If you are going to be strategic, you must be forward looking. Obviously forward-looking people stay aware of current trends. I’ve written extensively on recruiting trends, but the definition of “a trend” means that a significant group of firms have already implemented the practice. And that means that if you merely identify and copy current trends, by the time your firm implements them, you will have fallen behind the benchmark firms that would have continued to develop new approaches. If you are tired of simply playing catch-up and you want to “get ahead” of your talent competition, you need to move beyond current trends and instead identify “next year’s” upcoming practices long before they gain wide acceptance.
If you want to prepare for what’s next on the horizon, here is my list of “next year’s recruiting headlines” or “next practices” that will soon be adopted by leading edge firms. Don’t be surprised if you’re not familiar with some of these “next practices” because they are seldom written about and they are even less frequently implemented.
A List of the Top 20 Recruiting Headlines That You Can Expect to Read Next Year keep reading…
Deming, around 1980, in Japan
I was training a group of hiring managers in New York City a few weeks ago on the fine points of Performance-based Hiring. The conversation quickly focused to quality of hire: how to both measure and maximize it. One of the sales directors in the room was quite frustrated with his recruiting team, and suggested the way he controlled quality of hire was by rejecting 9 of 10 candidates their recruiters presented. The rest of the hiring managers then chimed by saying how disappointed they were with the quality of the candidates sent by their recruiters.
They attributed the primary cause to their recruiters’ lack of understanding of real job requirements. I suggested the problem was more likely a quality-control issue: using inspection at the end of the process to control quality of hire, rather than defining and controlling it at the beginning. keep reading…
Of all the developments and trends in human resources, what would be at the top of your list?
Would strategic HR be there? How about outsourcing; or, should that be in-sourcing? Does employer branding and the “war for talent” belong there? And where would technology fit in, especially the trend away from so-called best-in-class components and toward integrated systems?
Not an easy call is it? Just since the start of the recession in late 2007 human resource departments, and the profession itself, has seen a remarkable shift in both function and practice. Strategic HR, a concept that began to percolate about the same time companies changed the personnel division to the HR department, got jumped into the C-suite consciousness shortly after the layoffs began. It was helped along by the angst created earlier by Keith Hammond’s wake-up call to the profession, “Why We Hate HR.” keep reading…
It’s not the big that eat the small. It’s the fast that eat the slow! --Author Jason Jennings
If the rate of change inside your firm is slower than the rate of change occurring outside your firm, your end is in sight. --Jack Welch’s philosophy
Even the most optimistic business leaders have begun to realize that the incredible business turbulence that we have been undergoing for the last decade isn’t going to end. In fact, turbulence, volatility, and continuous rapid change are likely to become the “new normal.” Recently an excellent research study by the leading consulting firm BCG effectively identified and then quantified this high level of turbulence. A summary of some of their key findings include:
- Turbulence strikes more often than in the past — More than ½ of the most turbulent quarters over the past 30 years have been in the past decade.
- Turbulence has increased in intensity – Volatility in revenue growth, in revenue ranking, and in operating margins have all more than doubled since the 1960s.
- Turbulence today persists much longer than in preceding periods – The average duration of periods of high turbulence has quadrupled over the past three decades.
- Turbulence in key business results – key business areas including revenue growth, profitability, and industry rank have all shown triple-digit percentage increases over the last few decades.
The Goal Is to Become an “Adaptive Firm” and Function keep reading…
Corporate recruiting is a field where there are distinct and measurable differences between the average and elite functions. In short, what that means is that “elite” recruiting functions (defined as the top 1%) produce superior results and act in ways that are totally different from the average function.
I am frequently asked during corporate presentations to cite the difference between “good and great” recruiting functions. Well, as a former chief talent officer and someone who has spent years devoted to identifying what makes the handful of elite recruiting functions unique, I’ve come up with an assessment tool. It is a checklist that can be used by recruiting leaders as a self-assessment tool in order to determine how they compare “side-by-side” to the few firms that have reached this elite status. The 40 defining characteristics are broken into seven distinct categories and they are listed in a numbered format for easy scanning.
The 40 Defining Characteristics of an “Elite Recruiting Function” in 2012 keep reading…
In this session, Fred Shilmover of InsightSquared talked about the importance of data, being able to conceptualize and analyze it as well as what it means for your business.
I nominate the calculating of “cost per hire” as the single most pointless and damaging exercise in recruiting. Even though the cost per hire metric is widely used, that certainly doesn’t mean that it adds value, and it may in fact actually hurt the recruiting function. Years ago when I was a chief talent officer, I even went so far as to ban the calculation of cost per hire.
photo credit: David Ramons
I did this because cost per hire had the negative effect of causing our recruiters to shift their focus toward cost reduction and away from our real job, which was to produce high-performing hires. If you’re going to be a strategic recruiting leader, you need to stop thinking like an accountant (who focuses on transactional costs) and instead act strategically and focus on the more important and higher value business and revenue impacts that great recruiting can produce. If you were the CEO of the Miami Heat and you were hiring LeBron James, you would consider the cost of the recruiting transaction to be insignificant compared to the economic value that he produced (winning a championship).
