Next month, when daylight savings time ends and you set your clocks back, please also adjust your calendar to note that Black Friday now begins at 8 p.m. on Turkey Thursday.
The announcement this week by Macy’s that it will open at 8 Thanksgiving night ends a 155-year tradition by the giant retailer to close its stores on the fourth Thursday of November. Now, Macy’s joins Toys R Us, Target, Wal-Mart, Sears, and Kmart in opening its doors to shoppers Thanksgiving.
The trend toward earlier and earlier openings on the day after Thanksgiving, for what is the busiest retail shopping day of the year, started with dawn openings, then moved to pre-dawn, and then to midnight. Deep discounts and loss-leaders brought out crowds of shoppers, who would line up hours in advance. keep reading…
You know how it works: if the candidate has the right number of years of experience, doing the right things at the right company in the right industry, voila! They make it through the applicant tracking system.
That’s not quite the case at one company, called Software Advice. Bethany Perkins heads up human resources and recruiting at the Austin, Texas, organization that’s not fixated on what many others are.
She and I talk about what criteria she looks for in a candidate — if experience is not the be-all-end-all — and how she judges whether people meet that criteria. We also touch on whether a college degree matters or it doesn’t.
The eight-minute video is below. keep reading…
If you are sitting here reading this, you are probably a top performer — the best seek out challenges, look to expand their knowledge bank, and have a strong desire for excellence. What most top performers aren’t looking for is to be sold on something they haven’t had the chance to fully investigate for themselves. After all, most of us are a bit standoffish around salespeople or when facing offers that seem too good to be true.
I recently saw a top-caliber financial analyst leave a company because a headhunter recruited him, offering a 20 percent increase in pay. This offer got the analyst through the door, but the prize at the end of the road blinded his vision of the dust storm ahead. keep reading…
Recruitment is simple. Organizations should have one defined objective — to locate, attract, and hire top talent. However, we have made talent acquisition one of the most complex areas of human resources. As a result, strategies are skewed and talent acquisition professionals are bogged down chasing the latest trends and fads instead of focusing on core fundamentals and practices.
Recently I participated in an HR case study with a leading organization that specializes in deriving fact-based analysis and findings. The topic of this particular case study was “What are companies doing to be successful and to overcome recruiting obstacles.” As I sat there and contemplated my answer … a series of conferences, conversations, articles, meetings, and case studies flashed through my mind. I went blank.
I politely apologized to the interviewer and asked her not to take offense to my answer, but here it is: “What is anybody doing that’s truly new and generating overwhelming results? Are we as an industry spending too much time on alternative sourcing methods rather than sticking to the tried-and-true tools that have always achieved results? keep reading…
Discouraging news on the employment front this morning as the U.S. government says 169,000 jobs were added in August.
Although lower than what most surveys of economists were expecting, the number itself wasn’t so far off this year’s revised monthly average of 182,000 new jobs to be called disappointing. August is one of the slower months for hiring. However, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics knocked down its numbers for June and July by a combined 74,000 jobs. July alone was slashed 58,000; the 104,000 jobs was the smallest gain since June 2012.
Surveys before this morning’s release of August’s numbers predicted the economy added somewhere between 170,000 and 175,000 jobs. keep reading…
The theory that recruiting great employees is highly difficult is true, but what if your firm was making the recruitment process more complex than it had to be?
Almost one out of every four decisions that a small to mid-size company will make during a recruitment process will hinder their chances at staffing competitive talent. The consequences of these actions can result in a myriad of ill-fated outcomes, ranging from higher salary costs and wasted time to losing competitive applicants altogether.
Firms that are unable to streamline the staffing process on a regular basis are probably prone to committing one or more of the following seven deadly sins of recruiting: keep reading…
Hiring is like meeting a new guy or girl you like for the first time. This wonderful person walks into your office and the two of you make a perfect connection right off the bat. You like the other person’s vibe, how the person looks, and he or she seems to fit all your necessary requirements. You know how many business owners and hiring managers say, “I just really like the candidate, I think he (or she) will do great!” (I am pretty sure you have all either said or heard someone say something exactly like this before.)
In relationships, it’s called the infatuation stage; in hiring, I call it the hiring by gut stage. keep reading…
Chalk up the mediocre July jobs report to the dog days of summer. No sector of the economy showed much hiring energy as the Labor Department’s overall count of non-farm employment during the month came in at 162,000 new jobs, well below the 185,000 or so economists were expecting.
Neither the staffing industry nor healthcare — two of the consistent growth areas now for many months — added many workers; 7,700 for the former and 8,300 for the latter.
