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Perhaps Talent Acquisition Departments Are Wishing for Something They Already Have

by Dec 16, 2014, 5:52 am ET

track recruiting performanceCome on, admit it. If you are like the rest of us, you have, at some point in time, indulged in wishful thinking about what to ask for if a genie appeared to grant three wishes with no limitations. So, what if Aladdin did actually appear from out of his bottle promising to fulfill three recruitment-related wishes, unencumbered by the dreary realities of limited resources or an ever-shrinking budget? What would you wish for? keep reading…

Raise the Grade on Recruitment Performance With Quarterly Incentives

by Nov 25, 2014, 5:55 am ET

EREConf14_footerBased on my experience, both as a former HR executive and as an agency owner, I believe corporate recruitment can be enhanced by borrowing strategies from well-managed agencies (and vice versa). For example, during my time at Dendrite, our recruiting staff was highly effective and engaged. Their success was a result of an agency-inspired, detailed, bonus structure, measured through hard and soft data that was tied to quarterly performance.

Detractors of this model have their concerns: ill-conceived benchmarks and fluctuations in business cycles can cause morale problems for those whose compensation is tied to performance. Others contend that it is impossible to set hiring metrics that fairly measure performance since there are so many players responsible for the ultimate outcome of hiring. Our winning process at Dendrite addressed these concerns. keep reading…

CFOs Becoming More Involved With HR

by Nov 13, 2014, 6:43 pm ET

CFO role survey 2014CFOs are becoming more involved in human resources issues, as companies more and more break down traditional silos in favor of ever greater collaboration among departments and divisions.

Better than 8 in 10 CFOs say their responsibilities have expanded in the last three years to touch areas as diverse as marketing and operations. Human resources leads the list, with 21 percent of the 2,100 CFOs surveyed saying their job now includes at least some involvement with HR issues. Following closely, 19 percent of CFOs reported having some responsibility for IT. keep reading…

If Martian Executives Visited Recruiting … What Would They Find Missing?

by Oct 27, 2014, 12:33 am ET

MarsIt may seem like a strange proposition at first, but what if an experienced business executive who knew nothing about recruiting visited and took a snapshot assessment of your function?

Obviously even a Martian executive would be able to quickly find and understand traditional recruiting functions like employer branding, sourcing, and interview processes. But what would they find missing? In other words, what standard business elements that exist in every other business function and process (like production, product development, supply chain, or marketing) would an outsider be surprised to find totally absent from your corporate recruiting function?

If you are a recruiting leader and one of your goals is to be “more businesslike,” you might be surprised at the number of common business process elements that simply can’t be found in corporate recruiting.

Business Process Elements That Are Almost Always Absent From Recruiting

If you were a strong business person who assessed the recruiting function, you might be surprised to find that many business process elements are simply missing. Those missing elements include: keep reading…

Some Quick Thoughts on Big Data and Metrics

by Oct 17, 2014, 12:08 am ET

common metricsA lot of companies have been talking about big data lately, but what does mean for us in HR and talent acquisition?

Simply put, it is using data to spot trends and make decisions that impact the business. This is no different from what companies have been doing for a while in other functional areas such as finance, corporate strategy, supply chain, and more recently HR. It is just that how this is captured, analyzed, and presented has changed.

Geoffrey Dubiski of Sumner Grace and I once gave a talk on “Recruiting and Your Bottom Line” at an IQPC event.

I think the points we made are still valid. Here’s an outline of some of our thoughts: keep reading…

HR Ranks at the Bottom — Reasons to Adopt Metrics and Predictive Analytics

by Sep 29, 2014, 12:55 am ET

When you survey the most frequent users of analytics and metrics in the corporate world, not surprisingly you find that HR ranks at the very bottom. Compared to finance, which is ranked No. 1, HR compares poorly with only half of its functions being classified as advanced users and three times more HR functions are classified as non-users.