A Long List of the Reasons Why You Should Stop Worrying About the Transactional Cost of a Hire keep reading…
Thus grief still treads upon the heels of pleasure; Married in haste, we may repent at leisure. –William Congreve, 1693
If you work from a job description only to find it does not correctly define candidate requirements; if you send multiple candidates to the hiring manager only to him/her complain about wrong-skilled people; if turnover stubbornly stays high; if too many people fail training programs; if newly promoted managers fail on the job; if 80% of salespeople produce only 20% of sales, or if half the people you hire tend to sink to the bottom of the pool, then William Congreve defined your problem over 300 years ago.
Put another way, any organization that uses poor or inaccurate hiring processes is doomed to suffer the long-term consequences of poor employee and manager performance.
What would you do with a department whose decisions resulted in a 10-50% annual defect rate? That’s the estimated cost of turnover; job mistakes; too many people doing too little work; quality defects; poor customer service; barely acceptable productivity; low sales; and, so forth that came from using typical hiring practices.
While you pray your line managers aren’t reading this article, consider the following. keep reading…
Many are surprised to learn that in growing corporations, recruiting can have the highest revenue impact of all of the HR functions. That is a powerful statement and it is also the premise of a presentation that I will make in September at the always-groundbreaking ERE national recruiting conference. We all know that in both the sports and the entertainment fields, there is a tremendous financial impact as a result of hiring top talent like LeBron James or George Clooney. Although the same significant financial impact also occurs in the corporate world, recruiting leaders have almost universally failed to focus on generating that revenue impact.
CEOs are laser focused on revenue growth keep reading…
This (standard) cliché is repeated over and over by the world’s public employers in their most valuable marketing piece, their annual report. We know it’s B.S. You know it’s B.S. … and so does everyone else.
Employers, in their infinite wisdom, realize that investment in their firm, at least in part, is subject to the public perception that cash, bricks, and mortar aren’t the only factors in a firm’s success and, at the very least, some reasonable effort to avoid outright abuse of their employees is critical to supporting the brand they’ve managed to build. To that extent, employment and product brands are intertwined.
One could note that sales of clothes, for example, tend to go downhill quickly when a little light shines on them being made with child labor at starvation wages in some distant country.
Taking a more traditional approach, however, the critical work by Becker, Huselid, and Ulrich on the HR Scorecard during the last couple decades demonstrates that if we can improve the engagement of our workforce, those higher engagement scores coupled with our (HR) scorecards tend to be statistically correlated with increased corporate performance.
So, occasionally, it’s not B.S. There are times when firms actually walk the talk and reap the rewards of managing a great workforce. Sounds like a value proposition for HR to me. keep reading…
up high in the EA lobby
High pay, high housing costs, and an increasingly global recruiting environment have sent the recruiting market in California’s Silicon Valley back to the late 1990s.
Leaders from Genentech, Brocade, Electronic Arts, and other Valley companies talked about Silicon Valley recruiting at a July 18 event at Electronic Arts, put together by, among others, Brenda Rogers of Roku (the streaming-player company sporting a 67% employee referral rate) with help from CKR Interactive’s Andrew Gardiner, known by many as the founder of BAjobs.com.
Below are some highlights of that discussion entitled “recruiting top talent in the wake of a tsunami” put on by the Bay Area Human Resources Executives Council.
Moving From “Pay to Opportunity” keep reading…
Baseball is like recruiting. Every seasoned expert knows how to achieve success and can easily spot the obvious traits of great performers. Or do they? Moneyball, the Michael Lewis bestseller and Brad Pitt film, shows that the experts do get it wrong – or, at least, there are better, more reliable ways to learn and understand the secrets of success. Put most simply: look at the facts.
For more podcasts, webinars, and articles on recruiting be sure to check out ERE.net!
The foundation of recruiting performance has been built historically on three core business metrics:
1) Cost Per Hire = Can you recruit and do it with optimal financial investment?
2) Quality of Hire = Can you recruit an optimal or better performer?
3) Time to Fill = Can you fill the position quickly?
For this discussion I am going to concentrate on the third one, time to fill, which is historically a calculation from the clock starting once the business comes to recruiting with a need, and then stops once the candidate is hired/or onboarded. I want to share with you the journey that the Avanade team and myself have gone on, and how we arrived at the conclusions that it was time to blow up the time-to-fill metric. keep reading…
From what I’ve seen over the past 15 years, working with recruiting teams around the world, it’s apparent that too much time is spent on doing searches over again. This is a huge productivity drain, with recruiters having do the same search over and over again. Worse, most recruiting leaders don’t even measure it, control it, or try to fix it. If you need to send more than 3-4 candidates to the hiring manager, and the manager can’t decide, and wants to see more candidates, you’ve experienced the problem first hand. Solving this problem will allow you to make 50-200% more placements per month. keep reading…
Many great recruiting departments and organizations pride themselves on being “metrics-focused” or “metrics-driven” — And for good reason. There’s plenty of research that confirms the value of having clear strategic and operational targets.