Were it not for the reduction in the unemployment rate, which dropped from 7.6 percent in June to 7.4 percent, its lowest in nearly five years, the report would have been completely disappointing indeed. Besides the below-expectation job growth, the Labor Department:
- Revised downward its counts for both May and June, cutting 26,000 jobs from the previously robust numbers;
- Said the average hourly wage for all non-farm workers declined by 2 cents an hour, after rising 10 cents in June. The increase since July 2012 is 1.9 percent.
- Reported that the average weekly hours for all workers declined by .1 hour to 34.4; for manufacturing workers it dropped .2 hour to 40.6 hours. keep reading…
Recruiting is full of practices that seem to last forever. Unfortunately, many practices endure for years despite the fact that they add no value to the hiring process. I call these well-established practices “sacred cows” because many lon-gtime recruiters and hiring managers vigorously defend them even though both company and academic data shows that they should be discarded.
The need to identify and then kill these sacred cows was reinforced recently by some compelling research data revealed by Google’s head of HR, Laszlo Bock. For example, extensive data from Google demonstrated that five extremely common recruiting practices (brainteaser interview questions, unstructured interviews, student GPAs or test scores, and conducting more than four interviews) all had zero or minimal value for successfully predicting the on-the-job performance of candidates. But despite this hard data, practices like brainteaser interview questions will likely continue for years.
Recruiting Has a Long, Checkered History of Silliness keep reading…
Consider this scenario: A talent acquisition director makes a seemingly great hire for a specialized manufacturing role. However, several weeks after the new employee starts the job, another, better — actually, amazing — candidate is referred by a colleague.
The HR professional decided to bring in the late-coming candidate for an informal interview even though a true “job opening” no longer exists. After the decision makers interview the late-coming candidate, they acknowledged that he’s a perfect fit for the culture, qualified for several potential future opportunities in the firm, and a prime candidate for leadership grooming.
The talent acquisition director considers two options: keep reading…
One of the most powerful unanswered questions in recruiting is “Why are ‘not hired’ applicants and rejected candidates not provided with feedback?”
Providing individual feedback in recruiting is almost nonexistent, even though giving feedback is a widely accepted practice in business. Firms take pride in providing feedback to their customers, vendors, and even their employees, but there is no formal process in most corporations for providing direct feedback to applicants/candidates covering why they were rejected or what they could do to improve their chances if they later applied for another position.
After my extensive research on the subject, I estimate that 95 percent of all corporations would get an “F” score on providing routine formal actionable feedback to their job applicants, mostly because providing feedback is an individual decision and that feedback is not monitored. In fact a 2012 survey by the Talent Board revealed that only 4.4 percent of candidates received the gold standard of … receiving specific individualized feedback and having their questions answered by hiring managers or recruiters.
Obviously all applicants, but especially those who have gone through interviews, have invested a great deal of their time in response to a company’s request for applicants, so on the surface at least it would seem that they have earned the right to something more than a canned email rejection note. If you are a corporate recruiting leader, perhaps now is the time (before the war for talent vigorously returns) to revisit this controversial issue. keep reading…
Innovation = Ideas + Collaboration + Execution
As a result of the dramatic business successes of firms like Google, Apple, and Facebook, almost everyone has become aware of the tremendous economic value that comes from continuous corporate innovation. But unfortunately executives at most firms have failed to realize that they can dramatically increase their corporate innovation rate by simply focusing on hiring and retaining more “idea people.”
Ideas Start the Innovation Process keep reading…
The number of employers planning to hire full-time permanent workers by the end of the year is unchanged from a year ago, though the number expecting to bring on temporary workers is up by half, says CareerBuilder’s mid-year hiring forecast.
The just released CareerBuilder forecast, based on a survey of 2,000 hiring managers and HR professionals conducted six weeks ago, found:
- 44 percent of employers plan to hire full-time, permanent employees, on par with last year;
- 25 percent plan to hire part-time employees, up from 21 percent last year;
- 31 percent plan to hire temporary or contract workers, up from 21 percent last year
The optimism, however, doesn’t necessarily translate into immediate hiring plans. Only 30 percent of the respondents said they expected to add to their full-time, permanent headcount this quarter. That’s identical to what the survey respondents said a year ago, and is off from the 34 percent adding full-time headcount last quarter. keep reading…
If you’re going to measure and perhaps reward individual hiring managers for excellence, you will need to work with a sample of them to determine which output metrics are strategic, effective, and easy to measure.
Here are 23 possible scorecard measures as a starting point for that discussion. Note: the highest-impact factors are listed first in each of the four categories.
Category I — High business impact measures to consider keep reading…
You may have suspected that those peculiar interview brainteasers made famous by Google, Microsoft, and enough other companies that Glassdoor is able to come up with an annual list of 25 were, well, a waste of time.
