Suitability or worthiness are obviously key ingredients when considering the appointment of staff, but as we move ever closer to full employment, how likely is it that staff will develop a sense of vocation?
Feedback from practitioners would seem to suggest that our younger recruits are keen to embrace the so-called work-life balance. In practical terms, this means they are unlikely to step outside the 9am to 5pm boundaries.
Also, there is evidence that the number of firms looking for staff is outpacing supply. This is having a predictable effect on the numbers – the price of labour is increasing – demand increasing, supply static or reducing.
It would also be interesting to factor in communication skills. Should there be concerns that our younger recruits are prone to use email as their primary communications tool? Does this distance the service we give; after all it’s not that easy to build a relationship by email that encourages an exchange of ideas, a sharing of problems?
Inevitably, the rush to get the job done, minimising interruptions with hastily prepared emails, watching the clock to make sure the 5pm cut-off is not exceeded, will all mitigate against a personal touch with clients.
If true, this less committed approach to client service will reduce opportunities to cross-sell higher value services, as to do this, it is important to eyeball clients and engage with their problems.
The end of a vocational approach may suit the delivery of compliance activity, but it is difficult to see how the more beneficial “added-value” services can be made if engaging client contact is traded for staff related expediency.