HR shouldn’t be surprised to learn that the executive team came in No. 2 because they (along with finance) are at the forefront of demanding more metrics and analytics from HR. The remaining business functions, operations, R&D, marketing, and sales all had a higher percentage of advanced metrics users than HR in this excellent 2013 AMA/i4cp study. I have been a public advocate of talent management and talent acquisition shifting to a data-based model for decades but the transition at most corporations has been slow, expensive, and painful. Because I give regular presentations on analytics and metrics, I’ve been able to capture a long list of reasons why firms should shift to a data-based model. The remainder of this article is simply a list of credible reasons that resonate with most HR audiences as to why your corporate talent function should embrace metrics and a data-based decision model.

Part I – Reasons Why Every Firm Needs to Shift to Data-based HR Model Using Standard Metrics and Analytics keep reading…

Jobs Staying Open Longer Than Ever

by Sep 23, 2014, 12:01 am ET

July 2014 JOLTSAugust may have disappointed labor analysts with its unexpectedly low count of new jobs, but for recruiters, the evidence out of Washington and elsewhere says recruiting difficulty is only going to get worse.

Nationally, it took 24.9 business days (Monday-Saturday are business days for this report) to fill a job in July, according to the Dice-DFH Vacancy Duration Measure. That’s a bare tick off June’s 25.1 days. Meanwhile, the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Summary from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, put July’s openings rate at 3.3, a 22 percent increase over the 2.7 in July 2013. keep reading…

Using Replacement Costs to Measure Turnover

by Aug 21, 2014, 12:23 am ET

On July 18, ERE.net featured “How to Really Calculate the Cost of Employee Turnover,” which highlighted a few key metrics that factor into the real cost of turnover. The opening statement stands out:

Employee turnover costs are often described with generic numbers such as “$X,000.00 per employee” or “X percent of annual salary.”

Turnover cost, specifically “X percent of annual salary” — which can also be translated to $$, is one of the most effective KPIs to use in achieving the real measure. They tell a much deeper story than the “generic” term implies, and they are much easier to use. In 2010, while doing research at Aberdeen Group, we found that most companies use replacement costs to measure the cost of turnover. After taking out some outliers in high-volume/low-skill environments and some very high-level C-suite and management consultants, the analysis showed on average that using 86 percent of starting salary is a very fair estimate of the cost of turnover. NOTE: One of the research notes where this finding was published can be found here (page 2).

Here are four reasons why this metric is effective and not as generic as one might think: keep reading…

What Successful Recruiters Are Doing Right

by Aug 13, 2014, 12:02 am ET

team_leader_free_stock_photo_bYesterday I listed seven operational habits that characterize unsuccessful recruiters. In this second part, I examine not only the actions that distinguish the successful recruiters, but also the talent mindset that must be adopted. It is the capacity to embrace a “paradigm shift” in your recruiting philosophy that really determines how successful you will be in your talent acquisition efforts.

First, let’s stop fooling ourselves.  keep reading…

What Unsuccessful Recruiters Are Doing Wrong

by Aug 12, 2014, 12:12 am ET

 recruitment-sample-mdMost strategic recruiters seek to optimize the three most important factors in talent acquisition — cost, time, and quality. However, that objective is often impossible to accomplish because recruiters continue to use outdated talent processes which were designed back in the 1980s.

Stephen Covey, in his ground-breaking best seller — 7 Habits of Highly Effective People – introduces timeless principles that form the framework of the changes that individuals must adopt to become more effective. But, before one can embrace the seven habits, Covey proposes adopting of a “paradigm shift”– a change in perception and interpretation of how the world really works. Similarly, recruiters must be willing to adopt a paradigm shift in how they view the world of talent acquisition — if they hope to be successful in sourcing, recruiting, and hiring the very best talent in today’s war for talent.

For example, it has been my experience that “average” to “good” recruiters follow similarly dated talent strategies:  keep reading…

Metrics for STEM Women – a Critical Examination of the High-tech Approach

by and Aug 4, 2014, 5:21 am ET

STEMThere has been a great deal of publicity lately surrounding the lack of STEM women at high-tech firms. Unfortunately, we have to give two thumbs down to the diversity data from each of the top high-tech firms that have publicly released their numbers. Although the firms’ intentions were good, the limited scope of the metrics that they revealed do not provide the necessary information that STEM women need in order select which firm to join or the right information needed in order to encourage them to actually apply for a different tech job.