You were right. And no less an authority than Google’s own Laszlo Bock says so. He’s Google’s senior vice president of people operations and in a New York Times interview he bluntly calls “a complete waste of time.” “They don’t predict anything,” he told The Times. “They serve primarily to make the interviewer feel smart.”
So the Google question that made this year’s Glassdoor list — “How many cows are there in Canada?” — has no probative value when determining whether the person being interviewed can do the job. Another of Bock’s frank admissions is that college grades and test scores have almost no correlation to future job performance. No longer does Google ask for college transcripts, except for brand new college grads. For everyone else, Bock told The Times, “We found that they don’t predict anything.” keep reading…
Few in the corporate world would argue against the fact that the actions of hiring managers have a significant impact on hiring. In fact, I estimate their impact to be over 50 percent (with recruiters and the corporate employer brand covering the remaining impacts). But unfortunately, I estimate that less than 5 percent of corporate hiring managers are formally assessed or held accountable for their contribution to the hiring process. What is needed is a hiring manager scorecard.
The goal of this scorecard is obviously to identify “problem” hiring managers but it is also to learn and then share the best practices of top-performing hiring managers with all other managers in the corporation.
After setting your overall functional goals, recruiting leaders need to develop these four items.
- Develop hiring and overall recruiting process metrics
- Develop recruiter competencies
- Develop an individual recruiter scorecard
- Develop a scorecard covering individual hiring managers.
I have covered the first three items in recent ERE.net articles, so this one will focus on a hiring manager’s scorecard.
The Benefits of Assessing Hiring Managers keep reading…
It’s no secret that many organizations are moving away from the traditional hierarchical and functional way of working, toward a more matrixed structure where people report to multiple bosses and work on multiple teams with colleagues in different functions and locations, if not different time zones and cultures.
While this model can be effective, it’s by no means simple. In fact, it’s a much more complex way of working. Competing goals, influence without authority and accountability without control are the norms.
For recruiters, let’s look at the implications of this shift, and whether we need different types of people and different skill sets to succeed. keep reading…
Try this for your next hire: have a manager come up with a list of about 20 different traits she’d like to have in the new employee who’ll take the job. Consider the work environment and performance expectations: What skills and traits does an employee need to possess to excel at the job? Be specific.
After the list is complete, you and the manager can go back and put a letter “T” next to the ones in which you are able and willing to train. Of the remaining traits, circle the ones that are non-negotiable, must-have traits. From the ones circled, put a star next to your top five.
You can always train a new employee to perform a task (if you are willing), but hiring an employee who doesn’t possess the same values as you or your organization will be problematic in the long run. After aligning your values and attitudes, focus on the individual’s skills and abilities. Competencies to look for include reading comprehension, math skills, computer skills, decision making, flexibility, and interpersonal skills. Consider which skills are essential, which tasks are performed occasionally, and which are not necessary for the job.
Determine how much experience and education are needed to fill the position and address specific needs. Some jobs can allow for a training period, while others require the employee to hit the ground running almost from Day 1. Even the employee with the best credentials will need a period of time to get adjusted to your organization’s specific culture.
Some people were made to be accountants, some to be salespeople, and others to work with their hands. Putting people in a position which is not the right fit for their skills, abilities, and personalities is sure to create coaching needs in the future.
During a trip to a suburban mall near Cleveland, I saw a man wearing a jacket with a logo for Hyland Software, a business-to-business software developer whose global headquarters are located nearby. In the B2B world, Hyland has a reputation of being a stellar employer with a fun streak. As evidence, it has a giant tube slide in the middle of its headquarters and has earned several top workplace awards in recent years.
Hyland also has a quirk in its interview process. Candidates applying online are required to write and submit a poem. Not an essay, not a biography — a poem. How does that strike you? keep reading…
“Death by interview” is the harsh but unfortunately all-too accurate name that I give to the majority of corporate interview processes because of the way that they literally abuse candidates.
Death by interview is worth closer examination because harsh treatment during interviews impacts almost every working American, simply because each one of us is subjected to many interviews during our lifetime.
The hiring interview shares a love/hate status, where even though applicants initially hope to be granted an interview, once they are finally notified, they almost universally undergo a wave of stress and painful memories that causes them to stop looking forward to them.
“Death by interview” is the term used to describe the drawn out pain that job applicants suffer as a result of requiring an excessive number of interviews, repeating the same questions across multiple interviews. and the unnecessary uncertainty that is part of most interview processes.
Death by Interview Component No. 1 — An Excessive Number of Interviews keep reading…