. Sure it's not perfect, but it can be a lot worse.

    I'd need an offer that's $15K or more above my current salary to get me to move.
    "He defended the cause of the poor and needy, and so all went well. Is that not what it means to know me?" Jeremiah 22:16

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    Cyburbian mike gurnee's avatar
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    The standard when I started out was a 20% raise to move out. Later taking a pay cut for better conditions became prevalent.

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    Cyburbian Tide's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by imaplanner View post
    My current boss has outright said he thinks me and another planner are fully qualified for the a position that opened up but that he prefers to hire from outside because then he only has to fill that position instead of going through the hiring process twice. Not that he thinks outside people are more qualified, just that he doesn't want to go through the hriing process twice when he can just diss us and hire outside and hire only once. Apparently this is an accepted management principle.
    Sounds like your internal hiring process is messed up. Internal hiring or promotions should be easy for this reason alone. Before you go outside you should always look inside and make the move easy.
    @GigCityPlanner

  15. #15
    Cyburbian mike gurnee's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Tide View post
    Sounds like your internal hiring process is messed up. Internal hiring or promotions should be easy for this reason alone. Before you go outside you should always look inside and make the move easy.
    A more recent model: Promote within, eliminate previous position, have promoted person fill the duties of both.

  16. #16
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    I could never understand why an organization would look outside first when hiring from within offers the advantages of dealing with people that are a known quantity and already familiar with the organizational structures and practices. A hire from within often takes less time to 'learn the ropes'.
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

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    Cyburbian dvdneal's avatar
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    I have seen the internal promotion thing slip to the easy side. I had a coworker who was promoted through a post-it-note. Congrats! No one knew the city was doing promotions. Sadly the city has since changed management and now is a poor shell of its former self with low moral and high turnover. They pay well though.
    I don't pretend to understand Brannigan's Law. I merely enforce it.

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    Cyburbian SW MI Planner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Maister View post
    I could never understand why an organization would look outside first when hiring from within offers the advantages of dealing with people that are a known quantity and already familiar with the organizational structures and practices. A hire from within often takes less time to 'learn the ropes'.
    Sometimes the "known quantity" that is "familiar" is also complacent and unmotivated, so sometimes it's important (and necessary) to get a fresh set of eye's and experience into a department.*

    *I wouldn't look outside first, and this is based on personal management experience....

  19. #19
    Cyburbian
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    OP: maybe the good employees are stuck doing menial tasks that aren't challenging? I know in my first job the pay was decent for a new grad but dealing with an uneducated public for zoning enforcement is so much different than working on actual planning. I found moving to greener pastures doesn't always get rid of that aspect so people need to be careful when they plan for the future (no pun intended).

    Edit - many, many friends are teachers and have found out the school district has the mentality of it's easier to hire from outside than promote from within. Unfortunately for planners that same mentality doesn't let us get the prime jobs in prime cities.

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    Cyburbian MD Planner's avatar
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    I have mixed views on this topic. I am all for promoting worthy internal candidates but I also like to interview qualified outsiders as well simply because they may bring a different perspective to the organization. If everybody in the department never really worked anywhere else and saw how things are done differently (both good and bad) you tend to get a very myopic view of the planning world.

    If you're going to hire from within or give internal hires first crack, that's fine. But go through that process BEFORE you advertise to the outside world. I'm sure most of us have interviewed for a position and left knowing you absolutely nailed it and then you find out in the "thanks but no thanks" letter that an internal candidate was choosen. It makes you think that was the plan all along and you feel like you totally wasted the time and effort.
    He's a planner, he's a dreamer, he's a sordid little schemer,
    Seems to think that money grows on trees . . .

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    Cyburbian WSU MUP Student's avatar
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    My employer is pretty good about hiring and promoting from within where applicable, unfortunately, there haven't been many openings in the past 6 or 7 years because of a freeze on new positions, people not retiring, and a budget crunch that had been causing vacant positions to go unfilled for a while or even eliminated. I did manage to get a rather good internal promotion last year though and am currently angling for another.

    After talking to some of the managers in various departments (not just ours) it seems like the preference is to promote from within whenever possible because it means that the department heads will have to deal less with HR than if they were putting out an external posting.
    "Where free unions and collective bargaining are forbidden, freedom is lost." - 1980 Republican presidential candidate Ronald Reagan

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    Cyburbian hilldweller's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by dvdneal View post
    I have seen the internal promotion thing slip to the easy side. I had a coworker who was promoted through a post-it-note. Congrats! No one knew the city was doing promotions. Sadly the city has since changed management and now is a poor shell of its former self with low moral and high turnover. They pay well though.
    Does a post-it note count as "posting" the position?

  23. #23
    Cyburbian dvdneal's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by hilldweller View post
    Does a post-it note count as "posting" the position?
    Only if it's yellow and posted in the middle of your monitor.

    I agree with SW Planner, there is a danger to hiring from within. Sometimes people need to have experience from other cities, counties, wherever to bring a new outlook to the job. Especially in management. The post-it-note city used to hire from within, but I noticed as the city grew from small suburb know one knows about to large suburb the people in certain management seats didn't have the experience to handle the added pressures and changes to development patterns. I termed this incest hiring, like a redneck family tree, there were no branches for experience.
    I don't pretend to understand Brannigan's Law. I merely enforce it.

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    Super Moderator kjel's avatar
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    Unfortunately promoting within happens too much at the organization that I work. Just because someone has been here awhile and knows the organization does not mean that they would be good in a management or supervisory role. Sometimes you have to look outside.
    "He defended the cause of the poor and needy, and so all went well. Is that not what it means to know me?" Jeremiah 22:16

  25. #25
    Cyburbian Linda_D's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by kjel View post
    It's frequently not about the money. I learned that as a restaurant manager.

    A good working environment that is flexible, challenging, and recognizes effort can make up for pay or lack of promotional opportunity.

    I could easily make more money somewhere else, but I have an outstanding boss, a good benefit package, learning and training is encouraged, and most of our work is recognized. Sure it's not perfect, but it can be a lot worse.

    I'd need an offer that's $15K or more above my current salary to get me to move.
    I agree. I left my former position and took a pay cut primarily to get a new start because:
    • it became clear that I wasn't going much higher in that organization, and
    • the organization was falling further and further behind technologically (in IT that's a kiss of death for your career).
    If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich. -- John F. Kennedy, January 20, 1961

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