40% failure rate! What should HR do?

OnD/Shutterstock

If any organization failed 40% of the time with its product launches, or with the quality of its product, it would not stay in business. However, according to an article by Human Resources Director of Canada that is exactly what is happening with executive hires today.

Research shows that 40% of newly hired executives fail in their new jobs within the first 18 months – often citing a struggle to adapt to the new culture and difficulty getting up to speed in their new role.

Click here to read the complete article.

The question the HR department needs to consider is, what is the best practice for hiring? Is it best to h­ire externally or to select from within? Of course, there is no blanket answer to this question. However, the University of Pennsylvania found that external hires get paid approximately 18% more than internally promoted workers, yet they perform worse, based on peer reviews.

Let’s review the numbers. Hiring executives externally, the failure rate is 40% and it costs the organization 18% percent more for the privilege of having someone whose performance is worse than someone hired from within the organization. This does not add up to a successful HR practice.

HR must constantly reflect on all of its practices, from hiring strategies to employee development, and make sure that these practices are not only complementary to each other but the correct strategy to meet their organization’s strategic goals.

 

Discussion Questions:

  1. Conduct some research and identify two organizations that primarily use the “selection from within” process. Prepare to present why they have chosen this HR selection practice and what their successes from hiring from within are.
  1. Identify the most significant and compelling reasons why an organization would choose to hire externally for senior executive positions?

Digital Versus Personal Networks

The Battle Royal continues in the recruitment world.

Business people waiting for job interview. Five candidates competing for one position
OPOLJA/Shutterstock

What is the best way to help younger workers find a job?

Many individuals believed that tech savvy millennials would easily navigate the world of digital recruitment, but according to a Statistic Canada expert panel of youth employment, that is not the case. Vass Bednar, the chairwomen of the Canadian federal government panel on youth employment, states, “We are deluding ourselves if we think that by digitizing the job application process we are making it more democratic. Network effects are as strong as ever and this hurts young people with less social capital.”

From Stats Canada it looks like the power of the personal network is a persistent as ever in securing employment. Click on the two links below to read more information about this youth employment panel.

Click here to read about youth recruitment by HRM Online.

Click here to read a CTV news article.

Even in this digital age of recruitment where HR professionals believed that hiring would become more transparent and democratic, the research shows that personal social networks are still a significant factor in how employees are hired. HR has to be aware of this and ensure there are credible systems in place to allow networking opportunities for the younger employee trying to get a foothold into the workplace.

Discussion Questions:

  1. Identify a list of ten networking practices that a new HR professional should do to build their professional network.
  1. Discuss the ethics of hiring based on personal networks. Does it conflict with the basic goal of transparently in hiring?

Recruiting for a Change

 

Hand with thumb up gesture in colored Canada national flag
vepar5/Shutterstock

When newly elected, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, was asked why he selected a cabinet that was equally divided between male and female representatives his (now famous) reply was, “Because it’s 2015.”  If nothing else, this message sent a clear message across national and international borders that constructive change is afoot at the Federal government level in Canada.

 

Moving beyond the year 2015 into 2016, we see that this need for change seems to be expanding into the recruitment and selection of highly valued public service executive positions. In the spring of 2016, the federal government issued a call to independent headhunting agencies, asking them to submit proposals for the recruitment of diverse candidates from outside of the public sector into senior political positions, including those at the Deputy Minister level.

Click here to read the article.

This shows a strategic push for the federal government to reinforce the movement of ongoing change. There is an apparent commitment to look outside of the traditionally closed government system for individuals capable of bringing fresh ideas to leadership positions. As we have learned through our human resources studies, organizational change is successful if it is led from the top of the organization; is supported by the top of the organization; and is visibly present by the actions at the top of the organization.

Having a new style of leadership commitment from the top position in the country (i.e. the office of the Prime Minister) seems to be driving the federal government along the path of continuing change which has started with the leadership recruitment and selection process.

As with any change initiative, there is push-back from within the existing system. The article identifies the ever-present recruitment and selection concern of ‘fit.’ How can external leaders come into a government system and be successful? There are numerous examples of failed attempts by outsiders that seem to outweigh individual success stories. This ‘fit’ problem has nothing to do with professional competencies or individual capabilities. It has everything to do with organizational culture.

