Over-insuring risk through over-qualified

By Duncan Troup on Sunday, November 15th, 2015 in Workforce Planning.

Ever since I went to university and completed an intern year I’ve been an advocate of hiring graduates and interns as a cost effective form of contingent labour. I had a ball in my year out with Siemens and I hope I returned some value to my employer – all for the princely sum of about $10,000 for the year.

Now that I work in executive management its begun to trouble me how little we return to where we came from – particular those of us who are proud to have studied at vocational universities such as Loughborough in the UK (where I studied) and RMIT where I now work. I have been fortunate enough to be able to indulge in interns in our IT team. And I also supported the use of interns while an exec at Medibank within our digital team. But I believe that the corporates in Melbourne could do more.

In essence, many of us have become so risk adverse that we value the safety of a CV with depth. Where in fact this could be raising your risk as you miss out on the energy, inventiveness and understanding of Gen Y customers that you could have by engaging graduates and interns. Not to mention the OPEX cost of an over qualified resource and that you are creating career congestion within your talent pool.

And lean thinking backs this up. In terms of the 8 wastes, the over-qualification of staff is an example of under-utilized talent and also over processing (where higher quality is built in that may not be valued by the customer).

So I ask you this. Why not take a punt on a graduate on casual terms or intern the next time your looking for contingent labour? You can reward your existing staff by taking on the role of coach, help start someone’s career and more than likely bring a new Gen Y perspective to your workplace. And likely save money by eliminating waste. Food for thought indeed!

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