Generic recruiting pipeline
In addition, employees appreciate having expectations (think: metrics) that are “SMART” (specific, measurable, actionable, realistic, and time bound). In the recruiting world, some common metrics include time to find, time to hire, survey scores (from hiring managers and candidates), as well as various quality of hire metrics.
How confident are you that you can “hit your numbers”? Are you able to consistently and quickly deliver qualified candidates to your hiring managers? If you are highly confident in your ability to meet or exceed the expectations of your hiring managers, that’s great! Chances are, then, you “know your numbers” very, very well.
This article focuses on one specific aspect of managing opportunities — knowing some key metrics. The next article in this two-part series will focus on some specific techniques for moving individuals through your funnel, or pipeline.
What Have You Done for Me Lately? keep reading…
Every staffing manager is concerned about the candidate quality and quality-of-hire metrics. These are very hard to measure. But if you have sourcers, recruiters, and candidate specialists who know what they’re looking for, and who know how to ask the right questions of the candidate who they’re talking to, then you vastly improve the quality of candidate, which in turn, improves the quality of hire.
If we don’t understand the technical functions of the job, then whole hiring process will be wrong, from start to finish. Here are the four problems that can occur: keep reading…
I strive to be the world’s most prominent advocate of employee referrals simply because there is no more powerful tool in recruiting. Well-designed referral programs not only identify top prospects that are not in a job-search mode but they also require employees to assess candidates for skills and fit and to sell them on the company and the job. Taken together, this identification, assessment and selling feature make referrals superior to any other source.
If your corporation is not getting close to 50% of your hires from employee referrals, I have gathered 10 compelling numbers that should change your perspective. keep reading…
Excellence matters, and technology advances so fast that the potential for improvement is tremendous. So, since becoming CEO again, I’ve pushed hard to increase our velocity, improve our execution, and focus on the big bets that will make a difference in the world. Google is a large company now, but we will achieve more, and do it faster, if we approach life with the passion and soul of a startup. — Google CEO Larry Page
With these powerful words, Google’s CEO Larry Page demonstrates that as Google grows in size, it must take actions in order to maintain its speed and startup-like attributes. If he fails, Google will slide into what I call “the Great to Good downward spiral.” It has already happened to notable firms like Kodak, Xerox, AOL, HP, 3M, Sears, MySpace, and Yahoo. In part 1 of this article I covered the 25 factors that can be used to identify if your organization is already in a bureaucratic slide. This Part 2 covers potential action steps that corporate leaders can take to prevent a slide at newer firms or to turn it around at more established firms.
20 Action Steps for Stopping or Preventing a “Great to Good” Slide Into Mediocrity keep reading…
Most organizations need to work on how they develop and articulate their employer brand strategies. Just over half of employers claim to have an employer brand strategy (51%), a fifth (19%) are in the process of revising one, and 24% are working towards one. That’s what Bernard Hodes Group learned from our new research, called The Growing Value of Employer Brands.
Of those employers that claim to have a strategy, the average age of it is 4.3 years. The results suggest that many employers are using strategies pre-dating the Great Recession. Relying on an old strategy is a recipe for disaster given the changes in workers’ attitudes wrought by turbulent labor markets and the rise of new channels such as social media.
The survey polled 175 employers across the U.S. in a spectrum of industries from education to manufacturing. About 240 employees were surveyed and were not necessarily employed by any of the participating employers. When comparing the two sets of data, there are some stark disconnects (see the graphic in the upper right). Some of the most noteworthy include:
- Only 25% of employers indicated that compensation is one of the most important attributes of an employer brand, compared with 64% of employees.
- Job security was ranked highly by 41% of employees, but only 21% of employers.
- Just 15% of employers felt that recognition is important in attracting new hires, while 33% of employees ranked it highly.
- Nearly half of employers (44%) felt career growth and advancement opportunities are important to attracting talent, while just over a quarter of talent (27%) agreed.
Looking at the data, one gets the impression that many employers may have lost common sense. keep reading…
There are fewer sad things to observe than a once-great firm sliding into mediocrity. You might not be accustomed to hearing the word “sad” and “business” in the same sentence, but I really do find it sad when great startup firms lose their energy and eventually become lumbering giants.
If you’re familiar with the legendary business book by Jim Collins, Good to Great, you already understand the concept of how firms can move from merely being good to becoming great. You might not be as familiar with it, but there is a similar shift that occurs when once great firms become simply … good firms. I call this slide “the Great to Good downward spiral.”
If you’re curious about the factors that cause this tragic downward spiral, or if you feel that your current firm is headed downhill, please read on. keep reading…