Time is the Answer

 

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The question is, how do we, as Human Resources professionals, make the recruitment process successful for both parties?

Time can be our best friend or our worst enemy, especially as it is one of the key components of any recruitment strategy.   In a recent LinkedIn post, Scott Case states that we need to ‘get real’ with candidates about the actual skills, culture, and work environment that are involved in any interview process.  More importantly, he identifies how quickly we expect the interview process to proceed and the pressure that is in place to make the hiring decision as soon as possible.

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Making sure that the interview process is transparent, however, does not just happen.  A commitment to transparency about the types of skills, culture and work environment that the organization really wants, comes from a well-planned, and well-timed end-to-end strategic recruitment process.  It is true that the candidate really does need to understand what the potential workplace is like.  After all, the employment decision is not just on the side of the employer.  The candidate too has to make the big decision whether or not this particular job, with this particular employer, is the right fit for them based on their own personal values and workplace experiences.

When we think about making the big decisions in our own lives, most of us need lots of time to think about the pros and cons of that decision. When decision-making is rushed, the end result often does not work out well for anyone involved.  When hiring decisions go wrong, the impact has significant negative ripple effects on all of the parties involved.  As Human Resources professionals, we need to ensure that the hiring decision goes the right way, by allowing everyone involved to have the time to make the decisions they need to make, based on well planned, thoughtful, and transparent processes along the way.

Discussion Questions:

  1. Thinking about your own approach to decision making, what steps do you follow to make the ‘right’ decision for you?
  2. After going through a recruitment process as a candidate, have you ever decided that the position you were interested in was not the right one for you? What happened during the process that helped you make that decision?
  3. As a Human Resources Professional, identify how much time is needed for an end-to-end successful recruitment process.
  4. Why is it important to ensure that candidates have a clear understanding of the required skills, work culture, and the environment involved for any position in any organization?

HR Analytics – Use it. Own it.

 

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It is time for Human Resources to own the numbers.  After all, the words ‘Human’ and ‘Resources’ are used together for a reason.  Human Resources is not just about leading the humans.  It is also about the powerful management and leadership of resources associated with what the humans bring to the success of the organization.

Our role, as effective Human Resource leaders, is to ensure that we are constant in bringing forth both the human and the resource elements to the strategic management table.  One of the most powerful resource tools at our fingertips is Workforce Analytics.  Using the analytics tool effectively is key to ensuring both functional Human Resources and operational strategic success.

When we fail to bring both parts of the human and resources equation forward, we fail at our jobs as Human Resources leaders.  Failure is pretty easy as noted by Mark Barry, a successful Human Resources leader in the United States.  Mr. Barry offers us a step-by-step approach to how HR Analytics should be used as the resource tool, from the perspective of learning from one’s mistakes.

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What we learn from our mistakes, is how to change the outcome from failure to one of success by using HR Analytics effectively.  Of the seven Human Resources lessons learned from this article, there are two in particular that bear closer scrutiny.

First, where does HR Analytics report?  If the function of Human Resources is not responsible for the ownership of resources through understanding the people numbers, implementing the metrics, evaluating the measures, and leading everything that is data driven and comes from the organizational workforce for purposes of decision making, then the Human Resources function is not accountable for any of it.  If the Human Resources function is not responsible nor accountable for analytical resources, then that resource part of the Human Resources equation is lost.

When the power of analytical resources goes to others in the organization, Human Resources will have given up the fundamental strength that comes with workforce planning and development, which must be vested within the Human Resources function.

This leads to the second lesson, Human Resources needs to position itself strategically.  Again, if the Human Resources function is able to leverage the knowledge that comes from owning the resource of analytics, we can influence decision-making based on the powerful combination of putting the humans together with the resources to drive organizational success.

Discussion Questions:

  1. If analytics are not vested in the Human Resource function, where would they reside in an organizational structure? What impact will this have on Human Resources?
  2. What are the benefits of having organizational analytics available through the Human Resources function?
  3. Identify three Human Resources activities that can be measured and link directly to effective organizational performance.
  4. Identify three strategic decisions that HR can influence by bringing forward both a human (workforce) and resource (analytical) based plan or proposal to the corporate table.

Interview Do’s and Don’ts

 

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Thanks to expansive social media and internet tools, employment candidates are able to access a plethora of materials to prepare them for a job interview.  The amount of detail and scope of information can be overwhelming.  There are valuable insights to be gained, if candidates are able to sort through all of the available internet advice.

A common theme for candidate interview preparation is knowing what questions will be asked and how to to give the ‘real’ answer in response to those questions.