The irony here is that the system of federal government these leaders are expecting to change is a system shaped by the culture of resistance to change, the very culture within which the new leaders must try to ‘fit.’ Only time will tell how this leadership initiative plays out.

After all, it is 2016.

Discussion Questions:

  1. How will the recruitment and selection of non-government executives benefit the federal government?
  2. From which sector would you recruit for effective change leaders on behalf of the federal government?
  3. Why do you think successful business executives have ‘bombed’ in federal government roles?

 

Benefits of Blind Auditions

Does objectivity really take the sting out of rejection?

Source: ofoto/Shutterstock
Source: ofoto/Shutterstock

Bias.  We all have it.  It appears either as implicit or explicit; conscious or unconscious.  It is always with us as part of our own perception of the world.

It is, also, one of the biggest obstacles that keeps getting in the way of effective hiring processes.  How we impose our personal biases on others may have an incredibly powerful impact on candidates throughout the job selection process.

The following podcast from CBC’s “The Spark” , discusses a few different methodologies to reduce the impact of bias during the applicant screening and interview assessment stages.

Click Here to Listen to the Podcast.

GapJumpers is a technology based resource that allows for ‘performance auditions’ which may open the door to a different approach for candidate screening.  It is, in essence a ‘blind’ audition.  The statistics cited in the first interview seem to speak for themselves when the use of blind auditions improved the diversity of demographics in a particular selection process.  In the second interview, Ian Cook explores the issue of bias in recruitment processes from multiple aspects including the actual sourcing of candidates from diverse constituencies.

All of these tips and techniques seem to be critical in order to reduce the risk of bias in selection processes.  Why?

It is interesting to note that this clip begins with a very powerful emotional memory, described by the host, about getting the good news confirming her new job.  On the other side, she refers to the emotional reaction that each one of us may have all felt when we were rejected for a particular position.

We are so diligent in the field of Human Resources about neutralizing and objectifying processes in order to minimize our implicit biases and unconscious perceptions.  We want to make the processes fair and accessible.  As we make processes more bias-free, neutral, and objective are we striving to reduce the emotional, subjective, feeling elements linked to making the ‘right’ hiring decisions?

This may be what we want to achieve from a process perspective.  However, in the end, does any objective process really take the emotional sting out of rejection?

We cannot forget that rejection, no matter how it is delivered, it always hurts.

Discussion Questions:

  1. How would you perform in a ‘blind’ job audition if you were not able to present yourself in person?
  2. According to Ian Cook (second interview), there are fewer examples of ‘reverse discrimination’ in Canada than in the United States. From your experience, what evidence supports this statement?
  3. What is reputational effect? Why is this important in any recruitment process?
  4. Promoting a diversity referral process seems to be similar to networking. What are the specific benefits that a diversity referral process would provide?
  5. As an HR professional, how will you respond to individuals want to make ‘networking’ connections with you?
  6. Do you remember your first job offer? What was your reaction?
  7. Do you remember being rejected for a job? What was your reaction?

The Scrapper or the Silver Spoon?

As Human Resources professionals, we are taught (and we teach others) to make sure that everything we do is in compliance with rules and regulations.  This is especially true in the areas of Recruitment and Selection.  We work hard at making sure that there are no appearances of bias in potential candidate considerations.  We apply the consistency lens throughout our human resources processes with vigorous tenacity so that we can proceed with confidence in making the best hiring decisions.

Sometimes, however, these approaches cloud the lens and we miss seeing who the best candidate really is.

Regina Hartley, a director of human resources with UPS Information Systems, provides a refreshing approach to seeking, looking at and finding the best candidate in her recent TED talk.

Click here to watch the TED talk

Ms. Hartley definitely provides inspiration to the rest of us – both as Human Resources Professionals and as potential candidates looking for future success in our own careers.

We all have elements of the ‘scrapper’ somewhere in our employment histories.  By looking for and celebrating the success of the scrapper, we open the doors to a host of dynamic and talented individuals who might be missed along the way.

Cheers to the scrappers!

Discussion Questions:

  1. If you had to make a decision to interview the ‘scrapper’ or the ‘silver spoon’ candidate, which one would you pick? Why?
  2. Identify one element from this video clip that you disagree with and explain why.
  3. Which candidate profile do you think others see you as? Are you perceived as a scrapper or silver spoon?
  4. Ms. Hartley refers to ‘Post Traumatic Growth’. What is this and how does it have a positive impact on an individual’s career success?