High-tech firms have two basic reasons for attempting to hire and retain more STEM women into key roles. keep reading…

How to Really Calculate the Cost of Employee Turnover

by Jul 18, 2014, 12:56 am ET

Employee turnover costs are often described with generic numbers such as “$X,000.00 per employee” or “X% of annual salary” (actual dollar amounts and percentages vary from source to source). It is tempting to go with simple sound bites like these, but keep in mind that they are based on averages. These overall tendencies probably don’t accurately describe your specific organization, department, or team.

The following is a simple but detailed method of computing the cost of employee turnover. The main factors in this calculation (aside from specific costs) are time and money involved with a departing employee, such as:

  • Time spent on filling the vacant position;
  • Hours/weeks in lost productivity before the employee leaves
  • Time that coworkers and the manager/supervisor combined will need to make up for the vacant employee (overtime, added shifts, etc.);
  • Number of hours in lost productivity resulting from orientation and training of a new employee; and
  • Time spent on admin and hiring tasks (advertising, resume screening, interviewing, onboarding).

We can directly translate between time and money (time = $) to provide specific costs by multiplying hours by hourly wage for different types of employees, tasks, and responsibilities. The numbers that you provide can either be averages for your organization, department, or team, or they can be specific to a single turnover event. The calculation will total all the time and costs spent with every employee turnover so you can determine what the final cost is for your business.

Here are the steps to calculate all of this: keep reading…

How to Improve Your Recruiting Batting Average 25 Points

by Jun 11, 2014, 12:49 am ET

Screen Shot 2014-06-05 at 12.43.42 PMI’ve been missing from these pages for awhile, but I asked if I could return and request the help of some real recruiters. I heard some of the best hang out here at ERE.

Here’s the idea. I’m working with a  bunch of people and companies putting together a comprehensive batting average for recruiters that combines all the critical factors, metrics, and competencies into one useful statistic. This will become known as the RBA — the Recruiter’s Batting Average.

Please look this first list over, suggest other factors that should be included, why some shouldn’t be considered, and which ones you think should be weighted more heavily than others. keep reading…

Do a Snapshot Assessment of Your Talent Function With These Powerful Business Impact Metrics

by Jun 9, 2014, 12:02 am ET

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In a world where it’s easy to get a “snapshot assessment” of your personal physical health or your organization’s financial or IT security effectiveness, what could be more valuable than an easy-to-conduct executive level “snapshot assessment” of talent management and HR?

Unfortunately I have found that most in HR are satisfied with a subjective or low-level tactical assessment, which instead of business impacts, covers spending efficiency, lean staffing, and whether managers and employees are satisfied with us.

In order to be considered as credible, instead this snapshot must be strategic, and it should mirror the executive snapshots that are available in finance, customer service, and IT. In order to assess how well you’re doing, a benchmark number must also be provided so that you can compare your results to your direct competitor firms. I have included six simple measures that by themselves are enough to give you a snapshot but accurate view of talent’s business impact. keep reading…

In-House Recruiting Survey Unveiled This Morning at ERE Conference

by Apr 23, 2014, 3:47 pm ET

Grade B slideWith a self-assigned grade of B, and an even lower C+ from the hiring managers whose jobs they fill, recruiting leaders from companies large and small heard the news there’s much to do to improve those scores, and that the road is not going to get easier in the year ahead.

Speaking to the opening session of the ERE Recruiting Conference & Expo here in San Diego, ERE’s CEO Ron Mester told the hundreds of talent acquisition leaders in direct language that “You have a lot of work to do to improve … No one should be satisfied with a C+ or a B.” At another point in his hour-long presentation of a broad and extensive ERE survey of recruiters, their leaders, their bosses, CEOs and hiring managers, Mester said it will take a rethinking of the process to get to an A. “Rethink it,” he urged. “Challenge everything that you’re doing today.”