A recent article, provided by Workopolis’ editor-in-chief, Peter Harris, identifies what hidden meanings are behind typical interview questions and how candidates should respond to avoid the traps of what is really behind these types of questions.

Click Here to Read the Article.

If read this article from the perspective of an employment candidate, it seems that the set up for the interview process is just that, a bit of a set up.

If, however, we read this article from the perspective of a Human Resources professional, there is a clear message that the questions we are asking candidates in interviews are not the right ones.

We need to do a much better job in preparing ourselves, as Human Resources professionals, for the interview process. We can do so by preparing questions that are straightforward and clear in purpose.

Human Resources professionals have excellent skills in many areas.  We are not, however, gifted with super-power mind-reading insights that allow us to discern what interview candidates are meaning to say in response to misleading questions which appear to be full of hidden meanings and tricks.

Let’s stop asking the questions that give us the answers we don’t want and start preparing questions that give us the answers that clearly identify what we do want.

This way, we can leave the super-power mind-reading skills alone, for now.

Discussion Questions:

  1. What are typical interview questions that, as a candidate, you think should not be included in a job interview process?
  2. What types of questions, from an HR perspective, do you think could be used more effectively in an interview process?
  3. What types of prompts can the HR professional use during an interview that encourage candidates to answer the questions in the ‘right’ way?

Valuing Human Capital the Easy Way

It is not that difficult. Knowing how, when, what, and why an organization should engage in the financial valuation of resources is something that all companies should understand.  It seems, however, to be something that many organizations forget about when considering their most expensive asset, human capital.

A humorous explanation about the valuation process linked to measuring human capital is shown in the following video clip.

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From this perspective, we can see how much is invested when following the progress, appreciation, and depreciation of company equipment and materials.   There are numerous actuarial tables and formulas that can be used to evaluate the contributions of hard ‘things’ to the overall financial health of an organization.  Keeping track of Barry the boardroom chair is easy!  Keeping track of what Sammy brings to the boardroom table seems much more complicated!

Why is it so difficult to provide similar value based financial assessments for employees?  When organizations tell their people that they are valued, what is the actual measure of that statement?

As Sammy finds outs in this video clip, the results can be quite shocking when we look at the return on investment that companies make on an individual employee basis.  Perhaps it is time to be as open and transparent with all employees to let them know how valuable they really are as they continue to contribute to the bottom-line financial success of any organization.

This clip ends with a pretty simple message that is, in itself, quite valuable.  Find your people.  Know your people.  Manage your people.  The return on investment will definitely pay off.

Discussion Questions:

  1. Think about your own work experience over the past five years. How much did the company you worked for, pay you?   How much value did you contribute back to the company?  What is the differential?
  2. Upon leaving your current place of employment, do you see yourself as an appreciating or depreciating asset from a pure, return-on-investment perspective?
  3. What types of measures and tools can the Human Resources practitioner put into place in order to value the true cost of employees as part of the Human Capital investment strategy?

Social Media Savvy

Trying to pretend that employers do not use social media sites to ‘check out’ potential candidates is a bit like trying to push the squeezed out toothpaste back into the tube – It is pretty much impossible at this point in time!

Tube of Toothpaste
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We live in a social media construct that is continuing to develop.  It is definitely time that we become more diligent in shaping how HR Professionals should be using social media effectively for purposes of employment and applicant screening.

Lyndsay Wasser, co-chair of the privacy group at McMillan LLP, provides a well-balanced approach to the benefits and risks of using social media in this context.

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Ms. Wasser certainly identifies the risks related to using social media searches, if they are not done properly.  If we are snooping around on social media sites, without explicit candidate knowledge or consent, this could be extremely problematic from a privacy and/or possible discrimination perspective.  More practically, if we do not have consent to access information gained through social media, we cannot use it anyway.  So, why bother snooping?

If we are going to be using social media for employment screening, let’s use honesty, professional judgement, and be transparent about it.  As Ms. Wasser points out, there are definite benefits to be gained through employer driven social media searches, such as assessing potential candidates for insight into their good judgement, professionalism, and whether or not there is any misrepresentation on the part of the candidate that might be revealed through their social media profiles.

It seems only fair that this type of assessment should apply to conscientious employers as well.

Discussion Questions:

  1. As an HR professional, how will you inform potential candidates that their social media profiles may be used for purposes of assessment during the applicant screening process?
  2. What types of social media sites do you think are inappropriate for an employer to access?
  3. Do you think there is a benefit for including social media scans for purposes of employment screening for all candidates? Why or why not?
  4. What types of social media sites do you use to assess potential employers in your own career or job search?