Unveiling some of the findings of the late March survey completed by more than 1,300 during his State of Recruiting presentation, Mester turned a spotlight on the disconnect between what the respondents agree should be the key measures of recruiting’s performance and what recruiting leaders and their teams believe is where the actual emphasis lies. keep reading…

Proprietary Metrics — the Next Big Thing in Talent Management

by Apr 14, 2014, 5:39 am ET

The idea that you can create a template that will work forever doesn’t happen in any business … There’s some really, really bright people in this business. You can’t do the same thing the same way and be successful for a long period of time. — Billy Beane

Screen Shot 2014-04-10 at 8.57.20 AMI am a strong advocate of what I call “parallel benchmarking,” which is borrowing the proven best practices from completely different industries and functions. This article advocates the borrowing and the adaptation to talent management of what are known as “proprietary metrics” from the baseball industry. Proprietary metrics get their name because they cover metrics that are so powerful that they are “owned” and their components are therefore not shared. In baseball, there are dozens of proprietary metrics, while in the corporate world of talent management, they are surprisingly rare. Corporate examples of these proprietary metrics include Google’s “retention metric” for predicting which employees are about to quit and its “hiring success algorithm” for predicting the characteristics that lead to new hire success on the job.

Baseball Has the Most Advanced Metric Model to Learn From keep reading…

Big Challenges for Recruiting Leaders — The Top 10 Upcoming Recruiting Problems

by Apr 7, 2014, 5:23 am ET

Those who follow my articles know that I frequently write on the positive trends and the big ideas that recruiting leaders need to be aware of. However, I have not often written about the biggest strategic challenges or problems that corporate recruiting leaders face. Of course no one wants to dwell on the negative. But since I am predicting that during the next few years we will all encounter a completely transformed world of recruiting, it only makes sense to at least be aware of our largest current and upcoming challenges. If you don’t act proactively to mitigate these major challenges, they unfortunately may grow out of control, causing exponential damage to your firm.

The Top 10 Highest-impact Strategic Recruiting Challenges keep reading…

Moving from Transactions to Engagement — 4 Recruiting Trends

by Mar 27, 2014, 5:09 am ET

Screen Shot 2014-03-13 at 3.08.18 PMRecruiting is finally moving away from transactional thinking and beginning to understand how to better connect and engage with relevant candidates. We are not there yet, and I may be too optimistic, but many recruiters are making the transition to engage candidates and improve their experience and are therefore making more hires, increasing candidate satisfaction, and bringing in people who become productive faster and stay longer. An exemplar here is Google that has dropped many of its previous job requirements and adopted ones based on data and results.

We are moving slowly through the hype of technology into the deeper waters of understanding candidate psychology and motivation.  Over the next five years I expect to see much less focus on tools and technology, and much more use of them to really engage candidates and improve the experience they have in finding the right use of their skills.

Here are the four trends I see unfolding. They will not all be competed in 2014 but they will certainly be well underway in many organizations.  I’d love your comments and feedback.

Engagement/Experience 2.0 keep reading…

These Strategic Goals Can Help to Focus Your Recruiting Function

by Mar 24, 2014, 5:09 am ET

What could be more important than having everyone on your team focused and on the same page? Unfortunately, in my interactions with corporate recruiting leaders, I am frequently surprised to find that they don’t have a formal set of strategic goals for their talent acquisition function. That’s a major problem because you certainly can’t be strategic unless you have a formal written strategy (most don’t) and a corresponding set of goals to make it clear to everyone what you’re trying to accomplish. Not having clearly defined, measurable, and communicated strategic goals can add to the confusion about “what is important” and “what is less important.”

While having goals provides focus and direction, their absence can cause team members to wander and to waste time and resources in low-value areas. So if you want your team to be laser focused on the important things, have clear goals that clarify your purpose and that specify what you’re trying to accomplish and what great results would look like.

In that light, this article provides a list of the strategic goals that truly effective corporate recruiting leaders can choose from. Reaching many of these recruiting goals is more complicated because the factors involved in reaching them are not 100 percent controlled by your team. However, it’s time for recruiting leaders to learn to follow the standard business practice of assuming the captain-of-the-ship role which assumes responsibility for meeting goals that you don’t have 100 percent control over.

The Possible Strategic Goals for the Recruiting Function keep reading…